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European Challenge Cup: Glasgow Warriors 26-18 Perpignan

Glasgow Warriors survived a Perpignan comeback to win their European Challenge Cup tie at Murrayfield. Glasgow capitalized on their numerical advantage in the closing stages, Sebastian Cancelliere scoring the crucial fourth try to earn the bonus point

Franco Smith’s team had moved into a deserved lead thanks to converted tries by Rufus McLean and Huw Jones. The French Top 14 team replied before the break through Jake McIntyre’s try, but a penalty and a Lucas Dubois score then put the visitors a point in front.

However, a penalty try and a Sebastian Cancelliere score earned a bonus-point win as yellow cards cost the French. Glasgow led 14-5 at the break but it was the most ludicrously one-sided 14-5 in the long and glorious history of 40-minute Challenge Cup 14-5.

European Challenge Cup

In other words, Glasgow should have been home-free halfway through. On five separate occasions while it was still scoreless they exploded into Perpignan’s 22, threatened and then got turned over. It was as if the game was happening on a loop. European Challenge Cup Perpignan only existed as a defensive unit. Their wingers may as well have taken a stroll into town to look at the Christmas lights.

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Eventually, the home team – if you can call Glasgow that while playing in the emergency venue of Murrayfield – made their possession pay. They were mad keen to get hands on ball, utterly determined to play at a rapid tempo but exuberance brought a lack of accuracy and it dogged them. When they became clinical they got the job done at last, McLean being put away in the right corner.

Weir converted. The smattering of Glasgow fans raised as much noise as they could and then raised it again soon after when more pressure culminated with Sione Tuipulotu grubbering for Jones to touch down.

A healthy lead now, 14 points being the least they deserved. European Challenge Cup Perpignan gave away eight penalties in the opening 25 minutes, coughed up some line-outs and never gave the slightest impression of a team that could do damage. Sitting second from bottom in the Top 14 and having lost their opening game in this competition last week, you expected Glasgow to skate away.

The French top-14 team responded with a try from Jake McIntyre before half-time, but a penalty and a goal from Lucas Dubois then put the visitors a point ahead.

However, a penalty attempt and a goal from Sebastian Cancelliere earned a bonus point as the French cost yellow cards.

Related: European Champions Cup fixtures

Glasgow led 14-5 at the break, but it was the ridiculously one-sided 14-5 in the long and glorious history of the 40-minute 14-5 Challenge Cup.

In other words, Glasgow should have been halfway without a home game. On five separate occasions, while it was still scoreless, they exploded into Perpignan’s 22, threatened and then got turned over. It was like playing the game in an endless loop. Perpignan only existed as a defensive unit. Their wingers might also have taken a stroll into town to check out the Christmas lights.

Eventually, the home team – if Glasgow can be called that while playing at Murrayfield’s emergency ground – paid for their possession. They were madly keen to get their hands on the ball and were determined to play a high pace, but the exuberance brought with it a lack of accuracy and left them stunned. When they got clinical they finally got the job done, McLean was placed in the right corner.

weir converted. The scattered Glasgow fans made as much noise as possible and increased it again shortly after as Sione Tuipulotu pressed even more with Sione Tuipulotu urging Jones to touch down.

A healthy lead now, 14 points is the least they deserve. Perpignan missed eight penalties in the first 25 minutes, coughed up a few line-outs and never gave the slightest impression of a team capable of causing damage. Second from the bottom in the top 14 and having lost their opening game in this competition last week, you expected Glasgow to run away.

European Challenge Cup rugby coverage: How to watch Champions Cup from anywhere

European Challenge Cup rugby is back with a bumper line-up as Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle begin the defence of their Champions Cup title.

They are joined in the premier competition by last season’s Challenge Cup victors and fellow Top 14 side Lyon and with the addition of the three South African sides for the 2022/23 competition, there are 24 teams in total who will battle it out for the right to call themselves champions.

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