European Rugby Champions Cup: Lyon 22-42 Glasgow Warriors

Huw Jones sends out a pass for Glasgow

European Rugby Champions Cup: Lyon v Glasgow
Lyon (10) 22
Tries: Arnold, Nakaitaci, McLeod Cons: Pelissie, Doussain Pen: Pelissie
Glasgow (20) 42
Tries: Ashe 2, G Horne, Hogg, H Jones Cons: Hastings 4 Pens: Hastings 3

Glasgow bolstered their hopes of reaching the European Champions Cup knockout stages with an efficient bonus-point victory in Lyon.

First-half scores from Adam Ashe and George Horne put Warriors 20-10 up, Toby Arnold replying for the hosts.

Noa Nakaitaci and Charl McLeod also crossed but tries from Stuart Hogg, Huw Jones and Ashe took Warriors clear.

Victory puts them a point ahead at the top of Pool Three with rivals Saracens hosting Cardiff Blues on Sunday.

Glasgow will return home in good heart for next Saturday’s return fixture with Lyon.

Another victory there would leave them well placed in the group heading into their final pool fixtures in January at home to Cardiff Blues, and away at English champions Saracens.

Attacking intent rewarded

This display was not sensational by Warriors’ high standards, despite the margin of victory, but they were ruthless when opportunities arose.

Their attacking intent was rewarded with an early penalty for Hastings, who went on to land seven out of eight shots at goal for a 17-point personal haul.

Lyon scrum-half Jonathan Pelissie, who pulled his first attempt wide, levelled matters, but Hastings nudged Glasgow 6-3 ahead with another penalty before a superb multi-phase attack yielded an opening try for Ashe, who had been selected ahead of co-captain Ryan Wilson in the back row.

Interventions from wingers DTH van der Merwe and the lively Tommy Seymour took Warriors within range before George Horne’s sweet offload out the back of his hand sent Ashe diving over.

Hastings converted, but Lyon hit back within minutes after Peter Horne’s forward pass in his own 22 handed the hosts a prime attacking scrum.

They worked it left and then switched play right, where Lionel Beauxis spotted the overlap and his floated pass sent Arnold racing over, with Pelissie converting.

Ill discipline threatened to undo Glasgow’s good work, with the concession of several needless penalties halting their momentum.

But the visitors reasserted their authority in the closing moments of the first half, on the back of Nick Grigg’s 60m break from deep.

Peter Horne’s poor pass appeared to have butchered the chance, but Glasgow came again and younger brother George Horne jumped over an unprotected ruck to dot down from close range.

Warriors press home advantage

Hastings converted for a 20-10 half-time lead, and his third successful penalty on the resumption – after Warriors had repelled a sustained series of Lyon attacks with some lung-bursting defence – extended the advantage.

But the hosts, fourth in the Top 14, did not throw in the towel and Noa Nakaitaci crossed in the left corner after Beauxis picked off Jonny Gray’s offload and thumped the ball to within five metres of Glasgow’s line, where Grigg was harshly penalised and Lyon ran a quick penalty.

Glasgow earned a measure of comfort though with two swift tries on the hour.

The first had an element of fortune when Hogg sprinted on to Peter Horne’s deft grubber and the bouncing ball eluded replacement scrum-half McLeod, who appeared to receive a slight push from the Glasgow full-back.

The next, which brought up the bonus point, owed much to the vision of a retreating Hastings, who intercepted a pass intended for Arnold, sold Rudi Wolf a dummy and then released Jones – who had just appeared as a replacement – for an easy run-in.

The fly-half’s conversion made it a 20-point buffer early in the final quarter.

Lyon scored their third try with Warriors lock Tim Swinson in the sin-bin, McLeod tapping a quick penalty to score from close range.

But Ashe’s second try with two minutes left, barging his way over off the back of the scrum, ensured Glasgow’s hopes of qualification are very much alive.

Teams

Lyon: Palisson; Arnold, Wulf, Seguret, Nakaitaci; Beauxis, Pelissie; Buckle, Ivaldi, Kaabeche, Lambey, Carizza, Puricelli (capt), Gill, Fearns.

Replacements: Lacombe (for Ivaldi, 50) Menini (for Buckle, 50), Yameogo (for Kaabeche, 64), Roodt (for Fearns, 44, Fearns for Carizza, 55), Sobela (for Gill, 21), McLeod (for Pelissie, 49), Barassi (for Palisson, 64), Doussain (for Beauxis, 55).

Glasgow Warriors: Hogg; Seymour, Grigg, P Horne, Van der Merwe; Hastings, G Horne; Kebble, Brown, Rae, Harley, Gray, Ashe, Gibbins (capt), M Fagerson.

Replacements: Turner (for Brown, 16), Bhatti (for Kebble, 67), Halanukonuka (for Rae, 50), Swinson (for Harley, 55), Fusaro (for Fagerson, 67), Price (for G Horne), Jones (for Grigg, 59) Matawalu (for Van der Merwe, 79).

Yellow card: Swinson (65)

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