BLOEMFONTEIN – The Glasgow Warriors secured a third win of the season with a 52-24 victory over the Cheetahs in their PRO14 clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Cheetah fullback Malcolm Jaer’s second-half yellow card proved to be the vital turning point.
The visitors notched up five second-half tries, with Adam Hastings scoring an impressive 24 points, including his first try of the season, to inflict the Cheetahs’ fourth loss in a row.
Glasgow coach Dave Rennie couldn’t have asked for a better start when Hastings scored an impressive solo effort inside just 71 seconds with a bursting run through the Cheetahs pack.
But Glasgow’s lead quickly evaporated when DTH van der Merwe knocked on in the centre of the field, and Benhard Janse van Rensberg acted fastest to feed William Small-Smith to cross the line for his fifth-ever PRO14 try.
And the Cheetahs were swiftly in front on nine minutes as the South Africans countered at breakneck speed, before Ryno Eksteem’s incredible cross-field kick set up Jaer to score.
Van Rensberg kicked the conversion to put the Cheetahs 12-7 ahead, and the Bloemfontein side were soon handed another gift when Alex Dunbar’s sloppy high tackle led to the Scotsman receiving a yellow card on 13 minutes.
Despite having one man less, Hasting’s continued to pull the strings, and the Warriors were duly rewarded when scrumhalf Ali Price found the gap to score on his first start of the campaign. Hastings kicked for a 14-12 lead on 20 minutes.
Going against the grain, Cheetahs centre Nico Lee capitalised from a stunning Tiaan Schoeman run and offload to take a 19-14 advantage going into halftime, after Van Rensberg’s second successful kick.
Following the restart, the match hinged on the moment when Jaer was carded for a bad tackle in the air on Tommy Seymour.
And Glasgow quickly made the man advantage count when the injured Seymour bounced back to score his second try of the season and his 38th of his career to regain the Warriors lead. Hastings added two more to go 21-19 up.
The South African’s punishment continued when relentless pressure inside the Cheetahs half allowed Price to score his second try following a nice pick-and-run on 46 minutes.
The Warriors’ all-time top try-scorer Van der Merwe capitalised on Hastings’ pass to add a fifth try following the yellow card.
After Hastings notched up his fifth conversion, Jaer slightly redeemed for his earlier error by securing a bonus point for the Cheetahs, with Schoeman reducing the deficit to 24-35.
Glasgow nearly had another try, but were denied through TMO, before Hastings opened a 14-point gap with a well struck penalty.
And Scott Cummings celebrated his 30th birthday in style by securing his second try of the season.
As the Cheetahs ran out of steam, Peter Horne scored in the corner to secure a 52-24 win and keep Glasgow top of Conference A.
Cheetahs 24 – Tries: William Small-Smith, Malcolm Jaer (2), Nico Lee. Conversions: Benhard Janse van Rensburg (1), Tian Schoeman (1).
Glasgow Warriors 52 –Tries: Adam Hastings, Ali Price (2), Tommy Seymour, DTH van der Merwe, Callum Gibbins, George Horne. Conversions: Hastings (7). Penalty: Hastings (1).
African News Agency (ANA)