The Ospreys suffered a frustrating afternoon in the Scotstoun sunshine, Glasgow making the most of their chances to condemn the visitors to a first PRO14 defeat of the season.
An evenly balanced first half finished all square at 10-all, Glasgow racing into the lead before a Dan Evans try and five points from Sam Davies leveled it at the 40 minute mark.
However, despite a bright start to the second half from the Ospreys it was Glasgow who dominated the scoreboard from then on, clinching a try bonus point at the death as the scoreboard perhaps failed to truly reflect how the contest had played out.
With Finn Russell getting the game underway the Ospreys were forced to stand up to a huge Glasgow onslaught in the opening minutes. The defence held firm inside their 22 though and, after five minutes of pressure, Davies was able to clear to halfway after the home team were penalised at the scrum.
Having been on the back foot in the early exchanges, a second successive scrum penalty put the Ospreys in the right area. Despite multiple phases, they were unable to find a way through and disaster struck when Alex Dunbar pounced on a loose Ospreys pass just inside his own half and raced clear to score the first try of the game on 16 minutes.
Russell converted and it was looking ominous when the outside half added a penalty just a couple of minutes later to make it 10-0 to Glasgow.
However, the Ospreys hit back with a well worked score that saw Evans, both Davies’ and Olly Cracknell carrying well, before the full back took the scoring pass 10m out and cantered through a gap in the Glasgow defence to score under the posts, Davies with the extras.
Russell put the ball straight out at the restart and Glasgow were then penalised at the resulting lineout, but although the shot at goal from Davies on halfway had the length in drifted wide of the posts.
Another strong scrum, this time inside the Glasgow 22, gave the Ospreys an attacking platform and, after Keelan Giles just failed to get away in the corner, they went through an incredible 27 phases as forwards and backs alike pounded on the line until the ball finally went dead, Jeff Hassler unable to collect Olly Cracknell’s looping pass out to the left wing.
The Ospreys were dominating the second quarter and all the play was taking place in the Glasgow half but still the hosts led by three and only a huge hit on Lee Jones by Hassler prevented what would have been a certain try as the Scottish winger collected a clever cross kick by Russell, looking to take advantage of a two on one out on the right.
There was one final chance before the whistle for the visitors, a penalty on halfway allowing Davies to go to the corner and, after Hassler was stopped 10m out from the lineout a Glasgow offence on the floor, with time up in the first half, allowed Davies to level things at the break.
HALF-TIME: GLASGOW 10-10 OSPREYS
The second half began with both teams giving the ball some air and first it was Cory Allen who just couldn’t get away despite some strong running before Giles did well to track back and bring down Rory Hughes just 5m out as the Glasgow wing went for the line.
Giles was at the heart of the action again a minute or so later, doing enough to prevent Hughes collecting Russell’s high ball, the ball going forward with the line begging.
As the game settled, it was Glasgow who now held the upper hand, the visitors struggling to get out of their half, and the incessant pressure eventually told in the 53rd minute, a quick Ali Price tap and go inside the 22 putting the Ospreys on the back foot and it was Leo Sarto who juggled on the line before collecting the ball and scoring his team’s second of the afternoon, Russell converting.
The Ospreys looked to hit straight back, patiently working their way towards the Glasgow line where Bradley Davies was held up as he looked to twist his way over from close range.
Within minutes the Ospreys were back under their own posts after Glasgow struck again, number eight Adam Ashe intercepting just inside his own half and racing clear to score his team’s third of the day. The kick from Russell was good once more and Glasgow now led 24-10 with 20 minutes remaining.
Time was ticking away, into the final 10 minutes, when there was a lengthy stoppage following a huge collision on the Ospreys 10m line that resulted in Cracknell leaving the field on a stretcher as a precautionary measure following lengthy treatment, Guy Mercer entering the action for his debut. Thankfully, Cracknell was up and about by the final whistle.
As the hosts pressed for the bonus point, the Ospreys were reduced to 14 for the closing minutes, Bradley Davies sinbinned for bringing down Tim Swinson at the lineout as Glasgow threatened.
With the extra man, the fourth try soon arrived, man of the match Dunbar crashing over for his second, Russell’s conversion rounding off the scoring.