Glasgow Warriors kept up their proud unbeaten record at home this season as fly half Dan Parks scored all of their points in an impressive dismissal of the table-topping Cardiff Blues at Firhill on Friday night.
Parks bagged a try, three penalties and a drop goal in a memorable individual display as Glasgow rose to fourth place in the Magners League standings.
Although the Blues were missing a number of their Welsh internationals, Glasgow will still take plenty of heart from what was only their second win over the Welshmen in the sides’ last seven meetings.
Having gone unbeaten through the opening two rounds of the Heineken Cup, Cardiff travelled north of the border in good form and had flanker Martyn Williams skippering the side for the first time since his retirement from international rugby, with Xavier Rush being rested.
But the Warriors’ proud record of not having lost a home match since last January is one they are determined to hold onto and Sean Lineen’s men made the best possible start when Parks dashed over for a seventh-minute try.
The Scotland fly half picked off an interception to scurry through and beat the cover from 60 metres out. His conversion was wide of the mark but a successful penalty kicked, some 14 minutes later, edged the Scots into an 8-0 lead in chilly conditions.
Glasgow’s defence was breached however, in the 24th-minute, when Cardiff sent winger Rhys Williams over for their only score of the night. Full-back Ben Blair missed his conversion attempt.
Blair also struck the post with a penalty, after a Parks’ success had sent Glasgow into an 11-5 lead which they held onto for the interval. The Blues should have scored again before the half-time whistle, however having refused a shot at the posts, they fluffed their lines when trying to set up a lineout drive.
All of Parks’ scoring was done before the hour mark as he tagged on a penalty and a drop goal to fire his side into a 12-point lead.
Glasgow began the second half strongly and almost put winger Hefin O’Hare over for a try but he was beaten to Chris O’Young’s chip forward by the retreating Gareth Thomas.
Glasgow continued to look the more potent and with their back row unit of Kelly Brown, John Barclary and Johnnie Beattie in excellent form, the Scots never looked like losing their grip on the game.
They did miss out on a late try though as replacement scrum half Sam Pinder had his effort ruled out for a knock on spotted by Irish referee Alan Lewis.
Thanks to Parks’ boot, Lineen’s men comfortably saw out a win which saw them avenge their 32-16 opening day defeat at the Arms Park on September 21.