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September 02, 2006

Glasgow Warriors 23 - 24 Newport Gwent Dragons

Celtic League match played at Hughenden on Friday September 1st 2006 | 13 comments

Sam Pinder went over for Glasgow's first try
Glasgow Warriors flattered to deceive in their Magners League opener last night.

After roaring into a seemingly comfortable lead in the first 20 minutes, they spent the rest of the game dithering and scrambling, and let it all slip away in a climax of high drama.

For a team that had looked so good at the beginning they were bedraggled by the end when Colin Gregor's late penalty appeared to have secured a victory they scarcely deserved, especially when a Ceri Sweeney penalty in injury time slid past the post. But Sweeney was to be given one last chance and this time he made no mistake from out on the touchline and the Dragons achieved their first away win in 23 matches. For the record, the last team they beat was Glasgow. A dejected Warriors coach Sean Lineen said: "We had high hopes for this game and we started so well. Then there were just silly decision by guys with ball in hand and it took the wind out of our sails."

New Glasgow winger Thom Evans, making his Celtic League debut, set up the first try with his first touch in the first minute for scrum half Sam Pinder.

The Dragons couldn't handle Evans' blinding pace, nor could they easily put down the Argentine full-back Francisco Leonelli, recruited from Edinburgh along with Ally Kellock, when he chose to go on some thundering runs down the middle. Scotland stand-off Dan Parks launched a towering crossfield kick that Dragons winger Nathan Brew couldn't hold, allowing Graeme Morrison to pick up the pieces and stroll over. The conversion put the home side on what looked like easy street with a 20 point lead.

But from that point on Glasgow couldn't do anything right. Welsh international Sweeney snatched a try on the half hour before Aled Brew reduced the deficit to just eight points when he capitalised on slack to defending to touch down. Two Sweeney penalties after the restart edged the Dragons to within two points and Glasgow's nerves were fraying as fast as the margin was closing. Tempers were disappearing too and Dragons prop Adam Black was yellow carded after a punch up in the middle.

Glasgow couldn't take advantage, however, and it was Mike Hercus' drop goal that put Dragons ahead for the first time. Then Gregor looked to have rescued it for Glasgow only for Sweeney to miss one penalty but nail the second with the last kick.

Report from The Scotsman

Referee Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Attendance 1,653
Justin Va'a
Fergus Thomson
Euan Murray
Andy Newman
Alastair Kellock
John Barclay
Donnie Macfadyen
Jon Petrie
Sam Pinder
Dan Parks
Mike Roberts
Andrew Henderson
Graeme Morrison
Thom Evans
Francisco Leonelli
Eric Milligan
Kevin Tkachuk
Dan Turner
Steve Swindall
Graeme Beveridge
Colin Gregor
Colin Shaw
Match Substitutions
Off On
Justin Va'a Kevin Tkachuk
Off On
Andy Newman Dan Turner
Off On
Donnie Macfadyen Steve Swindall
Off On
Sam Pinder Graeme Beveridge
Off On
Dan Parks Colin Gregor
Sam Pinder Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Graeme Morrison Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Colin Gregor Penalty
Posted by JIMBOj on September 2, 2006 07:25 AM | Reply to this comment

Eventually out-muscled by a forward pack. Game was still there to win after going ahead with Gregorís penalty. How naive to give away two penalties in injury time - Joy to despair! Arrived early to buy season tickets but no sign of them; another cock-up. Lesson of the night - must do better or we will not survive!

Posted by Caloom on September 2, 2006 09:40 AM | Reply to this comment

Fantastic opening 20 minutes! But to then start acting cocky and eventually deserving to lose is totally unacceptable. I thought lessons would have been learned from last year when they specialised in throwing games away. I hope Sean gives the guys the rollicking they deserve.

Posted by sunday5 on September 2, 2006 10:43 AM | Reply to this comment

What a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. 20 minutes of gold followed by an hour of utter crap! We looked to have it in the bag and still managed to mess it up. In the future the team should remember to give the ball to Evans, he was sublime last night.

Posted by Moody Blue on September 2, 2006 12:53 PM | Reply to this comment

Very depressing. The start was fast, almost too fast, and I think the guys thought if they played a fast pace, and chucked it about everything would be fine...but the Dragons, just snuffled them out up front, outmuscled them, bullied them, and refused to give them the ball...and gradually hauled them in.
The stupid thing was, every time Glasgow got the ball, they tried to chuck it wide and fast...when they had no need to...they were ahead, not desperate....all they needed to do was play for position, kick for touch, the corners etc. and play rugby in the right bits of the field. So sad, the guys failed to front up up-front and Dan P especially, failed to use his brain (unless he was following strict coaching orders). The only compensating thought is that there is a potential team there...just getting them to play sensibly will be the key

Posted by ballinj on September 2, 2006 03:18 PM | Reply to this comment

In the second half the longest Glasgow held onto the ball was about 3 minutes. There is enough experience in the Glasgow team to have won that game comfortably - even the last season's team would of won that game at a canter.

Where was the leadership? where was the voice to say lets stick to basics rather than trying to force the game or lets relieve the pressure and play in their half for a while

Three saving graces about last night

1) Sean called a spade a spade and didn't try to make excuses. He said it wasn't good enough and it wasn't

2) I didn't pay for my ticket so don't feel cheated. My mate whose season ticket I used on the other hand was fuming and was off to see if he could get refund.

3) There is the core of a good team there. However the attitude of some players needs to change - too many heads dropped after Gwent's 2nd try.

Things can only get better...

Posted by sunday5 on September 2, 2006 06:29 PM | Reply to this comment

Things can indeed only get better but I am so tired of seeing my team loose by the narowest of narrow margins. I thought the players would have had a change of heart and played out of their skins but it wasn't to be.
They changed the wrong prop also, Murray didn't seem to be holding up to the pressure. Va'a and T-Boneshould be starting next week. It'll be a long, long game against the Scarlets if they play like this again.

Posted by bossco85 on September 3, 2006 07:49 PM | Reply to this comment

i hate to be the voice of doom...again, but all i can say is same old glasgow. after the first 20 i thought we were on our way to a bonus point win and a great start to the season. My hope soon vanished. heads need to roll, too many people aint pulling their weight, things cant b like last season..can they?

Posted by Alan on September 4, 2006 12:11 AM | Reply to this comment

Agreed, but too soon for heads to roll ..what happened on Fri must never happen again at home! Shocking!

Posted by luckyrugger on September 4, 2006 01:39 PM | Reply to this comment

I don't expect Petrie to make the team when Beattie is fit again; he hasn't impressed me in the last couple of seasons. Was he not one of those playing "dumb rugby" in the second half, throwing the ball out of the tackle when there was nothing on?

Posted by longandwyndingroad on September 4, 2006 06:18 PM | Reply to this comment

Same old, same old, Sean can chat the chat but can't walk the walk, mind you, think some of the players have the same problem! Having been promised so much in pre-season I was so disappointed to turn up and see us waste a 20 point lead. Can't even say we wasted chance after chance as we created zero in the last hour of the game. Will be intresting to see if Murrayfield will treat Sean in the same was a they did Hugh Campbell if this result is the standard that he aims to play at!! PS Beavy's new hairdo is an improvment!

Posted by Alistair on September 5, 2006 08:25 AM | Reply to this comment

For me Petrie was one of the players that went invisible (although he's far from the only one). When the "rucks" started going pear shape in the first half where were the forwards to protect the ball? It seemed liekt hey were seagulling out in the back line.

Posted by mediumsizedal on September 4, 2006 09:25 PM | Reply to this comment

Agree with other comments-a professional side should not lose a 20pt lead. Too many of the squad show poor attitude when the chips are down-they just didn't front up to the dragon's pack, they stopped competing. This set of forwards are, on paper, the biggest & strongest we have had, but they just don't pull their weight-they're not hard enough or ruthless enough to dig in for the hard earned results. The backs are fine-but only if the forwards deliver. It's going to be a long season !!

Posted by sunday5 on September 5, 2006 10:02 AM | Reply to this comment

I agree, we do have a couple of forwards who don't seem to be aggressive enough. Big guys like Murray should be strong and certainly athletic enough to be getting to the rucks first and making a difference but it looks like he doesn't want to mess up his hair and is afraid of getting hurt or even hit. Va'a seems fairly horrible which is a bonus but I hardly even saw Kellock which was surprising as he was brilliant against Newcastle.

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