Glasgow fought back after a poor start to secure the win they needed to record a home draw in the URC play-off quarter-finals, with one regular season game – against Connacht next Saturday – still to be played .
This win will also provide a valuable confidence boost to Franco Smith’s men before they face the same opponent in the Challenge Cup semi-finals in two weeks.
Warriors will be hoping for much better overhead conditions for that game to be played at Llanelli as despite the positive outcome this was a real battle.
The torrential rain prevented them from playing the fast and free-flowing rugby that has served them so well in recent months.
Instead, this was a battle of attrition between the big boys in the pack, with Warriors tight prop Zander Fagerson being named man-of-the-match for his heroic efforts in both the tight and loose.
“We are really happy,” he said. “It was a great effort from the whole peloton. Our pack loves scrum and we knew tonight was going to be a big fight against a good Scarlets pack.
“We got the job done, but we know we’ll have to back them up in a few weeks when we play them again at Parc y Scarlets.
“I think we are getting better every week. We dropped a few points and could have scored more. We could have been more ruthless. We want to get better and it’s an exciting time to be part of this squad.”
The Warriors made a whistle to take the kickoff, and Scarlets capitalized by fighting their way through two dozen stages on the 22nd at home, before Jamie Bhatti conceded a penalty for hands in a ruck and Dan Jones stepped forward to take the points. spade.
The skies had opened as Warriors continued to struggle to find a way into the game, with basic fouls like squinting lineout throws costing them possession, and Jones extended Scarlets’ lead after 13 minutes as Sam Johnson was penalized for a high tackle on Kieran Hardy.
When the Warriors had a chance to thunder over that usually reliable maul from close range on 17 minutes after a corner-kicked penalty, it came to naught as they lost the lineout at the front, with the torrential rain making continuity almost impossible was for both teams.
Slowly but surely Warriors started to settle in and descended into a kicking game that Scarlets struggled to handle and an Ali Price box kick bouncing into the hands of Sione Vailanu, then a clever toe-poke behind from Tom Jordan, forcing Tom Rogers about his own line. From the scrum-five, Warriors attacked hard, but Scarlets held on and Ryan Wilson was held over the line.
Finally, after weathering another minor Scarlets storm, Warriors got their side of the scoreboard rolling with four minutes left in the half by kicking a non-rolling penalty into the corner. This time the lineout was caught cleanly in the middle by Wilson, and Vailanu burst out the back of the maul with a ferocity the three visiting defenders couldn’t possibly resist.
Jordan was off target with the tricky conversion from wide right, meaning Scarlets took a one-point lead going into the break, and they extended that to four points 10 minutes into the second half when Jones fired home a scrum penalty . his last involvement in the match before being replaced by Wales international Rhys Patchell.
That seemed to be the spark Warriors needed and they finally found their groove. A vigorous forward play set up a sustained buzz in the Scotstoun stands for the first time in the match, and the hosts took the lead in the 54th minute when Fraser Brown completed a lineout maul.
Jordan fired off the conversion and Warriors kept their foot on the gas, but they couldn’t find a way to extend their lead.
Scarlets nearly delivered a knockout punch as second-row Vaea Fifita stole possession from the base of a Warriors ruck just inside his own 22 and galloped downfield to land in the corner. It was an outstanding display of opportunism and athleticism, but referee Andrew Brace referred it to the TMO, who ruled the Tongan had dived for the ball from an offside position.
Warriors breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Scorers, Glasgow Warriors – Tries: Vailanu, Brown. Con: Jordan.
Scarlet – Pens: Jones 3.
Glasgow Warriors: H Jones, K Steyn, S McDowall, S Johnson, C Forbes; T Jordan, a prize (J Dobie 61); J Bhatti (N McBeth 61), J Matthews (F Brown 48), Z Fagerson (S Berghan 61), L Bean (R Gray, 48), J du Preez, R Wilson (S Cummings 45), M Fagerson (R Darge 72), S Vailanu.
Scarlet: T Rogers; S Evans, I Nicholas, E James (J Roberts 64), R Conbeer; D Jones (R Patchell 50), K Hardy (D Blacker 72); W Jones (S Thomas 48), S Evans (D Hughes 48), S Wainwright (J Sebastian 48), M Jones, V Fifita, W Shenton (A Shingler 50), J Macleod, C Tuipulotu.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)