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Guinness PRO14 Friday wrap: Glasgow Warriors riding high after Bloemfontein cracker

Rich Dore

7 Oct 2017

There were four games of Guinness PRO14 action on Friday night with Glasgow Warriors maintaining their perfect start, Ulster going top of Conference B and Edinburgh getting a crucial win.

  • Glasgow remain the only side in the competition with a perfect record and it’s now six from six after their 29-26 win over the Toyota Cheetahs.
  • The match in Bloemfontein was a pulsating encounter and Ernst Stapelberg’s 76th-minute penalty looked to have claimed the points for the Cheetahs before Rob Harley’s late bonus-point try.
  • Callum Gibbins continued his superb early-season form with a try in each half for the Warriors.
  • The first Guinness PRO14 Welsh derby of the season was settled by a stirring Cardiff Blues comeback that secured a 43-29 win over Dragons.
  • Adam Warren, Elliot Dee and George Gasson all crossed to give Dragons a 21-10 half-time lead but Matthew Morgan twice, Tom James, Alex Cuthbert and Jarrod Evans added to Kristian Dacey’s first-half try for Blues.
  • Ulster went top of Conference B overnight with a 16-8 win against Connacht at the Kingspan Stadium.
  • Young Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale continued his run of scoring a try in every game he’s started this season, with brilliant work from Charles Piutau seeing him run in for his fourth of the campaign.
  • Stuart McInally inspired Edinburgh to a 16-15 win over Zebre at Myreside, ending a run of three consecutive Guinness PRO14 defeats for Richard Cockerill’s side.
  • The Italian side ended Ulster’s unbeaten run last weekend and came close to another win in Edinburgh, but Marcello Violi’s late penalty was outdone by Duncan Weir’s final strike from the tee.

What they said:

Glasgow Warriors boss Dave Rennie was pleased with his side’s attitude:

“We found a way to win. I thought the guys showed really good composure at the end to get the try.

“I thought we defended really well. We’re fit and we’ll be better for the experience of playing at altitude.”

Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson was impressed with his side’s second-half performance:

“I’ve got to credit the Dragons; first half we weren’t physically at the races – which is a bad thing to say for a derby – they were, forced a couple of turnovers and lit up for a couple of good tries.

“There was a little bit of a stern talking to at half-time from leaders and from coaches and we went out and played the best second half of rugby I’ve seen us play for a long time.

“A little bit of tempo in the game suits Cardiff Blues and we managed to get that going in the second half.”

Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss enjoyed Stockdale’s try:

“He’s [Stockdale] got the uncanny ability to beat a tackler and accelerate through gaps.

“Tonight you saw he used the deft pass and stayed alive again and read the play off Charles [Piutau].

“It was a brilliant piece of rugby. Charles was so smart in how he played with the space… it was a pretty special try.”

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill is targeting improvement despite the win:

“We’ll take the four points, that’s important. Disappointed with the performance.

“There’s parts of our game that are really good but we decide to concentrate when we’re in the hole rather than when we’re not.

“We’ve got some spirit and character in the team, we just need to be smarter.”

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