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Van der Merwe triple seals win

DTH van der Merwe scored a hat-trick of tries as Glasgow came from behind to defeat Montpellier 21-10 in their European Rugby Champions Cup clash at Scotstoun.

The Warriors maintained their quest to qualify for the quarter-finals of the top European tournament for the first time after being 10-7 down at the break, with Finn Russell kicking all three conversions.

However, Glasgow's chances of finishing as one of the pool runner-up qualifiers were not strengthened by their failure to pick up the try bonus point.

Glasgow went for the four-try bonus point from the start but only managed a single converted touchdown from Van Der Merwe before the break and found themselves behind after Thibaut Privat's try, which was converted by Ben Lucas, who had also kicked an earlier penalty.

Glasgow continued their tactic of pinning Montpellier back with penalties in the second half and were rewarded with two more Van Der Merwe tries, both converted by Russell.

Coach Gregor Townsend had said before the match that nine points were required from the final two games, and from the start Glasgow turned down penalty goal opportunities to kick to the corner in the hope of the forwards getting over the line to build up a bag of tries.

Ironically their first try came from an orthodox handling move, from right to left starting on the halfway line, in the 13th minute and had a suggestion of a forward pass.

It moved Glasgow in front after Lucas' penalty had seen Montpellier take the lead in the sixth minute.

The Warriors' lead lasted only four minutes, though, as Montpellier showed Glasgow how to do the lineout drive from five metres out, with lock and captain Privat scoring and Lucas converting to give them a 10-7 lead they held to the break.

Montpellier's lead came despite Glasgow dominating the final 15 minutes, but their close-in drives were always repulsed, with prop Pat Cilliers sent to the sin bin in the 33rd minute.

Glasgow's first chance to kick to the corner came in the 56th minute and with the pressure on, the next penalty was tapped and Van Der Merwe found a way over. Russell again converted to put Glasgow back in the lead at 14-10.

As Glasgow piled on the pressure, Montpellier winger Lucas Dupont was sent to the sin bin with just over 10 minutes remaining and a minute later Van Der Merwe found his way through the weakened backline for his hat-trick try, which was again converted by Russell.

The final minutes were frantic but Glasgow now go to Bath next Sunday looking for a bonus-point win and will likely be without number eight Josh Strauss, who was carried off on a stretcher late on with a knee injury.

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