THIS performance and result bolsters the impression that Glasgow Warriors are building up a serious head of steam heading into the business end of the season.

What was particularly impressive about this bonus-point win was that it was achieved after three weeks of inactivity (due to a Covid outbreak in the squad over the festive season) and in front of a near empty Scotstoun Stadium.  

Wilson’s side have now moved into the United Rugby Championship play-off places, and they will approach their final two European Champions Cup pool stage matches against Exeter Chiefs away next weekend and La Rochelle at home the next with real confidence. 

Outside-centre Sione Tuipulotu was named man-of-the-match after an all-action performance which featured two excellent tries, but any one of a half dozen candidates could have picked up the award. Flanker Rory Darge had a couple of huge carries and was busy both sides of the ball, Josh McKay is becoming increasingly influential from full-back, Ross Thompson was calm, collected and authoritative at stand-off, and Zander Fagerson got through a power of work up front 

“Overall, that was very pleasing,” said Wilson afterwards. “We’ve had a very disrupted couple of weeks, even this week was disjointed in terms of people coming back from isolation and being available to train, so with a couple of days only as a squad I think that was a top effort. 

“We picked up where we left off against Exeter and I thought we were pretty dominant. We left a few tries out there, but all aspects of our game functioned tonight.” 

Glasgow Times:

“However, we know we need to go another level to beat Exeter away from home next week. How do we do that? We look at the soft try we conceded late on, and we are hard on ourselves about the little things we didn’t get right.” 

The start of the match was a bit like a game of table-tennis, with Gareth Anscombe kicking Ospreys into a second minute lead, Thompson squaring it on six minutes and Anscombe striking straight off the restart, before a miscued shot at goal from Thompson broke the cycle. 

However, kept their cool and produced a decisive moment in setting the general tone of this contest with some powerful running in heavy traffic involving George Turner, Josh McKay and Sam Johnson creating a platform for the ball to be sent wide for Cole Forbes to finish off in the left-hand corner. Thompson nailed the touchline conversion for good measure, and Ospreys were playing catch-up from then on. 

Warriors did concede another penalty soon after the restart, which let Anscombe pull it back to a one-point game, but then some fine link play involving McKay and Ryan Wilson released Tuipoluto, and the Australian-born Scottish international brushed off two tackles to run it home from halfway, with Thompson once again adding the extras. 

A fourth Anscombe penalty – his 17th consecutive successful shot at goal this season – kept the visitors in touch, with the scoreboard reading 17-12 at the break. 

Warriors did threaten again before half-time when Darge burst past two tackles, but Ospreys did well to scramble back and snuff out the threat. 

The home side started the second period in commanding style, pressurising Ospreys into conceding three penalties in quick succession, which allowed Thompson to kick to the corner. But a mix-up between Johnson and Kyle Steyn let Ospreys off the hook and Luke Morgan cleared the danger. 

Another thunderous run from Darge shifted Warriors right back into the strike zone, and Warriors scored try number three a few phases later when McKay stepped back inside two Ospreys defenders and scooted over the line. 

Warriors were now in near complete control, and after George Turner saw his try wide on the left chalked off for a forward pass, the home side finally claimed the bonus point when 

Tuipulotu sniffed out the gap and charged under the posts to set up an easy conversion for Thompson with just over an hour played. 

Ospreys got a consolation try back with 10 minutes to go when Anscombe skipped through a gap and sent Dan Evans over. But Warriors marched straight back up field and delivered the knock-out blow through Fraser Brown, who was making his comeback after almost three months out with a knee injury. 

Scorers: Glasgow: Tries Forbes (22), Tuipulotu (27, 62), MacKay (48), Brown (72). Cons Thompson (23, 28, 49, 63), Weir (73). Pens Thompson (8). Ospreys: Tries Evans (70). Cons Ascombe (71). Pens Anscombe (2, 11, 26, 31).

Glasgow Warriors McKay; K Steyn, S Tuipulotu, S Johnson (W Fifita 50), C Forbes; R Thompson (D Weir 70), A Price (J Dobie, 67); J Bhatti (O Kebble 54), G Turner (F Brown 54), Z Fagerson (E Pieretto E Pieretto), S Cummings (L Bean 70), K McDonald, R Wilson (T Gordon 63), R Darge, M Fagerson.  

Ospreys D Evans; M Protheroe, M Collins, O Watkin (J Hawkins 69), L Morgan; G Anscombe (J Thomas 76), R Morgan-Williams (M Aubrey 59); N Smith (G Thomas 55), E Taione (D Lake 59), T Francis (T Botha 55), R Davies (L Ashley 74), A Beard, W Griffiths (S Cross 69), J Morgan, M Morris.