January 19, 2024
Glasgow Warriors 29 - 5 Toulon
Champions Cup match played at Scotstoun on Friday January 19th 2024 | No comments
Huw Jones went over for a double Glasgow Warriors booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions Cup with a 29-5 victory over Toulon at Scotstoun this evening.
Glasgow sealed the bonus-point victory thanks to two tries from player-of-match Huw Jones as well as a pair from winger Kyle Rowe and one for Josh McKay. George Horne added two conversions.
However, it was Toulon that started the match better and put Warriors under early pressure. They could have taken the lead through centre Mathieu Smailis boot but his shot at golf went left of the posts.
Glasgow looked to have opened the scoring when full-back McKay cut through the Toulon defence and raced away to score what looked to be a great solo try. However, his effort was ruled out upon a TMO review as prop Lucio Sordoni and lock Scott Cummings were deemed to have obstructed the Toulon defence, creating the space for McKay to race through.
Glasgow would eventually break through the Toulon defence after fine interplay between Jones and Sione Tuipulotu sent winger Rowe sprinting through to score.
It was then the turn of Jones to cross the line after a beautiful pass from Tuipulotu. Horne added the conversion on the second try as Glasgow led 12-0 at the break.
Toulon opened strongly in the second period and showed patience to stretch the Glasgow defence before Gael Drean went over after a lovely floated pass from Jeremy Sinzelle.
Glasgow responded with replacement hooker Johnny Matthews turning provider for a change firing a lovely miss pass out to McKay, who finally got his try with an easy walk in, on the hour mark.
Just four minutes later and, Jones had his second. The Scotland centre punished Toulon for their poor overthrown lineout when he received the ball out wide and paused before skipping past two defenders and sprinting away to score on what proved to be his final act of the game.
Toulon went looking for a consolation score in the latter stages of the game, but it Glasgow that finished off the scoring when Tuipulotu linked up with fly-half Tom Jordan, who threaded a pass out to Rowe, who had another simple finish in the corner to seal the 29-5 victory.
After the match Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith told BBC Sport Scotland: "We broke them down. They came to play. Difficult conditions again, wind blowing, and I'm proud that the boys stepped up - especially the boys who were selected for Scotland. They played with their hearts of their sleeve and we can't ask for more.
"[Assistant coach] Nigel Carolan works very hard. The boys are buying in. Sometimes we lose patience, we let a couple of opportunities slip but I'm very happy with the tries we scored today.
"Huw [Jones] did us a great favour. We were in trouble when [Kyle] Steyn and [Sebastian] Cancelliere weren't available. Stafford [McDowall] was playing well, and Huw stepped up in two or three games. It shows the character of him and the team. A well deserved man of the match performance tonight.
"Now the little things like the Northampton and Exeter losses suddenly counts a lot. We've got to learn to play these tough games away from home.
"I hope Scotland feel we've given them boys in good form. We're excited to see how they experience Six Nations level. I'm proud of the young boys tonight - Euan Ferrie, Max Williamson tonight. I'm excited for the guys staying here as well."
Player of the Match Huw Jones spoke to BBC Sport Scotland after the game.
"It was pretty good fun. A great win that was pretty scrappy at times but we did enough. We were physical, the forwards were great and we were clinical when it mattered so we're happy with that.
"We spoke before the game about taking the game to them. Although we had a few good moments in the first 20 minutes we weren't getting anywhere. Neither team had scored. We got something to get across the line which sparked the rest of the game.
"It was great to be back in the centres. The boys played well and when you're going forward it's easy to be confident.
"It was good to link up with him today. I'd love if we stayed together in the centre, that would be nice, but we'll see what happens."