George Horne of Glasgow Warriors. Alamy Stock Photo
Winner winner

Dominant second-half display sees Glasgow crowned URC champions

The Scottish outfit produced a shock victory against the Bulls in Pretoria.

GLASGOW WARRIORS PULLED off a superhuman feat as they rallied from 16-7 down to shock the Vodacom Bulls 21-16 to win their first United Rugby Championship title at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. 

After going down 13-0, Glasgow scored just before halftime and then rallied to finish stronger in the second half as they made folly of the altitude and travel to earn a deserved victory in front of 52 000 home fans.

After two penalties by Johan Goosen, the Bulls went into double figures after a bullocking run by World Cup winning flanker Marco van Staden from a lineout took him over the line. Prop Wilco Louw also came close, going over the line but the television replays failed to show the ball being grounded.

And while the Bulls were up, there was always a feeling that they should have been further ahead, despite the scoreline.

Glasgow scored on the halftime break through Scott Cummings, a match changing moment that both coaches acknowledged afterwards that brought Glasgow back into the game.

And while the Bulls went up 16-7 in the second half, a crucial error from the kickoff gave the visitors the momentum they needed to storm into the lead and claim the title.

Bulls flanker Elrigh Louw dropped the kickoff into Kurt-Lee Arendse, who played the ball and gave away the penalty, which Glasgow kicked into the corner.
The maul that had savaged so many other teams worked its magic, as George Turner went over at the back.

You could almost see the Bulls heads drop at that moment. Minutes later the duo of Sebastian Cancelliere and Josh McKay, both who had terrorised the Bulls defence all night, were combining again, shifting the Bulls defence left and right before Cancelliere’s pass beat Sergeal Petersen to find Kyle Steyn, who passed inside for Huw Jones to score.

That was all it needed for Glasgow to hold out as the one-off runners were easily picked off and the lack of penetration started to weigh against the stadium clock.

And Glasgow held out for a famous win, giving the URC its third champion in three years, with the win showing South African sides are not invincible, even on the highveld.

Vodacom Bulls: Devon Williams, Sergeal Petersen, David Kriel, Harold Vorster, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Johan Goosen, Embrose Papier, Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar, Wilco Louw, Ruan Vermaak, Ruan Nortje (CAPT), Marco Van Staden, Elrigh Louw, Cameron Hanekom

Replacements: Akker van der Merwe, Simphiwe Matanzima, Francois Klopper, Reinhardt Ludwig, Nizaam Carr, Zak Burger, Chris Smith, Cornel Smit

Glasgow Warriors: Josh McKay, Sebastian Cancelliere, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Kyle Steyn (CAPT), Tom Jordan, George Horne, Jamie Bhatti, Johnny Matthews, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Richie Gray, Matt Fagerson, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey

Replacements: George Turner, Nathan McBeth, Oli Kebble, Max Williamson, Euan Ferrie, Henco Venter, Jamie Dobie, Duncan Weir

– © AFP 2024

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