Lyon 22 Glasgow Warriors 42

IT doesn’t matter what line of work you are in. Everyone loves it when a plan comes together and, while he did much to play down yesterday’s victory over Lyon at the Stade de Gerland, Glasgow Warriors coach Dave Rennie must have allowed himself even a little nod of the head after this display.

In dominating Lyon, Glasgow set up nicely for the second instalment of this head-to-head at Scotstoun on Saturday and, without getting too carried away, gave themselves a real chance of making the knockout stages of the Champions Cup.

It was a tremendous 23-man effort from the Warriors, a measure of that being that, while the sponsors gave George Horne the man of the match award, many would have handed it to two-try hero Adam Ashe.

And Rennie, who acknowledged that Ashe’s showing against Scarlets last week made it impossible for him to be dropped for this visit to France, was again quick to sing the praises of the backrow forward.

“We’re rapt for Adam,” admitted Rennie afterwards. “He got a couple of dot downs, but it was all the other work he did defensively; carrying creative forward and so on. He was a big contributor today.”

While enjoying a second successive bonus-point away win in the competition (following the defeat of Cardiff), Rennie conceded there were still moments that could have cost his side.

“We were disappointed to go down to 14 when Tim Swinson saw yellow," he said. "I don’t think our discipline was that flash today and, while you can debate the odd penalty, some of them were poor decisions on our part that put us under pressure.”

It was an excellent 80 minutes from the Warriors, but a gruelling one against tough opposition on a pitch that never looked great after heavy rain midweek.

Rennie said: “It’s a beautiful stadium but the pitch is pretty heavy. The ground was getting churned up at every scrum.

“We’re used to a firm surface at home so we’ve got some pretty tired legs, especially because it was such a physical game. Lyon like to play a lot of footy and they challenged us all over the park.”

They may have challenged, but there was only one winner, and the signs were there from early on.

Up 6-3, a nice offload from Tommy Seymour found captain Callum Gibbins on the right flank. He cut inside, feeding George Horne who in turn connected with DTH van der Merwe.

Warriors were momentarily halted but, after Stuart Hogg and Horne probed, the latter went on a snipping break in centre field, beautifully offloading out the back of the hand for Ashe to drop over near the posts, giving Hastings an easy couple of additional points and a 13-3 lead.

It was all-too comfortable for Glasgow. What better than a dubious refereeing call to get the French back in the game?

Pete Horne was called for a forward pass, inside his own 22. Lyon, given that unexpected field position, pressed their territorial advantage and worked the ball out wide where Kiwi Toby Arnold crossed in the corner.

Jonathan Pelissie, after an abysmal hooked penalty, landed his conversion from wide on the touchline to pull Lyon back to win in three points.

Still, no reason to panic, and Glasgow didn’t, not even when another try would have resulted had Pete Horne chucked a better ball in the direction of Hogg, after some nice interplay with co-centre Nick Grigg.

Nevertheless, Glasgow's advanced position enabled the Warriors pack to pin back Lyon, and George Horne skipped through a broken ruck to score, although all the credit should go to his eight forwards. Hastings converted and the Warriors trotted in at half time 20-10 up.

Despite a fiery start to the second half by Lyon, Warriors were still dictating things. One thing that was evident throughout this game was how many phases Glasgow were able, and willing, to go through; no rush, no anxiety, no mistakes. Instead, they forced those from Lyon.

A no-wrap tackle gave Glasgow a penalty, and Hastings extended the gap to 13. However, an interception from Lionel Beauxis allowed him to clear. Grigg backtracked to field but, despite being pinned by Beauxis, the referee awarded Lyon the penalty.

A quick tap, and Lyon fed it across the backs for Noa Nakaitaci to touchdown, out wide.

Glasgow, though, were focused, and countered immediately. Pete Horne dinked a kick through and, while Charl McLeod missed the ball, probably because of Stuart Hogg's strategic shove, the Scotland full-back managed to get his paw on the ball and the try was awarded.

Lyon's desperation cost them on the hour mark. Carl Fearns had his pop-up picked off by Hastings, who made space to find Huw Jones who, with his first touch, secured the bonus-point try under the posts.

But, even 35-15 down, Lyon were not for giving up. Tim Swinson was yellow-carded for not retreating 10 metres. Camped on the Warriors line after another penalty call, McLeod took a quick tap to dive over, Jean-Marc Doussain converting.

A man down, Glasgow went back to basics, and pick-and-drive tactics, to run down the clock and wear down Lyon's spirit. Not that they were helping themselves.

Doussain missed touch with the penalty, McLeod fumbled fielding a kick, Pierre-Louis Baressi fumbled in front of his own posts. From that error, Adam Ashe peeled off the back of the scrum to score Warriors' fifth try.

These away days in France can be enjoyable.