Glasgow comeback continues against Llanelli

Glasgow 30 Llanelli 14

Glasgow 30 Llanelli 14

Glasgow shook off their slumbers to continue their stirring Magners League revival by sweeping aside the depleted Scarlets at Hughenden tonight.

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.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox