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April 17, 2004

Glasgow Warriors 19 - 44 Celtic Warriors

Celtic League match played at Hughenden on Friday April 16th 2004 | No comments
Where does one start? Error-strewn, rudderless, lackadaisical; this was a performance which inspired only insomnia among those loyal souls who showed up.

Hugh Campbell, the Glasgow coach, attempted to find something positive to talk about after the final whistle had sounded, but knowing his side remain in a dogfight with the Borders for a place in next season's Heineken Cup, once the silence had passed, he admitted: "I think that was a reality check. We played a very competent Welsh side full of internationalists.

"If we want to play in the Heineken Cup those are the kinds of sides we have to compete with and beat at home. We have come a long way this season, and played some very good rugby here, but this showed that there is still a heck of a lot of work to do and a long, long way to go."

The first half had opened promisingly with Graeme Morrison weaving out of tackles and Dan Parks slotting the first of four penalty kicks on the night. But when the Celtic Warriors hit back with a try from No8 Richard Bryan in the tenth minute, a Ceri Sweeney penalty in the 20th and further tries from Gareth Cooper and Sonny Parker, both converted by Sweeney, Glasgow’s fragility was exposed and the game was over by half-time.

The scores came so easily it was embarrassing for the hosts, their defence ripped open by the silky passing skills of young Wales scrum-half Gareth Cooper and the direct running of Parker and Gareth Thomas in an all-international back line. It was simple stuff from quality players.

The only real threat Glasgow possessed was the boot of Parks and his penalties punished overt ball-killing by the visitors, which also earned their blindside Richard Parks ten minutes in the sin-bin, and kept Glasgow’s fingertips clinging onto the game at 22-12 down at half-time.

Though slicker and more clinical, the Welshmen seemed happy to trundle along in second gear and play off Glasgow's errors. They never had long to wait.

There were some harsh calls from Irish referee Simon McDowell which irked the home support, and there was certainly an improvement in effort from the home side after the interval, sparky scrum-half Graeme Beveridge striving to ignite something, but, with poor discipline remaining a constant, it all failed to bridge the gap in quality between the sides.

Thomas almost grabbed the fourth try, losing the ball on the line, but the world's leading Test points-scorer, Neil Jenkins, came on for Sweeney and duly kick-started the scoreboard with a penalty, before Brent Cockbain charged through non-tackles to grab the bonus point just after the hour. Daffyd James grabbed a fifth and Gareth Wyatt a sixth, Jenkins converting two from three.

Kerr grabbed a consolation try with two minutes remaining, but, in truth, nothing could kick-start a Glasgow side with as much dynamism and get-up-and-go on the night as the Scottish Executive’s policies for creating better athletes in schools.

By David Ferguson from The Scotsman

Referee S.McDowell (Ire)
Attendance 2,840
Man of the Match n/a
Euan Murray
Gordon Bulloch
Andrew Kelly
Joe Beardshaw
Nathan Ross
Roly Reid
Jon Petrie
Paul Dearlove
Graeme Beveridge
Dan Parks
Sean Lamont
Andrew Henderson
Graeme Morrison
Rory Kerr
Glenn Metcalfe
Scott Lawson
Matt Proudfoot
Andy Hall
Andy Wilson
Sam Pinder
Dave Millard
Calvin Howarth
Match Substitutions
Off On
Glenn Metcalfe Dave Millard
Off On
Joe Beardshaw Andy Hall
Off On
Graeme Beveridge Sam Pinder
Off On
Andy Kelly Matt Proudfoot
Off On
Paul Dearlove Andy Wilson
Off On
Gordon Bulloch Scott Lawson
Off On
Rory Kerr Calvin Howarth
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Rory Kerr Try 
Dan Parks Conversion

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