November 16, 2019
Glasgow Warriors 13 - 7 Sale Sharks
Champions Cup match played at Scotstoun on Saturday November 16th 2019 | No comments
Glasgow Warriors opened their Champions Cup campaign with a hard-fought, but deserved win over Sale Sharks at Scotstoun.
Glasgow had the better of the opening period as they dominated possession and territory and Adam Hastings made the pressure count with two penalties to make it 6-0.
Sale came back into the game but weren't able to turn territory into points as sloppy line out work and some good defence eased the pressure on the home line.
Warriors made the most of their opportunity when from a midfield move centre Sam Johnson made. A lovely pass to wing DTH Van der Merwe and he strode in to score and equal Tommy Hayes as Glasgow's top European try scorer. Hastings converted as Glasgow held a 13-0 half-time advantage.
Sale brought on Chris Ashton and Rob du Preez in a bid to increase their threat in attack and they were back in the game on the hour mark.
Glasgow's Tommy Seymour knocked on near his line and from the resulting scrum replacement Coenie Oosthuizen forced his way over with AJ MacGinty converting.
The Sharks visibly lifted but Glasgow, whose defensive effort was excellent throughout, held on in a tense finish to score a deserved success.
Glasgow travel to Exeter Chiefs next Saturday as they bid to keep up the momentum while Sale will try and kick-start their campaign when they host La Rochelle on Sunday.
After the match Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie Rennie said: "If you had given me that score before the game, I would have taken that.
"I thought in the first half we were really good, maybe even better than the 13-0 scoreline. We applied a lot of pressure but the second half was disappointing.
"I just thought we overplayed down our end of the field. But having said that, our lineout was excellent, our defence lineout was excellent. Likewise with the scrum.
"The big men put in a shift and that got us home in the end.
"I know the boys were setting up for a drop goal under the posts at one point," said Rennie when asked if letting Sale leave with a point was a frustration.
"With 90 seconds left they decided to hang on to it. We did that for about 80 minutes and then got penalised. It would have been good to deny them a bonus point but the key thing was us winning."
Looking ahead to next week's trip to face Exeter Chiefs, Rennie added: "I think we've got a set-piece that'll be competitive down there at Exeter. I also thought we defended well for big chunks of this game.
"I just think we'll maybe need to play a little bit smarter next week."