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Glasgow too good for Dragons

08th October 2010 21:56

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John Barclay in Glasgow action

Winning start: John Barclay led Glasgow to victory

Glasgow Warriors opened their European account on Friday with a 21-13 Heineken Cup win over Dragons at Firhill.

Glasgow claimed revenge for last month's Magners League defeat at Rodney Parade as tries from Graeme Morrison and Fergus Thomson sealed the win for the home side and although they had some shaky spells, their pace behind the scrum always had the visitors in trouble.

It was all Glasgow in the opening minutes and although DTH van der Merwe was adjudged to have put a foot in touch for what looked like the opening score after two minutes, the hosts kept up the early pressure.

The two teams know each other well and the Dragons defence soaked up wave after wave of Glasgow attacks until finally a penalty took Dragons downfield and in their first visit to the Warriors 22 they collected a simple score.

Andrew Coombs and Scott Morgan made inroads down the left, the ball was switched to midfield, Warriors defence edged in and when the ball reached Adam Hughes the wing crashed over unopposed.

Matthew Jones slotted the conversion and it looked as though the Dragons were again going to do what they had done so often in the past and grind the Warriors pack down until the gaps appeared.

It was then that Glasgow number 10 Ruaridh Jackson took a hand with 25 minutes gone and he proceeded to kick three penalties in quick succession as referee Jerome Garces ran out of patience with the Dragons infringing.

Then, with five minutes of the half remaining, came the score the Warriors had been threatening.

Colin Gregor scorched away and found John Barclay inside him. The Warriors skipper was hauled down inches short but rapidly recycled ball gave Morrison space to go over, giving Jackson a straightforward conversion.

At 16-7 ahead heading towards the break, the Warriors were in control, but a rush of blood to the head gave Jones the chance to bring the margin back to six points at half-time with a simple penalty.

Jones narrowed the margin further with a penalty four minutes into the second half, but then the Dragons were under the cosh for 15 minutes, and only solid midfield defence from Thomas Cheeseman and Ashley Smith kept Max Evans in particular at bay as the Warriors started to put real pace on the game.

Argentinian wing Federico Aramburu had gone close a couple of times for the Warriors and from his second dip at the line, quick ball found the Dragons way out of position and hooker Fergus Thomson went over for Glasgow's second try.

Although Jackson missed the conversion, the home side were growing in confidence.

Referee Garces was doing little to endear himself to the noisy Glasgow crowd, but the home side looked to be running the clock down successfully.

Then a Wayne Evans kick left the hobbling Bernardo Stortoni stranded and Glasgow were penned in their own 22 until man-of-the-match Gregor got them out of trouble with a couple of fine clearances, picking up a very late challenge from Robin Sowden-Taylor in the process which surprisingly went unpunished.

Jones had a last-minute attempt to salvage the bonus point but the kick fell short, a Dragons final flurry came to nothing and Glasgow had ended their losing streak.

The scorers:

For Glasgow:
Tries: Morrison, Thomson
Con: Jackson
Pens: Jackson 3

For Dragon:
Try: Hughes
Con: M Jones
Pens: M Jones 2

Glasgow: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Max Evans, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Federico Aramburu, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Colin Gregor, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 John Barclay (c), 6 Robert Harley, 5 Richie Gray, 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Moray Low, 2 Fergus Thomson, 1 Jon Welsh
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Calum Forrester, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Rob Dewey.

Dragons: 15 Will Harries, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tom Cheeseman, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Matthew Jones, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Andrew Coombs, 7. Robin Sowden-Taylor, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Robert Sidoli,4 Scott Morgan, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Nigel Hall, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Lewis Evans, 21 James Leadbeater, 22 Tom Riley, 23 Matt Evans.

Venue: Firhill
Referee: Jérôme Garces

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