Glas­gow’s early fast-run­ning game­plan puts Le­in­ster on back foot

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - Alan Lorimer Scot­stoun Sta­dium

Glas­gow War­riors 31 Tries: Horne (2), Gregg (2) Con: Horne (4) Pen: Horne Le­in­ster 21 Tries: O’Lough­lin, Gib­son-Park, Byrne Con: Byrne (3)

Glas­gow War­riors con­tin­ued their win­ning se­quence in the Guin­ness Pro 14 af­ter outscor­ing Le­in­ster at Scot­stoun last night with a dis­play of fast run­ning rugby that al­lowed them claim a bonus point and an eighth con­sec­u­tive win.

Le­in­ster came to Scot­stoun, hav­ing soundly de­feated Glas­gow in Euro­pean Cup rugby last month.

But any hopes of re­peat­ing this re­sult were dashed in the first half when Glas­gow put on a crowd-pleas­ing per­for­mance of de­light­ful at­tack­ing run­ning be­fore be­ing tamed in the sec­ond half by the heav­ier and stronger Le­in­ster pack.

Re­al­is­ti­cally with so many first-choice play­ers miss­ing from their side Le­in­ster were not ex­pected to win against a Glas­gow side that was less af­fected by the ab­sence of se­nior play­ers.

More­over hav­ing lost their two open­ing Euro­pean matches, Glas­gow are ef­fec­tively out of the cup and as such their pri­or­ity is the Pro 14.

That was ev­i­dent last night, with Glas­gow show­ing the greater de­ter­mi­na­tion to take con­trol of the game with a blend of fast and risk tak­ing rugby that pro­duced points in the first half.

There­after Le­in­ster’s stronger and heav­ier pack dic­tated the game, Glas­gow’s high pace rugby also af­fected in the sec­ond half by the wet con­di­tions.

Le­in­ster were un­for­tu­nate not to gain a los­ing bonus point in what was the first of seven cross con­fer­ence matches but they can take credit for win­ning the sec­ond half and for the way their debu­tant play­ers per­formed against the league lead­ers.

Great start

Le­in­ster were quick out of the blocks scor­ing a blis­ter­ing try in the open­ing min­utes af­ter full­back Jor­dan Larmour cut the Glas­gow de­fence to shreds with a pen­e­trat­ing run that ended with Jamieson Gib­son Park dart­ing over from close range and Ross Byrne con­vert­ing.

No sooner had the play­ers gath­ered breath than Glas­gow replied in kind as Fi­jian in­ter­na­tional Niko Matawalu set up a try for Ge­orge Horne, con­verted by el­der brother Peter to level the scores.

Those look­ing for ac­tion respite were dis­ap­pointed as Le­in­ster again showed their dan­ger in the out­side chan­nels, at­tack­ing on the left flank be­fore mov­ing the ball to the other touch­line for Rory O’Lough­lin to claim the sec­ond try, Byrne again con­vert­ing.

The break­neck pace set by both teams con­tin­ued with another light­en­ing break by Matawalu who again had the younger Horne brother in sup­port. The War­riors’ scrum half was caught but when the ball was re­cy­cled cen­tre Nick Grigg was on hand to bag the try, Peter Horne’s con­ver­sion again lev­el­ling the scores.

Le­in­ster were dealt a blow when Jordi Mur­phy was carded for pre­vent­ing Glas­gow tak­ing a tap penalty. The one-man ad­van­tage soon told as War­riors used their for­wards close to the line to set up a sec­ond try for Ge­orge Horne, com­fort­ably con­verted by brother Peter.

Then with just 26 min­utes played Glas­gow achieved their bonus point score with an out­ra­geously au­da­cious score made by a length-of-the- pitch run by Matawalu and the fin­ish by Grigg. Horne added the ex­tras be­fore goal­ing a penalty.

Half-time

Le­in­ster tried des­per­ately to nar­row the lead from two penalty-cre­ated li­ne­outs in the cor­ner, but to no avail leav­ing Glas­gow lead­ing 31-14 at half time.

Glas­gow were re­duced to 14 men when lock Scott Cum­mings was carded early in the sec­ond half al­low­ing Le­in­ster to ap­ply for­ward pres­sure and ul­ti­mately a try in the cor­ner for wing Adam Byrne, ex­pertly con­verted by Ross Byrne.

No sooner was Cum­mings back on the field than Glas­gow lost re­place­ment Alex Dun­bar to the bin for slow­ing down the ball as Le­in­ster went for the kill.

Le­in­ster were now look­ing the stronger side but the vis­i­tors failed to cap­i­talise when they butchered a four-on-two at­tack al­beit there was a ter­ri­to­rial div­i­dend.

With rain ar­riv­ing the ac­cu­racy of the ear­lier pass­ing deny­ing the likes of Matawalu, named as man of the match, from work­ing fur­ther magic.

With the game go­ing into its fi­nal min­utes the con­test be­came more of a for­ward slog but the bat­tle be­tween the heavy­weights yielded no fur­ther points leav­ing Glas­gow win­ners and able to cel­e­brate con­tin­ued suc­cess in the Guin­ness Pro 14.

Jami­son Gib­son-Park scored the prov­ince’s first try against Glas­gow

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