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February 16, 2018

Glasgow Warriors 37 - 23 Cheetahs

GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday February 16th 2018 | No comments

Nick Grigg continued his fine form with a man-of-the-match display
Glasgow Warriors clinched a PRO14 play-off place with a bonus-point win over Cheetahs at Scotstoun this evening.

Niko Matawalu, Ruaridh Jackson, Siua Halanukonuka, George Horne and Henry Pyrgos all crossed the line for the Warriors, who stay top of Group A and maintain their unbeaten PRO14 record.

The game kicked off in lashing rain and as both sides struggled to hold the ball it was Cheetahs who made the most of it with a coast-to-coast try in the seventh minute, scored by winger Malcom Jaer and converted by Niel Marais.

That was as good as it got for the visitors, while Glasgow's bonus-point success guarantees them a top-three finish in Conference A, and thus a knockout place.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie was delighted with his side's performance, saying: "I thought it was an excellent effort.

"We played without the ball for a long part of the game and really got in their face, forcing a lot of mistakes. I thought our positional play was really strong - Adam [Hastings] had a great game, putting us in the right areas of the park, and we were pretty clinical when we got our opportunities

"A lot of our kicking options were smart. They would have anticipated us playing a lot of football and I thought we mixed it up really well. I felt at half-time, 15-10 up, we'd had a lot of the play which wasn't reflected on the scoreboard. I thought it was a really mature performance."

In addition to the performance of his fly-half, Rennie also praised the midfield tandem of man-of-the-match Nick Grigg and Sam Johnson, who returned to action following ten weeks out with a broken jaw.

He said: "That's a really strong midfield pairing. I know people talk about how many players we're missing, but we had a really good side out there tonight - a good mix of experience and youth.

"Prior to Sam's broken jaw, he was probably our form midfielder, so it was great to see him back tonight. Nick's had a great season too, and he was really strong with and without the ball tonight."

Also returning to the starting lineup were second row duo Tim Swinson and Scott Cummings, both of whom made a successful return to action following time in the treatment room.

"Again, it gives us a little bit of a harder edge," said Rennie.

"For those big men to play as many minutes as they did tonight, it just shows how hard they worked in recovery.

"It's been a hell of a road back for Tim since getting injured back in November, so it's exciting from our point of view, getting a few boys back tonight and hopefully a few more in the next couple of weeks."

The Warriors are back in action next week as they travel to Munster, with the Irish province leading those looking to chase down Rennie's men in Conference A. With a number of impressive performances to mull over, the Glasgow head coach admitted there would be competition for places in the days to come.

He said: "There's always pressure for selection, so we'll have a look at all the footage over the next few days.

"We'll look to take a really competitive side over there next week."

Referee George Clancy (Ireland)
Attendance 7,351
Man of the Match Nick Grigg
Alex Allan
James Malcolm
Siua Halanukonuka
Tim Swinson
Scott Cummings
Robert Harley
Chris Fusaro
Matt Fagerson
George Horne
Adam Hastings
Nikola Matawalu
Sam Johnson
Nick Grigg
Lee Jones
Ruaridh Jackson
Grant Stewart
Oli Kebble
D'arcy Rae
Matt Smith
Adam Ashe
Henry Pyrgos
Brandon Thomson
Ratu Tagive
Match Substitutions
Off On
Lee Jones Ratu Tagive
Off On
Chris Fusaro Matt Smith
Off On
George Horne Henry Pyrgos
Off On
Alex Allan Oli Kebble
Off On
Tim Swinson Adam Ashe
Off On
Siua Halanukonuka D'arcy Rae
Off On
Ruaridh Jackson Brandon Thomson
Off On
James Malcolm Grant Stewart