Scarlets see off Glasgow
April 22, 2011
DTH van der Merwe's two tries couldn't save Glasgow from defeat against the Scarlets
© PA Photos
Fullback Morgan Stoddart's two tries earned the Scarlets a thrilling 37-29 victory over Glasgow in their Magners League clash at Firhill on Friday night.
Further scores from Ben Morgan, Lou Reed and Tavis Knoyle and 12 points from the boot of Stephen Jones were enough to break down a resilient Glasgow side. DTH van der Merwe touched down twice and Tom Ryder once for the hosts, while Ruaridh Jackson kicked 14 points, but they fell short.
Both Glasgow wingers looked lively in the opening exchanges, and a break from Hefin O'Hare down the right-hand touchline led to the game's first score, Jackson knocking over a penalty after the Scarlets were adjudged to be offside at the ensuing breakdown.
The Warriors were looking to atone for the defeat to Aironi last weekend and Jackson was soon on the scoreboard again, his eighth-minute penalty following another infringement at the ruck giving the hosts a 6-0 advantage.
The visitors took the lead in the 15th minute from their first real attack. Centre Gareth Maule bounced off an attempted tackle from Van der Merwe before feeding Stoddart, who dived over for a score converted by Jones.
The lead was shortlived, though, as Van der Merwe made up for his earlier mistake by crossing for a score. The Canadian made ground after a strong break from midfield and linked up with O'Hare before taking the return pass and squeezing over despite the best efforts of the covering Scarlets defence.
Jones pushed a penalty attempt wide shortly after, before the game really sparked into life. A scuffle between Cusiter and Scarlets lock Lou Reed developed into a melee involving players from both sides, with Cusiter and opposing captain Matthew Reed getting embroiled in a wrestling match. Matthew Reed was sent to the sin-bin for his part, but Jackson was unable to convert the penalty that followed.
The Warriors were made to pay for their profligacy, Jackson failing with a further penalty attempt, as Scarlets claimed a second score on the stroke of half-time. With decoy runners and blockers causing havoc in the home defence, the Scarlets developed an overlap which Stoddart expertly exploited, bursting through the final tackle to crash over. Jones failed with the conversion attempt.
The second half began in ideal fashion for the hosts, Van der Merwe capitalising on a turnover in midfield and some strong running from the impressive James Eddie to go over in the corner, evading a last-ditch tackle from the covering Stoddart. A brief pause allowed referee Carlo Damasco to confirm with the video official Van der Merwe had indeed grounded the ball, Jackson putting over the tight touchline conversion.
The sides were soon level again, though, as two Jones penalties cancelled out the Warriors' advantage, the latter resulting from a cynical trip from Moray Low which saw the Scotland prop yellow-carded.
Glasgow soon edged in front once again courtesy of a Jackson penalty, but a strong forward drive from the Scarlets only moments later allowed No.8 Morgan to batter his way over the line as the lead to changed hands once again.
With their full complement restored thanks to Low's return, the home side were able to reassert themselves at the breakdown to great effect, the Scarlets conceding a penalty in midfield which Jackson duly sent over.
But the visitors again came back, regaining their own kick-off and sparking a forward rumble which culminated in Reed bundling over from close range, Jones converting.
Scrum-half Knoyle then touched down late on for a converted score to give the Scarlets some breathing space. Ryder's try gave the hosts' hope, but it was swiftly extinguished as replacement fly-half Duncan Weir pushed his conversion attempt wide to end any thoughts of a late comeback.
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