Pro12: Glasgow Warriors 8-23 NG Dragons

Glasgow Warriors (5) 8

  • Tries: Matawalu
  • Pens: Pyrgos

Dragons (13) 23

  • Tries: Tovey, Harries
  • Cons: Tovey 2
  • Pens: Tovey 2
  • Drop-goal: Tovey

Jason Tovey was the star of a rather scrappy show as Dragons shrugged off three yellow cards to earn a rare away win on a cold night in Glasgow.

The fly-half capitalised on a dreadful Nikola Matawalu blunder to touch down for a first-half try.

Tovey set up a Will Harries score with a perfectly judged kick over the top, as well as landing both conversions, two penalties and a drop-goal.

Matawalu had scored an early try but Glasgow fell away badly.

Warriors had designs on taking top spot in the Pro12 but could find themselves slipping down from second to fourth once the weekend is over, following their second loss of the season.

The home team, who scored 97 points in two drubbings of the Dragons last term, got off to a flying start, capitalising on a tip-tackle yellow card for Pat Leach after just 40 seconds to take an early lead.

DTH van der Merwe broke the visitors' defensive line to find Stuart Hogg and the full-back's offload allowed Matawalu to dive over.

Henry Pyrgos missed the conversion and that was to prove costly as Tovey nudged the visitors ahead with two crisply taken penalties.

However, it was not all going Tovey's way as he misjudged a straightforward penalty for a five metre line-out, kicking the ball dead.

Pyrgos then had the chance to put Glasgow back in front but his long-range penalty hit the upright.

With both sides struggling to find any fluency in possession, it was a moment of madness from Matawalu that gifted the visitors a try as the Fijian fumbled when trying to evade opponents on his own line and Tovey thrust out an arm to touch down.

Tovey knocked over the extras and Dragons spurned a good chance to extend their lead before the interval when they were penalised for crossing as they approached the posts.

Pyrgos reduced the deficit early in the second half with a penalty but he was to make way soon after as Matawalu was switched from the wing to his usual scrum-half position.

That change came after Dragons winger Matthew Pewtner had been sin-binned but it was the Welsh side who scored next as Tovey picked out space with a cross kick for Harries to race in and pounce expertly on the bouncing ball.

Tovey rubbed further salt in the home wounds with an impressive touchline conversion.

The visitors were reduced to 13 men following a dangerous tackle from Netani Talei but Glasgow continued to malfunction and could not take advantage.

Hogg, returning from six weeks out with a wrist injury, knocked a straightforward penalty wide, while Van der Merwe and replacement centre Mark Bennett were both held up a few yards short.

Dragons scrum-half Richie Rees intercepted a loose pass from Josh Strauss but lacked support and his break was halted by Matawalu.

It was only fitting that Tovey had the last say and his stylish drop-goal was a fine way to cap a great individual performance and a first away success since February.

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Byron McGuigan, DTH van der Merwe, Finn Russell, Niko Matawalu, Scott Wight, Henry Pyrgos, Gordon Reid, Dougie Hall, Ed Kalman, Tom Ryder, Al Kellock, Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Richie Vernon.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, George Hunter, Jon Welsh, James Eddie, Leone Nakarawa, Josh Strauss, Mark Bennett, Jack Steele.

NG Dragons: Daniel Evans; Will Harries, Pat Leach, Ross Wardle, Matthew Pewtner; Jason Tovey, Richie Rees; Owen Evans, Sam Parry, Francisco Chaparro, Cory Hill, Rob Sidoli (c), Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Netani Talei.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Aaron Coundley, Dan Way, Matthew Screech, Ieuan Jones, Wayne Evans, Steffan Jones, Ashley Smith.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)

Assistant Referees: Neil Paterson, Stephen Hart (both SRU)

Citing Commissioner: John Kirk (SRU)