The Glasgow Warriors scored seven tries to chalk up a convincing 43-13 bonus-point win against the Kings at Scotstoun Stadium on Friday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
It’s wasn’t the Warriors’ most polished performance, and yet it was enough to earn them maximum log points to extend their unbeaten streak to seven matches and increase their lead at the top of the Conference A table.
The Warriors’ creativity on attack was on full display in this game, but coach Dave Rennie will be concerned about his deficiencies in the scrums and lineouts, which were well exposed and exploited by the visitors.
The Kings can’t buy a trick at the moment. They are a shadow of the team that played in Super Rugby just three months ago.
British & Irish Lions fullback Stuart Hogg gave the Warriors a perfect start when he dotted down just two minutes into the game. They dominated possession, but basic errors brought play to a halt continuously, preventing the hosts from ticking over the scoreboard.
Left frustrated, Glasgow conceded a couple of kickable penalties and fullback Masixole Banda turned them into points as the Kings surprisingly hit the front by a point.
But they were in the lead for just 10 minutes before they suffered a double blow. First captain Michael Willemse was forced off with an injury, and then the Warriors – through backs Niko Matawalu and Nick Grigg – scored in quick succession for a 19-6 advantage at half-time.
As has been the case in every game for the Kings, they went through their token dominant spell, which tested the Glasgow defence in the early stages of the second half. But nothing was forthcoming for the Kings as they failed to add to their score.
Two tries were then scored by the Warriors, the first of which saw prop Zander Fagerson brutally run over the top of Kings scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen to dot down.
And while replacement centre Jacques Nel went over for the Kings’ first try after intercepting a loose pass inside the 22, the hosts had the final say as they crossed for two more touchdowns in the dying minutes of the match.
Glasgow Warriors – Tries: Stuart Hogg, Niko Matawalu, Nick Grigg, Zander Fagerson, George Turner (2), Lewis Wynne. Conversions: Adam Hastings (2), Ruaridh Jackson (2).
Kings – Try: Jacques Nel. Conversion: Masixole Banda. Penalties: Banda (2).
Glasgow Warriors – 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 George Horne, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Matt Smith, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Alex Allan.
Subs: 16 George Turner, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Adam Nicol, 19 Greg Peterson, 20 Lewis Wynne, 21 Ruaridh Jackson, 22 Stafford McDowall, 23 Lelia Masaga.
Kings – 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Martin Du Toit, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Jurie van Vuuren, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Rossouw De Klerk, 2 Michael Willemse (c), 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Subs: 16 Tango Balekile, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Khaya Majola, 21 Rowan Gouws, 22 Oliver Zono, 23 Jacques Nel.
Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images