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May 11, 2024

Vodacom Bulls 40 - 34 Glasgow Warriors

United Rugby Championship match played at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday May 11th 2024 | No comments

Duncan Weir came off the bench to score Glasgow's bonus-point try and kick a last-gasp penalty to add another point
Glasgow Warriors lost out to Vodacom Bulls this afternoon but managed to secure two points that may prove vital in the pursuit of home advantage in the URC play-offs.

Glasgow tries came from Matt Fagerson, Kyle Steyn, Sebastian Cancelliere and Duncan Weir. George Horne, Tom Jordan and Weir all contributed to Glasgow's tally from the tee.

Bulls claimed their own try bonus thanks to scores from Akker van der Merwe, Cameron Hanekom, Elrigh Louw and Cannon Moodie - Chris Smith added twenty points with the boot.

Fagerson gave Warriors an early lead with a smart lineout move but moments after skipper Steyn had been sent to the sin bin for a tip tackle on Van der Merwe, the hooker touched down from a well-worked play from another lineout.

Glasgow couldn't break out of their half and the pressure eventually told with number eight Hanekom crossing for Bulls.

George Horne and Smith exchanged penalties but Glasgow coughed up possession and Bulls ran in a great try from Louw.

Bulls secured the bonus point six minutes after the break when sharp handling put Moodie in on the right.

With the match seemingly beyond them, Warriors focused on registering their own bonus point and their cause was aided when a superb long pass by Tom Jordan was collected by Steyn for a simple run in.

But the comeback got serious when Cancelliere picked off an intercept try and then Weir finished a stunning move involving Stafford McDowall, Josh McKay, Sione Tuipulotu, Cancelliere and Jamie Dobie that bamboozled the Bulls through brilliant running lines and pinpoint handling.

With Bulls looking vulnerable, Smith slammed the door shut with a penalty from halfway, however, Weir was on target with a long three-pointer of his own to register a second losing bonus point.

Post-match, Glasgow head Coach Franco Smith expressed a number of frustrations.

He told Scotland Rugby News: "There were too many lineouts lost, too many penalties given against us, the penalty count was hugely against us in this game. I will have to go and have a look at that.

"Once we got more attacking platforms in the second part of the game, I thought we made a big difference."

After being 24 points down so late on, and coming back to grab two bonus points, Smith admitted he was disappointed Warriors did not win the game.

He said: "We were challenged mentally and physically. The character of the team was tested and we passed that test.

"I am absolutely gutted we lost because I felt we were good enough to have won the game.

"There were a lot of positives, growth and lessons learned that we will take into the next part of the season."

Smith also explained why he changed the whole Glasgow front-row on the half-hour.

"There's not a rule that says you must play your bench second, so we just played the bench first," he said.

"Our whole [starting] front row are coming back from injury. I always knew that the second part of the game was going to be important.

"The strategy was to get these boys out there, play their hearts out for that period, and I thought they did well and it allowed our second group 10 minutes on the field then a break at half-time."

While pleased with the fitness his side showed, and some notable contributions from the bench, Smith was again left frustrated by the first half performance.

On his players' fitness, Smith said: "I have to remind them you don't only have to have second-half performances. I think we can be more accurate in the first part of the game.

"In four or five important games we've shown some good second-half fightback and clawed our way back, so there is good character and we're fit enough to do that. But we must be more accurate from the start."

Smith knows there is more to come from his side, who face the Lions in Johannesburg next Saturday.

He said: "We haven't achieved our pinnacle and we can still build on what we've achieved up to now."

Referee Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Jamie Bhatti
Grant Stewart
Murphy Walker
Gregor Brown
Scott Cummings
Matt Fagerson
Rory Darge
Jack Dempsey
George Horne
Tom Jordan
Sebastian Cancelliere
Sione Tuipulotu
Stafford McDowall
Kyle Steyn
Josh McKay
Johnny Matthews
Nathan McBeth
Zander Fagerson
Max Williamson
Euan Ferrie
Henco Venter
Jamie Dobie
Duncan Weir
Match Substitutions
Off On
Jamie Bhatti Nathan McBeth
Off On
Grant Stewart Johnny Matthews
Off On
Murphy Walker Zander Fagerson
Off On
Matt Fagerson Henco Venter
Off On
George Horne Jamie Dobie
Off On
Rory Darge Euan Ferrie
Off On
Gregor Brown Max Williamson
Off On
Tom Jordan Duncan Weir
Matt Fagerson Try 
George Horne Conversion
George Horne Penalty
Kyle Steyn Try 
Tom Jordan Conversion
Sebastian Cancelliere Try 
Duncan Weir Conversion
Duncan Weir Try 
Duncan Weir Conversion
Duncan Weir Penalty