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September 03, 2005

Glasgow Warriors 15 - 21 Newport Gwent Dragons

Celtic League match played at Hughenden on Friday September 2nd 2005 | No comments

An injury time try by Mike Roberts earned Glasgow a bonus point
The lack of a clinical finish put paid to Glasgow's hopes of starting the new Celtic League season with a win last night in a fast and physical battle which cost them their captain.

After a first half-hour in which Glasgow dominated territory and possession, defended expertly but failed to seriously threaten the visitors' line, the game exploded into life. In the final ten minutes of the half Jon Petrie, the Glasgow skipper, was stretchered from the field the victim of a stinging punch, the Dragons pack was reduced to seven men and Stevie Swindall blasted through the visitors' defence to score the opening try.

Petrie had pinpointed Rhys Thomas with a punch and pulled him out of a melee which had developed after Glasgow had firmly shoved the Dragons off their own scrum ball. The two emerged grappling into the open field and fell to the ground with the Welsh prop connecting with a solid punch which left Petrie writhing in pain.

The captain was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury and it was unclear whether this stemmed from the punch or the fall, but there can be no further action as the referee dealt with it by sin-binning Thomas. The Glasgow response, however, was swift and resolute. They returned to the front foot with determined driving and from a lineout on the Dragons 22 the ball came back to Dan Parks who feinted left and fed Swindall, charging like a bull on his inside. He burst the first tackle and roared into open space. The final tackle five metres from the line was never going to halt the revitalised blindside flanker and he powered over and round behind the posts. Parks slotted his first kick of the night to ease Glasgow seven points ahead.

The home side had other chances to score just before the break but Craig Hamilton was guilty of tunnel vision in driving into a tackle and losing the ball, with players unmarked to his left, and Rory Lamont lost the ball in a tackle ten metres from the posts. On top of two Parks penalty misses, where he struck the left-hand upright both times, it was a profligacy which they were to rue.

Newport-Gwent raised the intensity on the restart, and after frantic defence denied Thomas, just a minute after he'd re-emerged from the sin-bin, Forster, their No 8, finished a great lineout drive by touching down. Craig Warlow's touchline conversion levelled the scores and Glasgow's solid, composed work of the first half, guided by Parks, was suddenly a worthless memory.

Glasgow tried to enliven their back line by replacing Andy Henderson with Scott Barrow, but just as the game was descending into a turgid arm-wrestle.

Gareth Wyatt intercepted a Graeme Beveridge pass close to halfway, fed Hal Luscombe and took the return pass to speed into the left-hand corner for a second Dragons try on the hour. Warlow again converted from the touchline. There remained very little between the sides but Glasgow's failure to take points early on was costing them as the Dragons, with the bit between their teeth, lifted the intensity. Sam Pinder made a fine break a minute after replacing Beveridge at scrum-half which roused the home support, whose noise disguised the fact that just 2,000 had turned up for the league opener. The low attendance will be a worry for Glasgow and does little to strengthen the case for keeping their home games on a Friday night, a cause being championed by some fans last night via a petition.

The reward for the spirited revival was a penalty which Parks goaled with 13 minutes remaining, and the crowd was on its feet five minutes later when Parks intercepted a pass on his own 22. He was chased down, but cleverly kicked cross field for Pinder. Luscombe beat him to the ball but lost it and Pinder kicked over the line where Andy Craig fell on it.

The referee, George Clancy from Ireland, ruled that Dragons wing Fussell had got his fingers to it first and awarded a 22 drop-out, but Fussell had felt the weight of Craig and was taken off injured. It proved an agonising decision for the tiring hosts as, with the game into injury-time, the Welshmen wrapped it up when Forster grasped a Parks clearance kick and raced in behind the posts, Warlow converting. Glasgow had the last word with a Mike Roberts try from a breakout, but the crowd was already streaming out the exits.

Report from The Scotsman

You can see some photos from the game here

Referee George Clancy (Ireland)
Attendance 2034
Kevin Tkachuk
Scott Lawson
Lee Harrison
Dan Turner
Craig Hamilton
Steve Swindall
Andy Wilson
Jon Petrie
Graeme Beveridge
Dan Parks
Mike Roberts
Andrew Henderson
Andy Craig
Rory Lamont
Colin Shaw
Fergus Thomson
Stuart Corsar
Gregor Hayter
Paul Dearlove
Sam Pinder
Calvin Howarth
Scott Barrow
Match Substitutions
Off On
Kevin Tkachuk Stuart Corsar
Off On
Jon Petrie Paul Dearlove
Off On
Andrew Henderson Scott Barrow
Off On
Dan Turner Gregor Hayter
Off On
Graeme Beveridge Sam Pinder
Off On
Colin Shaw Calvin Howarth
37 minsSteve Swindall Try 
37 minsDan Parks Conversion
67 minsDan Parks Penalty
84 minsMike Roberts Try 

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