Pro12: Glasgow Warriors 27-20 Cardiff Blues
|Glasgow Warriors (20) 27|
|Tries: Reid, Swinson, Favaro Cons: Weir 3 Pens: Weir 2|
|Cardiff Blues (0) 20|
|Tries: Fish, Jenkins, Cook Con: Patchell Pen: Patchell|
Defending champions Glasgow Warriors moved to seventh in the Pro12 with a chaotic, but comfortable, victory over Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun.
Tries from Gordon Reid, Tim Swinson and Simone Favaro built Glasgow a lead they would never relinquish.
But a late Blues rally and sloppy play from the hosts saw Dan Fish, Ellis Jenkins and Macauley Cook all cross.
That secured the visitors a losing bonus point and denied Warriors a try bonus of their own.
In his first outing of a season impeded by a wrist injury, the influential Henry Pyrgos enticed the bruisers of the pack to run hard lines off his snipes, timing a pass beautifully to send the hulking second-row Greg Peterson galloping to within two metres of the Blues line in the game's first attack.
An accidental offside halted the move but Duncan Weir's penalty deservedly edged Glasgow ahead.
Reid then capped a fine passage of phase play that began with a driving maul, crashing over from a yard after Peterson, then hooker Fraser Brown rumbled deep into the Welsh side's 22, Weir converting.
With Warriors utterly dominant, centre Mark Bennett scampered down the left flank and over the tryline - only to lose his grip on the ball as he went to place it. The pressure, though, yielded three more points for Weir.
Zander Fagerson was next to thunder through the Blues midfield, dispatching two would-be tacklers, but the slackness thereafter will have irked head coach Gregor Townsend, especially with the visiting eight so imperious in the scrummage.
Swinson's try with the last play of the half was vintage Warriors - high-tempo offloading fare, phase after phase with, crucially, the precision that had eluded them for much of the first 40 minutes.
The second-row stretched and plunged over, Weir converting for a 20-0 half-time advantage.
Propelled by a dominant set-piece and a hatful of Glasgow errors, the Blues built far greater field position after the interval.
Rhys Patchell booted them on to the scoreboard with a penalty, before his probing kick was brilliantly grounded by the speeding Fish, the full-back hooking his conversion wide.
The Blues played out the final stages with 14 men, centre Aled Summerhill yellow-carded for a high tackle on the airborne Peter Murchie.
And from the resulting penalty, Glasgow kicked for touch and launched an unassailable maul that saw substitute Favaro scoring and Weir converting neatly from wide.
More inaccuracy at the ruck proved detrimental for Warriors' quest for a fourth try and a bonus point, though, as the visitors earned a penalty and mauled their way to the line, Jenkins clinching a converted score.
The Blues battered Glasgow well after the clock went red, prowling relentlessly and with impressive structure as they sought to avoid returning to Cardiff empty-handed.
Penalty after penalty climaxed with Glasgow replacement Scott Cummings' sin-binning and Cook finally cantering over in the corner for an unconverted try to end a wild, exhausting spell.
Glasgow Warriors: Peter Murchie, Lee Jones, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Rory Hughes, Duncan Weir, Henry Pyrgos (capt); Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Greg Peterson, Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Leone Nakarawa.
Replacements: James Malcolm, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Sila Puafisi, Scott Cummings, Simone Favaro, Mike Blair, Sam Johnson, Glenn Bryce.
Cardiff Blues: Rhys Patchell, Blaine Scully, Aled Summerhill, Rey Lee-Lo, Dan Fish; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Thomas Davies, Matthew Rees (capt), Salesi Ma'afu, Jarrad Hoeata, James Down, Josh Turnbull, Ellis Jenkins, Manoa Vosawai.
Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Corey Domachowski, Taufa'ao Filise, Macauley Cook, Josh Navidi, Lewis Jones, Garyn Smith, Harri Millard.
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Lloyd Linton, Dunx McClement (Scotland)
Citing commissioner: John Montgomery (Scotland)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)