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Rugby | Pro14

Nikola Matawalu © Getty Images

Warriors underline their class

Glasgow Warriors consolidated their spot at the top of their conference table with an impressive 37-23 win over the Toyota Cheetahs in their Guinness Pro14 match on Friday night.

It was a performance that reminded the rest of the competition why they have only lost one game this season as they surge towards the playoffs and must be one of the top contenders for the title this season.

The Cheetahs' nightmare abroad continues and as such they have only won one game away from home in the competition. However, they have won the bulk of their games in Bloemfontein, which has kept them on track for a playoff place themselves.

But on a night where their defence was ripped to shreds out wide and Glasgow seemed to find metres everytime they took it wide, the Cheetahs were short-changed and conceded soft tries that would make a defence coach want to hide.

And ironically, if it wasn't for the defensive lapses, the Cheetahs could have come quite close as they were always competitive on a cold, rainy night in Scotland.

In fact, it was the Cheetahs that opened the scoring after Nico Lee ripped the ball out of the hands of an attacking player in his own 22-metre area, launched the counter attack and sent Malcolm Jaer sprinting away to open the scoring.

But that was as good as it got in the first half as the Scots took control of the game and equallised with a blistering break by winger Nikola Matawalu.

The try was sealed with Ruaridh Jackson showing some good skills to chip over the defence and collect to score. Adam Hastings added a penalty on 34 minutes to make it 15-7.

The Cheetahs replied with a late penalty by Niel Marais to finish the half off and give them some hope.

Marais added another penalty early in the second half to make it a two-point ball game.

The Warriors took control in the 50th minute as a powerful maul saw Siua Halanukonuka force his way over the line from the back.

Marais gave the Cheetahs another three points with a penalty kick before another blistering attack that flummoxed the defence saw George Horne sprint home past a poor defensive effort.

Clayton Blommetjies gave the visitors some hope with a try to bring them within striking range, but it was quickly snuffed out by Henry Pyrgos, whose counter-attack showed up the visitors' defence once more.

The game ended with Francois Venter getting a yellow card for a late hit, but the Cheetahs will be disappointed with their effort, and especially the fact they haven't been able to break their overseas win drought.


Glasgow Warriors - tries: Nikola Matawalu, Ruaridh Jackson, Siua Halanukon, George Horne, Henry Pyrgos. Conversions: Adam Hastings (3). Penalties: Hastings (2).

Toyota Cheetahs - tries: Malcolm Jaer, Clayton Blommetjies. Conversions: Niel Marais (2). Penalties: Marais (3).


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