November 23, 2018
Glasgow Warriors 40 - 15 Cardiff Blues
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday November 23rd 2018 | No comments
Niko Matawalu marked his 100th Glasgow game with two tries and the man-of-the-match award Glasgow Warriors went over for six tries in a 40-15 win over Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun this evening.
Niko Matawalu marked his 100th appearance for Glasgow Warriors with two tries as they cruised past the Welsh outfit.
The Fijian winger notched the second of four first half scores for the Scottish side, as Adam Ashe, Callum Gibbins and Tommy Seymour all crossed to ensure they had a bonus point before the break at Scotstoun Stadium.
Kristian Dacey looked to spark a comeback with an early second half score for the Blues, but it was quickly cancelled out by Rory Hughes.
Fly-half Jarrod Evans had 10 points on the night for the Welsh side, including a try after an hour before Matawalu grabbed his second late on.
It started well for Cardiff with Evans giving them an early 3-0 lead with a penalty when Glasgow were penalised at the breakdown.
Glasgow had two great chances in the next 10 minutes but only converted one.
Nick Grigg thundered through the midfield and released scrum half Ali Price but Cardiff full-back Tom Williams made a despairing tackle and knocked the ball loose, halting the Scottish sides' attack.
But it was in vein as just minutes later strong phase play gave a platform for Ruaridh Jackson to make a half break and offload to Ashe who dived over. Horne added the conversion to make it 7-3.
The home side added a second try six minutes later with Matawalu crossing for the second consecutive game week.
It came from a strong line-out before the Fijian picked his angle to break past the defence and step the fullback to dab down - Horne added the extras to make it 14-3.
Glasgow continued to dominate and it was openside flanker Gibbins who got in on the try action just before the half hour mark.
The Scottish side had a quick tap which went through the hands before the back-rower stretched over the whitewash when he looked like he was going to fall short. Another Horne kick made it 21-3.
They secured the bonus point before half-time through Tommy Seymour.
British and Irish Lion Seymour was set free by Grigg on the outside, who offloaded to his support runner who dabbed down under the posts. Horne added the extras to make it 28-3 at the break.
Dacey made it a much better start to the second half for the Welsh side.
The hooker touched after a strong driving line-out just after the break to make it 28-8.
But it wasn't long before Glasgow grabbed another score, this time with replacement winger Hughes crossing for the home side to increase their lead.
Evans added seven points all of his own on the hour mark, showing his power and agility to touch down before kicking his own conversion to reduce arrears.
Matawalu would score his second 10 minutes before the end. He showed his defence instincts to pick off a wayward pass before dashing over to score with Horne adding the extras.
When asked about man-of-match Matawalu, Dave Rennie told BBC Scotland: "When you've got gold and silver dreadlocks, you've got to play well, don't you?
"That was mentioned to him before the game."
Having scored a hat-trick at Ospreys last time out, he came close to repeating the feat with a thrilling kick and chase, only for the ball to just bobble out of play in the corner.
"Niko played very well tonight, maybe better than last time when he got a hat-trick," added Rennie. "His first try was outstanding and he did a lot of good defensive work."
After clinching a bonus point before the half-time interval with ruthless counter attacking, Glasgow's tempo dropped in the second half.
However, the Blues never looked like finding a way back as Rennie's men moved 13 points clear at the top of their section.
"I was very happy at half-time," added Rennie. "We were really clinical and defended well.
"Obviously, I'm not disappointed but second half there were too many missed tackles, too many defensive errors and we got exposed. We put ourselves under a lot of pressure, although we scrambled pretty well.
"From an attacking point of view, there was a lot of good stuff. We have a pretty positive mindset around how we play and our counter has been excellent. That's us scored four tries plus in the last four games."
Having this week revealed his intention to extend his contract beyond the end of the season, New Zealander Rennie said: "I'm loving it here, I'm happy, my wife is happy.
"For the rugby side of things, we have a really great bunch of men. That's important to me. We've created a culture and environment where we're bringing good young kids through. I like the fact the boys work hard for each other and we have a lot of fun.
"It's been a really satisfying period for us and I just think this team can get better and better, so I'm keen to be part of that."