Glasgow Warriors seal Challenge Cup quarter-final trip to France with victory over Newcastle Falcons

Glasgow captain Ryan Wilson, centre, leads the celebrations after hooker Johnny Matthews’ (2nd right) try against Newcastle Falcons. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Danny Wilson’s side excelled in the first half but the second period was a lot closer and they had to endure a slightly nervy last quarter at Kingston Park.

Their reward is a trip to France to play Lyon in the last eight, with the tie scheduled for the weekend of May 6-8.

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Glasgow were worthy winners, producing some lovely running rugby at times against opponents more inclined to kick away possession. Kyle Steyn scored two fine tries and there were also tries for Johnny Matthews and Josh McKay

Glasgow looked hungry from the off and were two tries to the good after only seven minutes. Matthews notched a hat-trick on his last Warriors outing against Zebre and the hooker took up where he left off, putting the finishing touches to a brilliant handling move to get the visitors off the mark at Kingston Park. Sione Tuipulotu and Ryan Wilson were involved, showing nice hands to play in McKay who fed Price. The scrum-half showed his selfless side of him, turning and teeing up Matthews rather than going himself.

Thompson converted to make it the perfect start and Newcastle were all at sea as Glasgow, and Seb Cancelliere, in particular, ran them ragged in the early stages. The Argentine winger made try No 2, creating the space for Steyn to get down the line and into the corner.

Newcastle tried to feel their way back into the game and they should have scored when George Wacokecoke played in Ben Stevenson a yard from the line, only for the winger to drop the ball.

The Falcons did get some points on the board through Connon’s penalty but the respite was brief. Price had been at his sniping best all night and created Glasgow’s third try, for McKay. Picking the ball off the base off the ruck, Price found the gap and played in the full-back for an easy score. Thompson, who’d been off target for Steyn’s try, slotted the conversion this time.

Glasgow Warriors hooker Johnny Matthews dives over for the game’s opening try against Newcastle Falcons. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The only cloud for Warriors was the loss of Scott Cumming to injury, with the lock hobbling off just before half-time.

In truth, Glasgow’s lead at the break should have been far greater and Newcastle, perhaps sensing they’d been let off the hook, began the second half in far more resolute fashion.

Tom Penny thought he was in but the full-back knocked on just short of the line. The try was coming though, and it was the home side’s rumbling pack which delivered, replacement lock Will Montgomery squeezing his way over.

Connon’s conversion reduced the visitors’ lead to nine points and, with memories of the Warriors’ collapse in Cardiff still fresh, you would have been forgiven for nursing concerns about Glasgow.

Warriors wing Kyle Steyn scored two tries in a man of the match performance. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

However, the Montgomery tried seemed to wake them up and Steyn raced in for his second try after another slick handling move. Thompson missed the conversion but nailed a penalty three minutes later to stretch Glasgow’s lead to 27-10.

Any notion that the visitors were going to run away with it was quashed by Newcastle’s second try. Joel Hodgson, the substitute half-back, produced a lovely show and went to dart in for the score which he then converted, reducing Glasgow’s advantage to 10 points with 15 minutes remaining.

Scorers: Newcastle: Tries: Montgomery, Hodgson. Cons: Connon, Hodgson. Pen: Connon

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

Newcastle: 15. Tom Penny, 14. Adam Radwan, 13. George Wacokecoke (Iwan Stephens 58), 12. Luther Burrell, 11. Ben Stevenson, 10. Brett Connon (Joel Hodgson 63), 9. Louis Schreuder, 1. Adam Brocklebank (Kyle Cooper 63), 2. George McGuigan, 3. Trevor Davison, 4. Greg Peterson (Will Montgomery 39), 5. Sean Robinson, 6. Josh Basham, 7. Will Welch (c), 8. Freddie Lockwood.

Replacements: 16. Jamie Blamire, 18. Mark Tampin, 20. Tom Marshall, 21. Cam Nordli-Kelemeti.

Glasgow Warriors: 15. Josh McKay, 14. Sebastian Cancelliere, 13. Sione Tuipulotu, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Kyle Steyn, 10. Ross Thompson, 9. Ali Price, 1. Oli Kebble (Jamie Bhatti 40), 2. Johnny Matthews, 3. Simon Berghan (Zander Fagerson 40), 4. Scott Cummings (Rob Harley 39), 5. Richie Gray, 6. Rory Darge, 7. Tom Gordon, 8. Ryan Wilson (Ally Miller 55).

Replacements: 16. George Turner, 21. Sean Kennedy, 22. Duncan Weir, 23. Oliver Smith,

Referee: Tual Trainini (France)

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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