Glasgow Warriors 33 - 24 Cardiff Blues
HT 14-5
Sun 13 January 15:15 Scotstoun Stadium Att: 7,531 Ref: JP Doyle Heineken Champions Cup

Glasgow Warriors 33 Cardiff Blues 24

Sun 13 Jan 2019 17:28 Glasgow Warriors 33 Cardiff Blues 24

Four tries were not enough to take the win in Scotland as Cardiff Blues went toe-to-toe with a full-strength Glasgow Warriors in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Only nine points separated the sides at the interval, with Glasgow playing with the advantage of a strong wind, thanks to Owen Lane's late try.

But a spirited second half performance saw the visitors clinch the bonus point, with Harri Millard, Josh Navidi and Lane again crossing to set up a dramatic finale.

However, the hosts also had four tries to their name, slotting each conversion, as they clung onto the lead before George Horne sniped over in the final minutes to extinguish any hope of a sensational comeback.

The hosts went into the game fully aware that they needed to secure maximum points to strengthen their bid to qualify for the knockout stages, as they prepare to take on Saracens next week.

As for Wales' Capital Region, their quarter final hopes were over before kick-off, but they looked to build momentum ahead of some crucial Guinness PRO14 fixtures, where they will target a spot in next season's Heineken Champions Cup.

They made 12 changes for the fixture with Matthew Rees and Tom James making their long-awaited comebacks while Shane Lewis-Hughes started at six on his European debut for the region.

The blustery winds at Scotstoun were evident from the kick off, as the hosts' clearances from the 22 easily found ground deep in Cardiff Blues' half.

Glasgow's DTH van der Merwe had an early try ruled out by the TMO, after Lloyd Williams had forced the Canadian international into the dead ball area, and the home side were dealt two further blows, as back row duo Matt Fagerson and co-captain Callum Gibbins were forced off with injuries.

A series of penalties saw the Warriors gain territory but they were met by a fierce defensive line, with Josh Navidi setting the standard and eventually winning a textbook turnover in his own 22.

The strong winds made it difficult for Wales' Capital Region to exit their own half, with Steve Shingler forced to limit the distance on his touchline efforts from penalties.

With the deadline yet to be broken, heading into the second quarter of the game, a powerful surge in midfield from Willis Halaholo put his side on the front foot

Navidi and Harri Millard also threatened the Glasgow defensive line, and referee, JP Doyle, awarded the Welsh outfit a penalty.

Shingler was forced to go for touch, rather than looking to open the scoring from what would be a straight-forward attempt in regular conditions, launching the ball into the corner. The resulting line-out was taken by Rory Thornton but the drive was stopped just short, and a knock on allowed Brandon Thomson to clear.

The scoreboard finally got ticking with 27 minutes on the clock, with Thomson finding touch on the five meter line from a penalty.

The resulting drive saw Grant Stewart touch down from the base of the maul, and the effort was converted by outside half, Thomson, from out wide.

Moments later, Tommy Seymour made a stunning break from deep, slicing through the midfield, and finding support from Stewart, who shipped to Tim Swinson.

Dave Rennie's side were camped on the visitors' try-line, but were eventually held-up. Glasgow were awarded a series of penalties from the resulting scrums, which led to Scott Cummings sliding in under the posts for a converted try to double his side's advantage.

Cardiff Blues struck back on the verge of half time, as a half break from Millard gave them the platform on the left hand side.

The ball was shipped wide, to the right, to Owen Lane who chipped ahead. The ball was gathered by Fish, who returned the ball back to the wing for a try on his first start since recovering from injury.

Glasgow dominated the opening 10 minutes after the restart, winning a number of penalties as they set up camp in Cardiff Blues' half, and they were rewarded for their efforts when Chris Fusaro bundled over from another strong driving line-out.

Thomson could count himself lucky to land the conversion - stretching his side's lead to 21-5 - and Mulvihill's side knew they would have to register the next score.

A neat move in the blind channel saw Millard break, but his final pass to Lane on the outside was expertly read by Hogg, who intercepted and cleared the danger, denying the visitors an almost certain try.

Rhys Carré, making his European debut, made immediate impact from the bench, as he carved through the Glasgow defence to bring play into the 22.

The ball was quickly shipped wide, through the hands, as Lane this time released Millard on the right, and the young centre didn't need a second invitation this time, sliding in at the corner.

Wales' Capital Region failed to gather the restart, and were fully punished by the Scottish outfit, with Oli Kebble powering over to secure the all-important bonus point.

Once again, Cardiff Blues looked dangerous with ball in hand and were causing all sorts of problems to the Glasgow defence.

Carries from Lane and Ethan Lewis helped to set up the platform, allowing Millard to round the defensive line before releasing Navidi out wide, who had a clear path to the whitewash.

Wales' Capital Region continued to throw caution to the wind and when they opted for a scrum in midfield after being awarded a penalty they struck. It was a set play straight from the training ground as Evans took the ball wide and flicked an inside pass for Lane to burst through the Scottish defence to complete his brace.

Evans converted to cut the deficit to just four points but Glasgow fought their way down field thanks to penalties and Horne scuttled over for the hosts' fifth and final try, which ended Cardiff Blues hopes of a sensational comeback.