Glasgow bounced back as promised among the gales and lashing rain of the Great Scottish Storm to go back to the top of the PRO12 with a deserved and professional win over the Scarlets.
Despite brutal weather conditions the Warriors put last week’s 1872 Cup loss behind them and mastered the rain and wind, conceding only one opportunist score from Liam Williams just before half-time.
The Scarlets never used the conditions nearly as well as the home side in what was a pretty well-played game in such difficult conditions, all Glasgow’s tries coming from backs through Alex Dunbar, Peter Murchie and DTH van de Merwe.
It was a terrific all-round performance by the Warriors in the weather circumstances as well as coming after losing the 1872 Cup to Edinburgh for the first time since 2009 last week.
“We needed a reaction after last week,” admitted skipper Josh Strauss, named man of the match for his usual power running display. “It’s been a tough few weeks really because even though we were winning games we felt the performance wasn’t there.
“We needed something to get the momentum going again and we did that, we prepared well for the conditions and got our tactics right both into and with the wind.”
The rain blowing in sheets across Scotstoun was immediately apparent after kick-off with several early fumbles of routine passes and Finn Russell’s opening penalty from usually easy range being blown right across the face of the posts.
But kicking with the wind was no easier, Rhys Priestland seeing a penalty he’d make in most conditions slicing wide of the posts, and then topping a long-range effort from near halfway well short despite the conditions in his favour.
Despite facing the brutal conditions Glasgow managed to keep possession deep in the Scarlets half for a concerted spell with Matawalu and Yanuyanutawa coming close while Josh Strauss was judged to have been held up over the line.
However the Warriors got their reward with more strong charges tying in defenders and eventuially moved it wide for Sean Lamont’s neat off-load to put Dunbar in for the opening score 12 minutes before the break.
Glasgow looked in control in all aspects but gave the Scarlets a lifeline seized on by Liam Williams. Barclay intercepted Matawalu and the Wales full-back picked a superb line through poor tackles to run in from 30 metres, Priestland landing the conversion to put his side ahead, however undeservedly, at half-time.
The Warriors needed to make a quick statement at the start of the second half and did it within four minutes, replacement Ryan Grant carrying deep, Josh Strauss nearly making it and Peter Murchie taking a Nakarawa off-load to go over in the corner.
Russell made the tough touchline conversion and then added a penalty from good range after the Warriors did a fine job defending a long series of phases by the Scarlets as they tried to hit back.
That was the signal for Glasgow to finish the game, replacement Fraser Brown snaring Scarlets’ substitute scrum-half Gareth Davies to rob the ball and DTH van de Merwe, another sub, steaming in to score under the posts.
Russell converted to confirm victory and get the Warriors back on top of the PRO12.
Glasgow: P Murchie; T Seymour, A Dunbar, P Horne (J Downey 75), S Lamont (DTH van de Merwe 50); F Russell, N Matawalu (A Price 70); J Yanayanutawa (R Grant 40), P MacArthur (F Brown 59), M Cusack (E Murray 40); T Swinson, J Gray; L Nakarawa (J Eddie 67), R Wilson (W Bordill 66), J Strauss (capt).
Scarlets: L Williams (J Williams 47); H Parkes, R King (S Shingler 78), S Williams, M Tagikakibau; R Priestland, A Davies (G Davies 60); R Evans, R Elias (T Myhill 55), J Adriaanse (P Edwards 55); J Ball, J Snyman (G Earle 30); A Shingler, J Barclay, R McCusker.
Ref: G Clancy (IRFU)