Scarlets headed to Glasgow for the tenth round of the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday evening looking to build on the bonus point victory over Ulster at the Parc last weekend.
Glasgow, leading Conference A, with their strong home record rested their international players whilst Scarlets fielded a strong side captained by returning international Jonathan Davies.
The homeside find themselves down to 14-men early on in the game after a no-arms tackle by loosehead prop Alex Allan on returning international Jake Ball.
The red card energises the homeside and they put in a huge performance keeping the Scarlets under the cosh for the entirety of the game. The visitors fail to get a foothold scoring only the one try, from captain Jonathan Davies.
Glasgow kick us off on a cold but dry Saturday evening at Scotstoun Stadium but it’s Scarlets and Rhys Patchell who get first points on the board with a penalty from the 22 line.
From the restart Scarlets are penalised in our own 22 handing Glasgow an attacking position. They’re bundled in to touch as Scarlets’ defensive line holds strong. Possession comes back to Scarlets hands. The opportunity is lost for Glasgow but they come back minutes later and make the most of a Scarlets error with outside half Brandon Thomson kicking a penalty.
We get back down in to Scarlets territory with an attacking phase. Jake Ball is tackled inside their 22 and is forced off the field for a HIA. Referee reviews the video footage and loosehead prop Alex Allan is shown a red card for a no arms tackle on the second row. The home crowd is incensed and the remaining 14 Glasgow Warriors players are energized by the decision.
Glasgow get themselves in a good position winning a penalty just outside our 22. They opt for posts and kick the three points.
14-man Glasgow have the rub of the green as we enter the second twenty of the first half. Another penalty goes their way and it's another opportunity for Thomson to kick for three points. Thomson’s kick is wide of the mark on this occasion but the homeside remain in the lead by three points.
We near the half hour mark and Lewis Rawlins is shown a yellow card and will spend ten minutes in the bin. Glasgow kick to the corner. From the line out they get the ball out and across the attacking line. Outside half Thomson dummies a pass to his right, he’s through Scarlets’ defensive line and crosses the whitewash. He adds the conversion.
Scarlets have one last opportunity to put pressure on Glasgow before the half time whistle. Patchell kicks us downfield, Elias throws in to the line out. We build pressure, edge ever closer to the whitewash but they turn the ball over and Matawalu gets them back in a strong position in our 22 with a grubber kick and chase. Nothing comes of it for either side and we head in to the changing rooms.
Half time: Glasgow 13 Scarlets 3
It’s the homeside who get off to a fighting start in the second half. They turn the ball over in their own half and go on a barnstorming run. Centre Nick Grigg crosses the line for Warrior’s second try of the evening. Thomson adds the conversion.
Winger Robbie Nairn is on the end of another try-scoring Glasgow move. They go on the rampage from deep and get another try straight from the restart. He's over in the corner but referee is checking for a forward pass earlier in the phase. Try not awarded. A reprieve for Scarlets and will need to regroup quickly.
We get back down in to Glasgow territory. An attacking phase in their 22 gives us a platform to build from. Rob Evans gathers the ball from the ruck, gets it out to captain Jonathan Davies and he’s over for our first try of the evening. Patchell’s conversion attempt from the sideline misses the mark.
By the time we hit the hour mark Glasgow have added another two penalties to their score going ahead by 18 points.
As the clock ticks down Scarlets make replacements looking for something to spark the performance. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Paul Asquith and Clayton Blommetjies replace Kieran Hardy, Kieron Fonotia and Tom Prydie in the backline. Wyn Jones, Daf Hughes, Tom Phillips and Simon Gardiner replace Rob Evans, Ryan Elias, Dan Davis and Werner Kruger in the pack.
Glasgow are putting pressure on the Scarlets in our own 22. They look dangerous with ball in hand but captain Davies spots an opportunity. He makes a dash for it from deep, he’s on the run, he makes the hard yards, he's got men in support. We get the ball out wide and winger Steff Evans does enough to keep his feet on the park to touch down in the corner.
In the final minutes of the game we get a third try putting us within losing bonus point territory. A final flourish and a run in to Glasgow’s half sees replacement Clayton Blommetjies rewarded with a try after a strong run by Paul Asquith. Patchll adds the conversion.
The Scarlets have battled back after a below-par performance and have one hand on the losing bonus point. Glasgow have different ideas though and they get straight back downfield as we edge towards the 80-minute mark. Great territorial work and pressure on the Scarlets forces a penalty. It’s kickable and Thomson doesn’t disappoint his side. It’s over and Scarlets are once again outside of the bonus point territory. Just reward for Glasgow after a strong 14-man performance.
Final score: Glasgow 29 Scarlets 20