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Nakarawa helps Glasgow to rout over Sharks but will it make a difference for the season?

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Leone Nakarawa scored and was sin-binned on his Glasgow return as the Warriors temporarily kept their Champions Cup hopes alive following a dominant 45-7 triumph over Sale at the AJ Bell Stadium.

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The Warriors dominated the opening period and deservedly went into the break 21-0 in front thanks to Nakarawa, Fraser Brown and DTH van der Merwe tries.

Sam Johnson then crossed the whitewash to seal the bonus-point before Jake Cooper-Woolley went over for Sale.

Glasgow were always in control, however, and added another two tries through Jonny Gray and George Turner to secure a comfortable win which saw Adam Hastings kick six conversions and a penalty.

The success moves them into the final best-placed runners-up spot but Dave Rennie’s men will need for both Saracens and Gloucester not to win on Sunday if they are to reach the quarter-finals.

Continue reading below…

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Having seen the Sharks field a weakened team, the Scotsmen started on the front foot and put their inexperienced opponents under duress.

They consistently got quick ball and it was not long until the Warriors had scored their first try when Van der Merwe broke down the left. Although the wing was hauled down, Nakarawa was on hand to score and provide the visitors with the lead.

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Half-backs Ali Price and Hastings were dictating proceedings superbly and Sale were unable to cope. That pressure soon resulted in a yellow card as Jono Ross was sin-binned for leading with the forearm before it soon became a 14-point buffer.

Glasgow set up a maul, charged towards the line and the hosts failed to prevent Brown from crossing the whitewash.

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The Sharks attempted to get back into the encounter, taking advantage of some Warriors ill-discipline to move into the away side’s 22, but the Scotsmen were stout in defence.

Rennie’s charges forced the English outfit into errors while the PRO14 team were clinical in attack and good hands allowed Van der Merwe to charge over the line.

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Although Nakarawa was sin-binned for a series of team indiscretions, Sale were not able to capitalise and instead the visitors added to their score with the bonus-point try early in the second half. Price benefited from some further slack defence by the hosts to take a quick tap penalty and Johnson eventually touched down.

The game was over at that point but the home side responded with a well-worked effort. It started with Denny Solomona’s break down the right touchline and, despite being taken down short of the whitewash, Cooper-Woolley rewarded the wing’s good work by going over. Tom Curtis added the extras.

There was still a huge gulf in quality in the respective teams, however, and after Hastings had extended Glasgow’s lead with a three-pointer, Gray and Turner touched down – the second a superb individual effort – to rubber-stamp a much-needed victory.

Unfortunately for Glasgow, other results could still mean they’re consigned to a pool-stages exit from this season’s Champions Cup.

With Exeter dominating Pool B, Glasgow’s only hope of qualification is to finish as one of the top three second-placed sides. They now sit third on that ranking (17 points) behind Northampton (19 points) and Ulster (21 points) while both Gloucester and Saracens can overtake them with wins from their final games.

The PRO14 could now prove Glasgow’s only shot at silverware this year.

Wales’ record revenue-generating CEO Welsh Rugby Union:

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Shaylen 1 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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Jon 7 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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