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Glasgow Warriors survive Lions fightback to claim URC victory

By PA
Fraser Brown /Getty

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Glasgow dug deep to hold off a spirited second-half comeback bid from the Lions in a hard-fought United Rugby Championship clash at drizzly Scotstoun.

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Danny Wilson’s team made a strong start to the match and looked equipped to pull away and notch another convincing win over South African opposition after last weekend’s defeat of the Sharks.

However, the Lions refused to buckle and kept themselves in the match right to the very end before succumbing to a narrow 13-9 loss.

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Glasgow got off to the perfect start after just two minutes when strong pressure from the forwards in the five-metre area paved the way for prop Jamie Bhatti – on his 50th appearance for the club – to force his way over the line for his second try in as many matches. Ross Thompson duly converted.

The Lions got themselves off the mark in the sixth minute when EW Viljoen pinged a penalty between the posts from a central position after Glasgow failed to roll away quickly enough following a Nick Grigg tackle.

Warriors restored their seven-point cushion in the 16th minute when Thompson kicked a penalty from right in front of the posts after the Lions infringed at the breakdown to maintain his perfect kicking record this term.

The hosts were piling on pressure and appeared to have control of the match but lacked the accuracy in the key moments to breach a defiant Lions rearguard.

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Just when they looked in danger of being overrun, the South Africans got themselves a reprieve in the 28th minute when they won a penalty 35 metres from goal, wide on the right, after Glasgow sealed off at the breakdown.

Viljoen could easily have kicked for touch but instead sent his kick nonchalantly and expertly between the posts.

The momentum shifted in favour of the Lions, who finished the half strongly. In the third minute of the second half, Viljoen hauled his side within a point of their hosts with another magnificently executed penalty.

Glasgow were under the cosh for much of the second period, but Thompson eased the pressure when he kicked a routine penalty in the 72nd minute.

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