A DOMINANT first half performance from Glasgow Warriors booked their place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup, with winger Kyle Steyn being named man-of-the match after scoring two of his team’s four tries and being a near constant threat with ball in hand, either on the left wing or on the numerous occasions he popped up infield to get some action. 

Danny Wilson’s side now face a trip to Lyon on the first full weekend in May to take on Lyon in the last eight. Before that they face a trip to South Africa during the next fortnight to play the Stormers and the Bulls in the United Rugby Championship. They fly out on Monday. 

Glasgow flew out the blocks with a try inside four minutes, scored by hooker Johnny Matthews after some fine build-up play featuring Ryan Wilson, Sione Tuipulotu, Sam Johnson, Josh McKay and Ali Price. The hooker is in a rich run of scoring form at the moment having scored a hat-trick in the team’s last outing against Zebre a fortnight ago. 

The visitors kept their foot on the gas and pushed further ahead just three minutes later when some more slick hands sent Steyn over on the left. Ross Thompson had converted the first Warriors score but missed from the touchline with this second attempt. 

Newcastle rallied briefly but let a golden opportunity to narrow the gap slip through their fingers when winger Ben Stevenson fumbled the ball with the line at his mercy. 

Not that Warriors were clinical every time they got in the strike zone, and Scott Cummings will feel he should have held onto Price’s pass as he burst onto a short ball just a few yards from the Falcons line. 

Newcastle did get off the mark on 28 minutes when Brett Connon slotted a 35-yard penalty, but that was the last time the home team looked like scoring in the first half. 

Warriors got themselves back on the front foot when a nice, slaloming run from the busy Steyn cut Newcastle wide open, and the visitors would almost certainly have scored if Price had used the five player overlap on the right, but the scrum-half opted to hit it up the middle instead. 

Not that it really mattered, because Glasgow kept turning the screw, and Newcastle eventually cracked, with McKay finishing off try number three in the 32nd minute, and Thompson converted again for good measure. 

Warriors lost Cummings just before the break, with the big second-row – who has had a frustrating, injury-disrupted season so far – hobbling off with what appeared to be a leg injury. 

There was no let-up from Warriors at the start of the second half, with Steyn and McKay both asking questions of the Newcastle defence with some hot stepping runs from deep – but they couldn’t find a way through this time and Newcastle rallied. 

It looked like the hosts had scored their first try of the contest when full-back Tommy Penny bounced right back to his feet after not being held in the tackle and scrambled over the line – but the TMO identified a double movement. 

Newcastle kept knocking at the door, sensing that it was now or never if they were going to salvage anything from this game, and their perseverance eventually paid off when Will Montgomery muscled over from close range. 

But Warriors kept their cool, stopped conceding soft penalties, and put themselves right back in the driving seat when a long period of pressure culminated in Steyn dancing over on the right for his second try of the match. 

Another probing run from Steyn on the hour mark earned a ruck penalty and Thompson opted to keep the scoreboard ticking over by kicking the points rather than going for the corner. 

But Newcastle wouldn’t lie down, and replacement stand-off Iwan Stephen scooted over with 15 minutes to go to keep the contest alive. That, however, was as close as they got. 

Teams – 

Glasgow Warriors: J McKay; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu, S Johnson, K Steyn; R Thompson, A Price; O Kebble (J Bhatti 40), J Matthews (G Turner 62), S Berghan (Z Fagerson 40), S Cummings (R Harley 38), R Gray, R Darge, T Gordon, R Wilson (A Miller 55)  

Newcastle Falcons: T Penny; A Radwan, G Wacokecoke (I Stephens 62), L Burrell, B Stevenson; B Connon (J Hodgson 59), L Schreuder; A Brocklebank (K Cooper 59), G McGuigan (J Blamire 59), T Davison, G Peterson (W Montgomery 38), S Robinson, J Basham, W Welch (captain), F Lockwood.  

Scorers – Newcastle Falcons: Try: Montgomery; Con: Connon; Pen: Connon. 

Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Matthews, Steyn 2, McKay; Con: Thompson 2; Pen: Thompson. 

Attendance: 4,121