Pro14: Ospreys 20-29 Glasgow: Matawalu hat-trick fuels Warriors win

Niko Matwalu scores a Glasgow try
Niko Matawalu took his Glasgow haul to 34 tries from 99 appearances
Pro14
Ospreys (10) 20
Tries: Cracknell, Dirksen Cons: Davies 2 Pens: Davies 2
Glasgow Warriors (17) 29
Tries: Matawalu 3, Grigg Cons: Thomson 3 Pens: Thomson

Fijian Niko Matawalu came on as an early replacement to score a stunning hat-trick for Glasgow and inspire a bonus-point victory over Ospreys.

Wing Matawalu replaced Ruaridh Jackson after three minutes and crossed for three tries as Warriors extended their Pro14 Conference A lead to nine points.

Centre Nick Grigg was rewarded for his outstanding performance with a try.

The hosts, who remain second in the conference, responded with tries from Olly Cracknell and Hanno Dirksen.

It was a sixth win in eight Pro14 games for Glasgow while Ospreys suffered a first home league defeat of the season.

As well as scoring four tries, complemented by the boot of the impressive Brandon Thomson, Glasgow's dynamic defence ensured Ospreys only crossed the visitors' line twice.

Both sides were without their international contingent at the Liberty Stadium with Wales and Scotland meeting in Cardiff on Saturday.

Flowing Glasgow flex their muscles

Lock Scott Cummings made an early storming break, and after Ospreys had transgressed, Thomson slotted over the penalty to put Dave Rennie's team ahead.

The home side immediately responded with a try from captain Cracknell after incisive bursts from Dirksen, full-back Dan Evans and number eight Rob McCusker. Sam Davies converted.

Glasgow retaliated with their own flowing score, instigated by Rory Hughes before Canada wing DTH van der Merwe produced an innovative off-load to Matawalu, who finished. Thomson added the extras.

The Fijian scored his second minutes later, created by Grigg's brilliant break and perfectly-timed pass.

Davies reduced the deficit with a penalty and kept turning Glasgow's defence with some probing kicks. The Ospreys stand-off missed a kick at goal on the stroke of half-time as Glasgow led 17-10.

Cory Allen of Ospreys takes on Brandon Thomson of Glasgow Warriors
Cory Allen scored a hat-trick of tries for Wales in the 2015 World Cup win over Uruguay

Grigg rewarded for dazzling display

A sizzling run from the outstanding Dirksen laid the foundations for Davies to slot over his second penalty but Glasgow retaliated with a third try after Matawalu dived onto a Thomson chip-kick.

And Grigg, producing another dazzling display after his fine performance in last week's loss at Munster, got the bonus-point score. The New Zealand-born centre finished off a flowing set-piece move orchestrated by clinical breaks from Van der Merwe and Stafford McDowall.

Wales back James Hook came on as a second-half replacement but had to leave the field himself after suffering a head injury.

Ospreys were not fazed by the reshuffle with Dirksen latching on to a speculative Cory Allen kick and sprinted over to score.

Davies converted but Allen Clarke's men could not manage a losing bonus point despite a late rally.

'We had a wall in front of them' - reaction

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke told BBC Radio Wales: "You have to admire Glasgow, they took their opportunities. We had our own but we did not capitalise the way they did.

"They are about two years ahead of us in terms of development and their depth, and they are very well-coached.

"I thought we caused them problems but we know where we are in our journey, now the boys will get a well-deserved week off."

Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie said: "The game felt more secure than the result shows. I think we had more punch in attack and defensively we had a wall in front of them for the majority of the game.

"We got a lot right and I thought we were pretty clinical. If we held on to a little bit more ball we could have hurt them even more.

"We have some good kids coming through and we are very happy to get five weeks after last week's disappointment."

Ospreys: Evans; Dirksen, Allen, Thomas-Wheeler, Giles; S Davies, Habberfield; R Jones, Otten, Fia, Ashley, King, Cracknell (capt), W Jones, McCusker.

Replacements: Parry, G Thomas, Botha, Ratti, Volpi, Aubrey, Hook, T Williams.

Glasgow Warriors: Jackson; Van der Merwe, Grigg, McDowall, Hughes; Thomson, Frisby; Kebble, Stewart, Rae, Harley, Cummings, Ashe, Gibbins (capt), Tameilau.

Replacements: Stewart, Bhatti, Nicol, McDonald, Smith, Flockhart, Kelly, Matawalu.

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)

Tough judges: Kieran Barry (IRFU), Craig Evans (WRU)

TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)

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