GLASGOW Warriors produced a bonus-point victory in Cardiff last night, scoring five tries in total. Yet this was such an absorbing and pulsating end-to-end match, that the Warriors were left desperately holding on at the death just to take the victory, an ending coach Dave Rennie wasn’t particularly happy with.

“You’ve got to give credit to Cardiff. They play with a lot of width and we knew it was coming. They played some great footy and almost stole it. But we tackled poorly,” said Rennie.

“It was a helluva game if you didn’t have a vested interest in either side, I’d imagine. System-wise we were fine, but we fell off some soft tackles as individuals.

“We just had to get our hands on the ball. We were keen to slow it down, and the clock was going to be our friend.”

What did please Rennie was the return of key personnel. “I thought George [Turner] was phenomenal. He’s a massive ball carrier, an explosive athlete and a punishing defender. And Zander [Fagerson] got a good 50 minutes, so they were important coming back today.”

It was only a month ago Warriors defeated the Blues in Champions Cup action but last night it was Cardiff who made a near-perfect start.

Outside-half Jarred Evans made an arcing, outside break that caused consternation in the Glasgow defence. When the ball came back, Harri Millard’s chip-kick bounced just right for Aled Summerhill and he touched down, Evans on the mark from the tee.

Pete Horne cut the deficit on Glasgow’s first counter, which appeared to settle the nerves. But home 10 Jarrod Evans was in the mood to run and sliced through the Glasgow players from his own 22, but was halted by a desperate tackle from Ali Price. Glasgow countered from the quick line-out, with Nick Grigg making the initial incision, passing on to centre partner Stafford McDowall, who tried to off-load to Kyle Steyn.

Had his pass been better, it would have gifted a debut try to Steyn, but he spilled the messy offering and the chance had gone.

Glasgow’s first try came off scraps. Evans perhaps attacked once too often, his kick wide fell in no-man’s land, allowing Ruaridh Jackson to dribble ahead, pick up and pass inside for Grigg to cross and Warriors were 10-7 to the good.

It became 17-7 within a minute.From a Glasgow scrum on their own 10, McDowall worked a runaround with Horne who ran a superb line to cut through the Cardiff cover. The ball went through the hands of Grigg who set Price away for the try.

It was Glasgow’s 50th touchdown of the season and the 22nd from first-phase play.

Steyn stopped Millard with a great tackle then Tom Gordon’s “jackling” skills forced Cardiff to go in from the wrong side such was their growing frustration, which grew even more as Glasgow clocked up a third try.

Somehow, Grigg stole the ball from a ruck and, after a couple of forward charges, the Glasgow backs transferred the ball wide to Steyn who, while being tackled as he cut back inside, had the presence of mind to pop the ball for Horne to go over. He added the extra points and Glasgow were 24-7 up.

Cardiff, though, were never going to roll over and Matthew Morgan produced a penetrating break on the home team’s 19th phase of possession, giving Summerhill a simple touchdown on the stroke of half time to keep the home side right in the contest, albeit 24-14 down.

A minute into the second half, Cardiff closed to within a try. Morgan was the instigator again, releasing winger Owen Lane to gallop over for his fifth try in four starts.

The hosts were allowed to reset one scrum, changed two-thirds of their front row during the pause in play, and were called on the next scrum for collapsing under some real pressure from their Glasgow counterparts.

Horne, though, hit the upright – a missed opportunity.

On the next scrum, in Glasgow’s 22, referee George Clancy spotted some naughtiness and pinged the Scots. Evans kicked his effort, and there was just two points in it.

Evans tried to land a goal from the halfway line, but dropped it short. Relief for Glasgow.

Price was relieved of his duties just beyond the hour and Adam Hastings was introduced, his first duty being to kick for the corner after Carre’s high tackle on Jackson.

From the penalty line-out, Glasgow drove for the corner, rumbling over and through Cardiff’s pack. Hastings danced through to within an inch of the line. Frisby picked up a fell under the posts for the bonus score.

Within 60 seconds, Turner did a superb impersonation of Stuart Hogg to make space and bolt from just outside his 22.

The hooker rammed through one tackle and continued his amazing charge to the Cardiff 10-metre line, where USA cap Tevita Tamielau burst clear of his pursuers to score.

Horne made it five from five on the conversion count, and Glasgow were 38-22 ahead.

There was still time for Cardiff to claim a bonus-point try, and Summerhill his hat-trick. And Cardiff were not finished. Morgan ran from deep, the Blues eventually working a space for Garyn Smith to score. With Evans landing an amazing conversion, Glasgow held out by just four points.

A dramatic and exciting conclusion, so drama-packed, referee Clancy called the game over with a few seconds left. The Warriors didn’t complain.