Glasgow Warriors claim maximum at Ospreys while Lions and Benetton pick up shock victories

Planet Rugby
Glasgow Warriors flanker Sione Vailanu.

Glasgow Warriors flanker Sione Vailanu.

Glasgow Warriors overturned a 10-0 deficit to claim a 31-23 bonus-point victory over the Ospreys in their United Rugby Championship clash in Swansea.

The Welsh region had no answer to Glasgow’s formidable line-out drive from which they scored all four of their tries.

Johnny Matthews grabbed two of them with Sione Vailanu and Allan Dell also on the try-scoring sheet. Duncan Weir converted all four and added a penalty.

Keiran Williams and Reuben Morgan-Williams scored Ospreys‘ tries with Jack Walsh kicking three penalties and two conversions.

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Ospreys made the better start to take a fifth-minute lead. Glasgow conceded two penalties in quick succession to give the hosts an attacking platform with Williams on hand to drive over from close range.

Ospreys soon came close to scoring a second when Mat Protheroe took advantage of inaccurate handling from the Scots to kick ahead. The wing looked a likely scorer but his second kick forward resulted in the ball running dead before he could ground it.

Williams’ converted try was the only score of a competitive first quarter with stubborn defence from the Welsh region and poor handling from Glasgow preventing the visitors from drawing level.

Ospreys suffered an injury blow when try-scorer Williams was forced to leave the field to fail an HIA with Weir yellow carded for the high challenge.

Walsh kicked the resulting penalty with George North introduced to replace Williams.

Weir returned from the sin-bin in time to see his side come onto the scoreboard with Matthews crashing over from a line-out drive. Weir’s conversion left Glasgow 10-7 adrift at the interval.

Four minutes after the restart, Matthews repeated the dose to put the visitors in front for the first time.

Glasgow’s pack became increasingly dominant and their line-out drive proved unstoppable with Vailanu crashing over for their third try.

A second penalty from Walsh kept Ospreys in contention before they scored the best try of the night. Skilful passing created space for Luke Morgan to make ground before he kicked ahead with Morgan-Williams winning the race to touchdown.

Walsh converted and succeeded with his third penalty but Weir first kicked a penalty before Dell scored their bonus-point try after Justin Tipuric was yellow carded.

78th minute Lions crossing shocks Scarlets

Henco van Wyk’s last-gasp try saw the Lions secure a thrilling 24-23 United Rugby Championship win and hand Scarlets their first home defeat for more than a year.

Sanele Nohamba converted the score to see the Welsh side lose at Parc y Scarlets for the first time in the league since October 20, 2022.

It looked as though returning Wales hooker Ryan Elias, on regional duty for the first time since returning from the World Cup in France, had given the Scarlets a winning lead when he converted an expert driving line-out maul 10 minutes from time.

The immaculate Ioan Lloyd added the conversion and it was then 23-14 to the home side. They looked odds on to hold out until Nohamba punished an error in the 77th minute with a 30-metre penalty and then Steff Evans had his kick up field charged down by opposite number Richard Kriel.

As Evans buried his head in his hands, Kriel raced onto the bouncing ball in the home 22, regathered and sent Van Wyk running to the posts.

Lloyd opened the scoring with a simple enough penalty three minutes into the game, and then it was his delightful side-stepping run that took the home side into the Lions 22, when Tom Rogers picked up the opening try.

The wide angled conversion from Lloyd made it 10-0, but the Lions hit back within five minutes with a try from their centre and captain Marius Louw, who simply picked up at the base of a ruck 10 metres out and ran straight through to the line.

Nohamba added the extras and the Lions were able to stay within three points at 10-7 up to the break, Lloyd hitting the upright with a 42-metre penalty with the last kick of the half. Just as he had done in the first half, Lloyd kicked a penalty at the start of the second.

But four minutes later the Lions bared their teeth. Nohamba got his hands on the ball at a penalty on the home 22, tapped to himself and raced towards the line. He was held up five metres short, but the Lions forwards wouldn’t give up a golden chance and hooker PJ Botha drove the final metre to the line for the try.

Nohamba added the extras and for the first time in the game the Lions were in the lead, although not for long. Another offside offence on their 10-metre line allowed Lloyd to kick his side back in front at 16-14.

Then came that Elias try and conversion before Nohamba replied with his penalty and conversion of Van Wyk’s try to notch the first win of the season for the Lions.

Benetton stun Stormers to remain unbeaten

Earlier, Benetton maintained their unbeaten start to the United Rugby Championship season with a hard-fought 20-17 victory over the Stormers at Stadio Monigo.

Marco Zanon and Alessandro Izekor went in for tries with Tomas Albornoz adding a conversion and penalty and Jacob Umaga converting Izekor’s second-half score. Rhyno Smith also sent over a long-range drop-goal.

Warrick Gelant, Scarra Ntubeni and Courtnall Skosan went in for the South Africans, with Jean-Luc du Plessis adding a conversion as they fell just short in Italy.

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