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The Herald - Herald Sport - - Rugby Union -

IN what was billed as a RaboDirect Pro12 play-off elim­i­na­tor Glas­gow War­riors brushed Cardiff Blues aside while reg­is­ter­ing what could be a vi­tal four-try bonus point at Firhill last night.

It was a win which came at some cost as Graeme Mor­ri­son, Ryan Wil­son and John Bar­clay all left the field with wor­ry­ing in­juries. How­ever, the spirit that has been de­vel­oped in this War­riors camp by out­go­ing head coach Sean Li­neen was summed up when Wil­son, scorer of his side’s first two tries, reap­peared on crutches to ap­plaud his teammates off the field, then take a bow with them in front of those who had formed the bulk of the 4224 crowd.

The Blues had been forced into a reshuf­fle when their cap­tain, Xavier Rush, with­drew from their side be­cause of the birth of his son which meant he did not make the trip. The XV Glas­gow had se­lected did not last much longer as they, too, lost a ma­jor fig­ure when Mor­ri­son had to be as­sisted from the field.

Ma’ama Moli­tika, the Blues No.8, also had to leave the field early to have stitches in­serted into a wound above his eye amidst fiercely phys­i­cal open­ing ex­changes dur­ing which the home team seemed to be gain­ing some early ad­van­tage in the scrum­mages, earn­ing two free kicks and a penalty at the first three of them.

When the Blues did fi­nally scrum­mage legally, Glas­gow set up the first mean­ing­ful at­tack, re­peat­edly prob­ing down the right as they took play from half­way into the Blues 22 be­fore shift­ing the ball left where Stu­art Hogg’s deep pass cre­ated an over­lap but Dun­can Weir’s po­ten­tial scor­ing pass proved just too hot for Colin Shaw to han­dle.

The try was de­layed only briefly. From the re­sul­tant scrum Lloyd Wil­liams was hit hard and spilled the ball as he tried to gain ground and af­ter a cou­ple of rucks Chris Cusiter fed Wil­son who re­alised he had been given just enough space to gen­er­ate the pace to force his way over the line un­der the posts.

The decision was handed over to the re­play of­fi­cial but af­ter a few mo­ments the No.8 was duly cred­ited with his first try for the club which Weir con­verted. That came with 16 min­utes on the clock and for the next 15 the Blues had more of the ball but they were kept in check by some thun­der­ous tack­ling un­til Glas­gow coun­tered.

When they did it was al­most lethal as they gen­er­ated an­other over­lap on the right only for Chris Fusaro to fail to make use of Fred­die Aram­buru’s sup­port. Still they pressed and af­ter the Blues en­croached off­side at a ruck in front of their own posts Weir took the penalty chance to ex­tend the ad­van­tage to dou­ble fig­ures at half-time.

Glas­gow picked up where they left off as the game re­sumed build­ing an at­tack with in­ten­sity and ac­cu­racy. Af­ter they forced their way deep into the Cardiff 22 Al Kel­lock made the first break for the line and af­ter he was held up short Ryan Grant was next to go for it.

The prop thought he had scored but play was al­lowed to con­tinue and there was no doubt at all when the same com­bi­na­tion as found the way through in the first half did the same again Cusiter feed­ing Wil­son who again car­ried men over the line for a try con­verted from wide on the right by Weir.

The Blues fi­nally reg­is­tered points through a Leigh Half­penny penalty but the re­sult was se­cured with 17 min­utes re­main­ing with an­other fine Glas­gow try. Kel­lock made the ini­tial in­roads, set­ting up a ruck from which the ball was re­cy­cled quickly al­low­ing Alex Dun­bar, who was putting in his best per­for­mance in a Glas­gow shirt, to make the break and Fusaro was on his shoul­der to take the scor­ing pass, Jack­son con­vert­ing.

That left the pur­suit of a bonus point as the last tar­get, which was all the more im­por- tant with play-off ri­vals Ul­ster al­ready hav­ing reg­is­tered one against Aironi.

Their bid was interrupted by yet an­other se­ri­ous look­ing in­jury, Bar­clay mak­ing a sim­i­larly un­happy exit to the man he had re­placed.

How­ever there was no way they were go­ing to be de­nied and they got there in fine fash­ion. Af­ter an­other in­jec­tion of pace by Dun­bar it was Cusiter, nom­i­nally play­ing in the back­row as a re­sult of the in­juries, who sprinted clear and this time Shaw was along­side to pro­vide the fin­ish.

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