A controversial first-half try proved to be the difference as Glasgow Warriors claimed a hard-fought and narrow victory over the Lions at the Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday.
The Warriors dug deep to hold off a spirited second-half comeback bid from the Lions in a tight Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash at drizzly Scotstoun.
Danny Wilson’s team made a strong start but the Lions refused to buckle and kept themselves in the match right to the very end before succumbing to a narrow 13-9 loss.
Glasgow got off to the perfect start after just two minutes when strong pressure from the forwards in the five-metre area paved the way for prop Jamie Bhatti to force his way over the line and Ross Thompson duly converted.
The Lions got off the mark in the sixth minute when EW Viljoen, starting at flyhalf in place of the injured Jordan Hendrikse, pinged a penalty between the posts from a central position after a Glasgow tackle penalty. Warriors restored their seven-point cushion in the 16th minute when Thompson kicked a penalty from right in front after the Lions infringed at the breakdown.
The hosts were piling on pressure and appeared to have control of the match, but lacked the accuracy in the key moments to breach a defiant Lions rearguard.
Just when they looked in danger of being overrun, the South Africans got themselves a reprieve in the 28th minute when they won a penalty 35 metres from goal, wide on the right, after Glasgow sealed off at the breakdown.
Viljoen could easily have kicked for touch but instead sent his kick nonchalantly and expertly between the posts, and the momentum shifted in favour of the Lions, who finished the half strongly.
In the third minute of the second half, Viljoen hauled his side within one point of their hosts with another magnificently executed penalty. Glasgow were under the cosh for much of the second period, but Thompson eased the pressure when he kicked a routine penalty in the 72nd minute.