They never stop
This was Glasgow Warriors’ first game at Scotstoun since April 1 and their first victory since they beat Newcastle Falcons in the European Challenge Cup at Kingston Park a fortnight later.
It has been a long wait for the Warrior Nation but the 5,790 who turned up on Friday night were treated to a performance that had echoes of the freewheeling Glasgow of old. There were eight tries for the home side - four in each half - in a 52-24 win that was high on entertainment.
Much has been made about how hard Franco Smith has worked his players in pre-season and the suggestion was that tiredness had contributed to last week’s defeat by Benetton in Treviso.
The theory has irked the new coach who is determined to up the squad’s fitness levels, so much so that he has instructed the players not to kick the ball out of play when the clock goes red. Smith wants his players to keep pushing for an extra try, even when they are leading 52-24 as they were last night against Cardiff.
Could be interesting when the games are a little tighter.
Replacing Rory Darge
The loss of Rory Darge for the next few months is a cruel blow to player, club and country. The flanker, one of the shining lights of the Scottish game, missed the Autumn Nations Series last season with an ankle injury he sustained against Leinster. Darge also picked up a serious ankle injury against Cardiff on Friday and is likely to require an operation to repair ligament damage.
He is set to once again miss the autumn Tests and faces a race to be fit for the Six Nations.
Thomas Gordon replaced him to good effect against Cardiff, scoring a try in the second half. The former Scotland U20 flanker now has the opportunity to stake a claim for a sustained run in the Glasgow team.
At international level, we are fortunate to blessed with so many quality back row forwards, chief among them Hamish Watson. Jack Dempsey, the Warriors No 8, could soon be added to the group should the dual-qualified Aussie decide to throw his lot in with Scotland.
Tom Jordan comes of age
Eyebrows were raised when Tom Jordan was selected ahead of Duncan Weir for Glasgow Warriors’ URC opener against Benetton last week.
It would be fair to say that the former Ayrshire Bulls stand-off toiled a bit on his professional debut in Treviso as Glasgow struggled to shake off some pre-season rust.
Smith kept faith with Jordan and was rewarded with an impressive performance from the New Zealander who was unlucky to have a try chalked off against Cardiff.
It wasn’t flawless by any means, and Jordan was fortunate to be shown a yellow card rather than red when he caught Josh Adams in the face with his shoulder towards half-time. The fly-half responded impressively on his return and was an assured performer before making way for Domingo Miotti with 15 minutes remaining.