Pro12: Glasgow Warriors 29-15 Dragons

Taqele Naiyaravoro carries strongly
Glasgow Warriors debutant Taqele Naiyaravoro carries with aplomb
Glasgow Warriors: (10) 29
Tries: Fusaro, Fagerson, Bulumakau, Favaro Cons: Clegg 3 Pen: Clegg
Dragons: (10) 15
Tries: Landman, Hewitt Con: Tovey Pen: Tovey

Defending Pro12 champions Glasgow Warriors bagged a late bonus-point victory over the Dragons despite a host of absentees and two yellow cards.

Simone Favaro got the crucial try with the last move of the game, following earlier touchdowns by Chris Fusaro, Zander Fagerson and Junior Bulumakau.

Rynard Landman and Ashton Hewitt got a try in either half for the Dragons.

Glasgow showed far superior strength in depth as they took control of a messy match in the second period.

Home coach Gregor Townsend gave a debut to powerhouse Fijian-born Wallaby wing Taqele Naiyaravoro, and centre Alex Dunbar returned from long-term injury, while the Dragons gave first starts of the season to wing Aled Brew and hooker Elliot Dee.

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Glasgow lost hooker Pat McArthur to an early shoulder injury but took advantage of their first pressure when Rory Clegg slotted over a penalty on 12 minutes.

It took 24 minutes for a disjointed game to produce a try as Sarel Pretorius sniped from close range and Landman forced his way over for Jason Tovey to convert - although it was the lock's last contribution as he departed with a chest injury shortly afterwards.

Simone Favaro scores for Glasgow Warriors
Simone Favaro scores Glasgow's bonus-point try

Glasgow struck back when Fusaro drove over from a rolling maul on 35 minutes for Clegg to convert.

But the Dragons levelled at 10-10 before half-time when Naiyaravoro was yellow-carded for an aerial tackle on Brew and Tovey slotted the easy goal.

The visitors could not make the most of their one-man advantage after the break as their error count cost them dearly.

It was Glasgow's bench experience that showed when Mike Blair's break led to a short-range score from teenage prop Fagerson, converted by Clegg.

Debutant Favaro was the second home player to be sin-binned, on 63 minutes, but again the Warriors made light of it as replacement wing Bulumakau, a recruit from the Army, pounced to deftly hack through a bouncing ball for an opportunist try.

The Dragons got back within striking range with some excellent combined handling putting Hewitt over unopposed after 72 minutes.

However, Favaro became sinner-turned-saint as he got on the end of another effective rolling maul to earn his side the extra point with the last move of the game, Clegg converting.

Reaction

Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones said: "We're disappointed to have lost but our performance was a lot better [than against Leinster] and the game could have gone either way.

"Unfortunately too many errors behind the scrum cost us a great deal, though from where we were a fortnight ago in Dublin our workrate and desire was excellent.

"It was simply error count from individuals behind the scrum that cost us field position, it's not rocket science - they were correct in how they played and we had a few errors, that was the difference."

Teams

Glasgow Warriors: Rory Hughes, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Alex Dunbar, Fraser Lyle, Lee Jones, Rory Clegg, Grayson Hart; Alex Allan, Pat MacArthur, Zander Fagerson, Rob Harley (capt), Scott Cummings, Hugh Blake, Chris Fusaro, Adam Ashe.

Replacements: Fergus Scott, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Mike Cusack, Greg Peterson, Simone Favaro, Mike Blair, Gregor Hunter, Junior Bulumakau.

Dragons: Carl Meyer, Ashton Hewitt, Ross Wardle, Adam Warren, Aled Brew, Jason Tovey, Sarel Pretorius; Boris Stankovich, Elliot Dee, Brok Harris, Nick Crosswell, Rynard Landman (capt), Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Ed Jackson.

Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Phil Price, Shaun Knight, Matthew Screech, Ollie Griffiths, Luc Jones, Charlie Davies, Nick Scott.

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