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February 17, 2007

Glasgow Warriors 30 - 14 Llanelli Scarlets

Celtic League match played at Hughenden on Friday February 16th 2007 | 9 comments

Rory Lamont and two-try Steve Swindall celebrate Glasgow's win
Glasgow shook off their slumbers to continue their stirring Magners League revival by sweeping aside the depleted Scarlets at Hughenden.

The Warriors seemed a hesitant bunch in the first quarter, allowing Llanelli to dictate the contest - but they found their rhythm to seal another vital win, complete with a bonus point.

Home coach Sean Lineen had confessed to having mixed feelings over the availability of current Scotland squad members Dan Parks, Ally Kellock and Andy Henderson.

On one hand, he was clearly delighted to have the high-profile trio at his disposal - but on the other, he admitted to sharing their frustration at being dropped in the wake of the RBS 6 Nations opening day defeat by England at Twickenham.

By contrast, the Welsh outfit travelled north with a line-up which bore little resemblance to the one which has earned success on the European stage this season.

Warriors looked the hungrier side during the jittery initial exchanges, however a combination of stout defence and careless handling prevented them from breaking through.

And, having survived the early storm, it was the visitors who edged in front with a crisply struck penalty from 40 metres by outside half Ceiron Thomas for offside.

Glasgow returned to attacking mode and yet more excellent tackling stopped their surge.

But some illegal handling on the deck gave Parks a simple opportunity to level the issue - and he was never going to miss from almost underneath the crossbar.

The nervous sparring continued with both teams making mistakes galore and Thomas replied with his second accurate kick from closer range to restore the Scarlets' advantage.

Even better was to come for Llanelli in the 17th minute when they snapped up an opportunist touchdown.

Matthew Watkins made the most of slack marking to pave the way for number eight Daffyd Jones to plough over from eight metres out.

Despite having the bulk of possession and territory, Glasgow found themselves further adrift when Thomas confidently completed his penalty treble.

At this stage, the Scots were looking strangely lethargic - and certainly a shadow of the unit which had performed so well in recent outings.

Having already lost Test loose forward Jonny Petrie to injury at the midway stage of the half, the Warriors were also forced to replace limping winger Thom Evans with Colin Gregor.

Glasgow stepped up the pace in the approach to the interval and went within a fingertip of bagging a try.

Full-back Rory Lamont sprinted 40 metres before sending a chip across the goal-line. Hefin O'Hare was the chief chaser - but he lost out to Daffyd James in the race to get the first touch.

The near miss served to inspire the Warriors and just two minutes later O'Hare was in the right place at the right time to squeeze over in the opposite corner following more slick stuff from Lamont.

Glasgow kept up the momentum after the restart and substitute scrum-half Sam Pinder almost wriggled across the line with his first touch of the ball, having taken a tapped penalty.

Scarlets captain James Bater was yellow-carded for a professional foul and seconds later another of the home bench-men, Stevie Swindall, powered over for their second score. Parks made light of the wide angle to add the extra points.

Llanelli hit back in positive fashion with centre Regan King being hauled down just a couple of paces short of the target.

Parks was narrowly wide with a 50-metre penalty at the other end as Glasgow tried to decisively snuff out the Welsh challenge.

And they got their reward when Swindall completed his double, capitalising on excellent work by Pinder, Parks and John Barclay.

Parks was off the mark with the conversion bid, but made amends with a penalty to put the Scarlets out of the reckoning for a consolation point.

There was still time for prop Kevin Tkachuk to claim the bonus score, goaled by Parks.

Report from Sporting Life

Referee Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Attendance 1825
Man of the Match John Barclay received the vote from the press but special mention should go to Sam Pinder, Kevin Tkachuk and Steve Swindall who gave Glasgow a much-needed boost from the bench
Justin Va'a
Fergus Thomson
Moray Low
Andy Newman
Alastair Kellock
Jon Petrie
John Barclay
John Beattie
Graeme Beveridge
Dan Parks
Thom Evans
Andrew Henderson
Graeme Morrison
Hefin O'Hare
Rory Lamont
Eric Milligan
Kevin Tkachuk
Dan Turner
Steve Swindall
Sam Pinder
Colin Gregor
Scott Barrow
Match Substitutions
Off On
Jon Petrie Steve Swindall
Off On
Thom Evans Colin Gregor
Off On
Graeme Beveridge Sam Pinder
Off On
Andy Newman Dan Turner
Off On
Justin Va'a Kevin Tkachuk
Off On
Sam Pinder Scott Barrow
Dan Parks Penalty
Hefin O'Hare Try 
Steve Swindall Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Steve Swindall Try 
Dan Parks Penalty
Kevin Tkachuk Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Posted by diso on February 17, 2007 03:07 AM | Reply to this comment

Great to see the impact the guys made coming off the bench. Suggests there's some real depth to the squad and competition for places. And outwith tonight's 22 there's Donnie, Scott, Manchild, Euan, Cisco, Roberts and Marsden (among others) to be considered when fit / available. Would be great to finish with at least a 50% winning record - need to win the 2 home games and see what we can pick up on our travels!

Posted by sunday5 on February 17, 2007 09:53 AM | Reply to this comment

I was ready to walk after 20 mins, it looked like we were in for a sound beating but what a comeback! The guys were brilliant.
Any news on the injuries?
Oh, we could very well go above Edinburgh in the Euro Rankings table. It'll be updated today, nice to be the countrys top club!

Posted by vicki on February 17, 2007 10:24 AM | Reply to this comment

After a strong start, it looked like we were going to implode, but the subs coming on and the half time talk seemed to straighten the game out. Thought Stevie had a fantastic game when he got on, and will surely make it hard for any others to get a start in the back row with JB and Barclay.

It was also reassuring that not only did we have strength on the bench, but we were also flexible enough to switch guys around positionally in the backs without affecting the pressure and momentum of the game.

Hadden was in the crowd, so glad he got to see a Scottish team win but it will be interesting to see if it makes any difference to his selection for next weekend...

Posted by Moody Blue on February 17, 2007 10:33 AM | Reply to this comment

Excellent turnaround by the guys who were a bit dozy and missing first up tackles early on. Played like an Irish team in the end keeping going right to the end (literally) in search of the bonus point. Most encouraging - for a good bit of the game the pack included Low (22) Thomson (23) Kellock (25) Swindall (24) Beattie (21) and Barclay (20)- all young with their best years ahead. Moray Low got his hands on the ball a lot and kept punching holes and John Barclay is frighteningly good for a 20 year old - he is one of the team's leaders now in terms of accepting responsibility. The backs did well too considering injuries meant some guys spent the whole match swapping positions and playing off the cuff. Dan P looks a wee bit short of confidence which is hardly surprising considering how the media treat him - what he does, he does very well - he's a good kicker, he can throw out long miss-passes - but like every other player he has weaknesses and if we keep focussing on them, we'll destroy the guy. Let's enjoy what he is good at and appreciate what he brings to the team. The reality is Colin Gregor is good at other things and the two of them can compliment each other in bringing different things to the table depending on the opposition or state of the game

Posted by vicki on February 17, 2007 10:58 AM | Reply to this comment

Well put, and I agree that the team looks good when both Parksy and Colin Gregor are on the pitch. If only Lineen could get his squad all signed up contract-wise for next season, as this is a team we want to see develop together - they have great potential.

Posted by sunday5 on February 17, 2007 09:18 PM | Reply to this comment

Here Here! Well said Moody.

Posted by FJ! on February 17, 2007 10:00 PM | Reply to this comment

I would have given Stevie Swindall the MOM. Great effort

Posted by Tom on February 19, 2007 09:52 PM | Reply to this comment

Well said FJ I thought Stevie was very strong and direct

Posted by jamiefeg on February 20, 2007 01:43 AM | Reply to this comment

i think rory is something special and should be given a place in the scotland squad ahead of his brother. I have rarely seen someone make a first time tackle on rory!!

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