The Glasgow Warriors scored seven tries to register a 52-24 bonus-point win against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
In a high-intensity and highly entertaining first half, the teams went blow for blow, showing good attacking intent with neither prepared to concede the ascendancy. The second half played out differently as a yellow-card offence by the Cheetahs allowed Glasgow to pull away on the scoreboard.
The result sees Glasgow overtake Munster at the top of the Conference A standings. As for the Cheetahs, a third consecutive defeat leaves them languishing in seventh position in the same conference. They are also the only side in the competition with no log points.
Glasgow landed the first blow when Adam Hastings split the defence for a self-converted try. But conceding early on seemed to galvanise the Cheetahs, who responded with 12 unanswered points.
The first try was scored by centre William Small-Smith, but it was the second from Malcolm Jaer that had the crowd in raptures. Under pressure in defence inside their own 22, openside flank Gerhard Olivier beat everyone to the breakdown and effected a turnover. The ball was flicked to the short side, with scrumhalf Tian Meyer running it out of danger before kicking across to the other side, where Jaer’s committed chase was rewarded with a perfect bounce on his way to the tryline.
Two minutes later, things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Alex Dunbar was shown a yellow card for a high tackle. But the Cheetahs were unable to take advantage, with Ali Price darting over for his first effort to put his team back in front.
Despite going behind, the Cheetahs were solid in the scrums and lineouts, enabling them to pin the Warriors back in their half. But after struggling to get over the gainline, flyhalf Tian Schoeman gathered a poor pass that went behind him, ran hard at the line and shredded the defence before freeing up Nico Lee for the try that ensured they led by five at the break.
The Cheetahs side that came out in the second half was barely recognisable from the one that had competed so gallantly in the first. Jaer saw yellow for a dangerous tackle in the air in the first minute and once they were a man down, the Cheetahs struggled to contain Glasgow’s unrelenting attack.
With the man-over advantage, the visitors would dot down thrice, through Tommy Seymour, Price and DTH van der Merwe, to kill the game as a contest.
When Jaer returned from his costly move to the sin bin, he pulled a try back for the Cheetahs. But Glasgow, as they so often do, would finish with a flourish, adding 17 unanswered points in the last quarter to go past the 50-point mark.
Cheetahs – Tries: William Small-Smith, Malcolm Jaer (2), Nico Lee. Conversions: Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Tian Schoeman.
Glasgow Warriors – Tries: Adam Hastings, Ali Price (2), Tommy Seymour, DTH van der Merwe, Callum Gibbins, George Horne. Conversions: Hastings (7). Penalty: Hastings.
Cheetahs – 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Nico Lee, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Aidon Davis , 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Charles Marais.
Subs: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Gunther van Rensburg, 19 Dennis Visser, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Marnus van der Merwe, 22 Shaun Venter, 23 Ryno Eksteen.
Glasgow Warriors – 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Pete Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Callum Gibbins (c), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Oli Kebble.
Subs: 16 George Turner, 17 Alex Allan, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Matt Fagerson, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 George Horne, 22 Nick Frisby, 23 Huw Jones.
Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images