United Rugby Championship: Warriors put Sharks to the sword

The Sharks tightened up their game in the second half, but too many miscues and handling errors meant they gave up a two-game win streak.

Glasgow captain Kyle Steyn cut through the heart of the Sharks defence as the Warriors extended their current streak to five wins in the United Rugby Championship clash at Scotstoun Stadium last night (Friday).

Steyn’s try came at the end of the first half and marked the third and final touchdown for the hosts in a 21-10 victory against the touring Sharks.

The effect of Glasgow’s superior scrum and a fluent attack that routinely beat the Sharks defence with a well-placed bridge pass, was magnified in the first quarter by the tourists’ poor discipline and an untenable error-rate.

Surprisingly, it took all of 11 minutes for Warriors to convert their advantage into points, halfback George Horne sniping over from a quick-tap penalty and added the extras.

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Horne added another conversion at the half-hour mark when Max Williamson crashed across the line for a 14-0 lead, however Williamson’s lock partner Scott Cummings was sent to the sin bin five minutes later and the Sharks finally showed some bite, rake Dan Jooste powering through a Zander Fagerson tackle off the back of a rumbling, attacking-lineout drive to score. Curwin Bosch couldn’t convert from the trams.

The half-time horn sounded two minutes before Steyn stepped inside Sharks skipper Francois Venter to score under the sticks, Horne kicking the conversion to give the hosts a 21-5 lead at the break.

The Sharks tightened up their act in the second half and took the edge out of Glasgow’s vaunted attack.

Ntuthuko Mchunu was the beneficiary of the uptick in the Sharks’ performance when he barrelled across the line after a deft pass from winger Aphiwe Dyantyi on a change-of-direction play that sent the powerful loosehead down the left touchline to pay dirt, though replacement flyhalf Siya Masuku failed to convert.

The Sharks gained scrum superiority in the fourth quarter, coinciding with Glasgow sending on former Stormers loosehead prop Oli Kebble for his 100th Warriors appearance, while the tourists deployed Springbok tighthead Vincent Koch.

Kebble was helped off with a leg injury minutes later but the Sharks’ lack of cohesion again manifested itself in miscues and handling errors that released the pressure on the hosts who spent much of the final minutes defending their line for the win.

The result consolidates Glasgow’s position in second place on the standings, as they travel to Parma to take on Zebre in round 15. Meanwhile, the Sharks surrendered a two-game win streak in the URC and travel to Scarlets next week with a 3-11 record.

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