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Matawalu on target in Warriors win

Glasgow Warriors marked their return to action at Scotstoun for the first time in six weeks with a hard-fought 14-6 win against the Scarlets in the RaboDirect PRO 12.

Man-of-the-match Niko Matawalu was the evening’s only try scorer after he dived over for the Warriors on the half-hour mark.

The win is the Warriors’ first in three games following narrow losses to Leinster earlier this month and Newport Gwent Dragons at the end of February.

Warriors fly-half Duncan Weir opened the scoring with a penalty outside the Scarlets 22 after Scarlets prop Samson Lee was penalised for a high-tackle against centre Richie Vernon.

Neither side troubled the scorers again until the 20-minute mark when John Barclay was caught offside in the tackle leaving Weir with a straightforward strike between the uprights to double the advantage.

Olly Barkley reduced the deficit five minutes later after Glasgow conceded a penalty leaving captain Jonathan Davies to opt to kick for the points.

The game shifted in Glasgow’s favour on the half-hour mark. A Glasgow penalty inside the Welsh 22 saw Weir kick for the corner.

From the resulting lineout Chris Fusaro charged for the line and fell short, and in the melee that followed Scarlets were deemed by the TMO to have held up the ball.

Glasgow were then awarded a try on the five-metre line. Scrum-half Chris Cusiter fed the scrum and No.8 Josh Strauss picked up the ball and fed to a fast moving Cusiter who popped the ball inside to Matawalu who sprinted over the line virtually unchallenged for what would be the evening’s match winning try.

Weir missed the conversion, but the Warriors carried the 11-3 advantage into half-time.

The second half opened with both sides trading kicks. A minute in Weir made it 14-3 after converting a penalty given for offside.

Six minutes later Barkley converted his second penalty of the night after the Welsh side were awarded a penalty in front of the posts.

With the scores remaining unchanged until the final whistle, it was the Scarlets that put up a solid defence in the face of a charging Glasgow attack on the 60 minute mark, and a penalty to the Scarlets saw them clear from the five-metre line.

In the closing stages of the game, with the weather quickly deteriorating, Scarlets could have added another three points after Cusiter was ruled by the TMO to have deliberately knocked the ball forward while trying to intercept a Scarlets pass on the attack.

However Aled Thomas’ attempt was skewed wide and Glasgow remained in front until the final whistle.

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