Shin­gler fires wide as Blues crash to an­other de­feat

The Rugby Paper - - Guinness Pro14 - ■ By ROGER PANT­ING

A LATE penalty from Finn Rus­sell con­demned Blues to a third con­sec­u­tive de­feat.

De­spite the loss it was an im­proved per­for­mance by Cardiff but the visi­tors de­served their suc­cess as they were al­ways the more in­ven­tive side.

Glas­gow would have won more com­fort­ably but for ele­men­tary er­rors and ill-dis­ci­pline. How­ever with Rus­sell pulling the strings and Lee Jones and Nick Grigg both run­ning strongly, Blues’ de­fence was al­ways un­der threat.

The home side did their best to keep their op­po­nents in check with Josh Na­vidi and Josh Turnbull lead­ing a heroic ef­fort, but apart from a sparkling try from Tom James, they lacked the in­ven­tion of the Scots and were clearly se­cond best in terms of ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion in the se­cond half.

Glas­gow dom­i­nated the early stages but, on their first ex­cur­sion into the op­po­si­tion half, Blues took the lead. The Scots lost a li­ne­out and fol­low­ing Na­vidi’s pow­er­ful drive the ball was re­cy­cled and James skated through.

Steven Shin­gler was on tar­get with the con­ver­sion and min­utes later ex­tended the Blues’ lead with a penalty. A three-pointer from Rus­sell put Glas­gow on the score­board but the

visi­tors were their own worst enemies in the first half hour as they tried to be too in­tri­cate, re­sult­ing in nu­mer­ous mis­takes when up against some res­o­lute tack­ling from Blues.

Shin­gler’s se­cond pe­nal- ty put Blues fur­ther in front be­fore Glas­gow’s en­ter­prise was even­tu­ally re­ward when a flow­ing move­ment was fin­ished off by Henry Pyr­gos for a splen­did try.

Soon af­ter they should have had an­other. From in­side his own 22, Grigg evaded Shin­gler’s tackle to run 60 me­tres but his team­mates lacked the ac­cu­racy to fin­ish off his burst.

Early in the se­cond half, an­other care­less er­ror from the Scots gifted Shin- an­other three points, but from the restart Glas­gow took the lead.

Rus­sell ex­pertly col­lected a clear­ance kick by jump­ing ahead of Alex Cuth­bert to send Lee Jones on a 25m run to the line. The visi­tors’ lead was short-lived as Shin­gler knocked over a penalty.

Glas­gow had much the bet­ter of ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion in the third quar­ter but the con­ces­sion of reg­u­lar penal­ties stopped them tak­ing ad­van­tage and they were still be­hind 19-17 with 20 min­utes re­main­ing.

The only score of the fi­nal quar­ter was Rus­sell’s de­ci­sive penalty but Shin­gler missed a great chance to win the game when his 40m penalty sailed wide with 90 sec­onds re­main­ing.

Blues, head coach, Danny Wil­son, said: “It is a bit­ter pill to swal­low but it was a huge step in the right di­rec­tion. We were close to a win against a very good side but we forced them to make er­rors and our set­piece was very good.”

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