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December 16, 2006

Narbonne 7 - 8 Glasgow Warriors

European Challenge Cup match played at Parc des Sports et de l'Amitie on Saturday December 16th 2006 | 12 comments

Scott scored Glasgow's only try
An important win for the Warriors, their first away from home this season, keeps them in sight of Saracens in Pool 2 of the Challenge Cup.

After a pleasant, almost humid day on the Mediterranean coast the match began in a slightly eerie atmosphere as mist descended just as the players took the field.

That apart, this was not the sort of intimidating environment Scottish sides have regularly encountered when visiting France, largely because local interest in this competition was minimal, Narbonne having been all but eliminated last week.

Even so, Dan Parks made an uncharacteristically nervous start when presented with a kickable penalty opportunity little more than a minute in, his snatched, scudding effort striking the left post and staying out. Another opportunity was spurned when Glasgow were awarded a scrum 10 metres out but were badly disrupted and unable to make anything of the situation.

It looked as if that might be costly when Narbonne pushed towards halfway and Fabien Rofes made a clean break. After making 25 yards and getting into Warriors territory the hooker then put in the most intelligent and well-weighted of kicks, which Frederic Lartigue looked favourite to get to. However as the ball reached the goal line the Narbonne winger was beaten to it by the scurrying Hefin O'Hare.

An important save, particularly since the Warriors took the lead shortly afterwards. It came from a turnover under the Narbonne posts set up by a shuddering tackle from Parks - yes, Hughenden regulars, you did read that right - the ball coming back quickly and, with a four to two overlap Scott Barrow sold the dummy to go over on the left.

The greasy surface was proving treacherous and Dan Parks slipped when attempting the conversion, sliding onto one knee as he kicked and this time hitting the right post.

The game was very much in the balance throughout the rest of the first half and after a fine run by Lionel Mazars the Warriors' scrambling defence was tested again, Hefin O'Hare again and Rory Lamont doing particularly well to plug holes.

Early in the second there were opportunities for the Warriors to extend their lead, but Rory Lamont was hauled back by the tail of his jersey just five metres short, and after some good work in the build up Scott Barrow put in a slightly clumsy chip that was too easy for Thomas Bouquie to defend. A two-score cushion was registered, however, when it was third time lucky for Dan Parks as he sent over a penalty.

The Warriors then looked to have scored a second try when Henderson battled through two tackles and put in a deft kick which was dying as it reached the goal-line and amidst a string of slithering Narbonne defenders Hefin O'Hare, the competition's leading try scorer after three rounds, came up with the ball. However, he was adjudged to have knocked it forward on crossing the line.

Moments later Thom Evans blasted into the line on the left and looked like getting over, but was penalised for a second movement when reaching for the line.

Instead of killing the game off they then spent most of the rest of it camped deep in their own territory. Just when it looked like the pressure had finally been relieved a loose kick by Dan Parks conceded a lineout midway inside his own half following which Stevie Swindall was sin-binned for collapsing a maul. Narbonne laid seige and this time, after pounding work by the pack sucked players into a series of rucks close to the line on the left the ball was spun wide right where the overlapping Bouquie was put into the corner, Cedric Rosalen converting brilliantly.

It looked like the win would then be snatched from the Scots when Sebastien Regy, called into the Narbonne side very late when Nicolas Nadau took ill, broke down the left touchline, but with a man alongside and only Rory Lamont to beat he inexplicably kicked ahead and Hefin O'Hare again won the race to escort the ball over the line.

You can see some photos from the game here

Referee Peter Fitzgibbon (IRE)
Attendance 3000
Man of the Match Sounds like Parksy had a good game defensively, as well as creating many opportunities for Glasgow to score - someone who attended the match can correct me on this one though!
Justin Va'a
Scott Lawson
Moray Low
Andy Newman
Alastair Kellock
Andy Wilson
John Barclay
Jon Petrie
Graeme Beveridge
Dan Parks
Thom Evans
Scott Barrow
Andrew Henderson
Hefin O'Hare
Rory Lamont
Fergus Thomson
Kevin Tkachuk
Dan Turner
James Eddie
Steve Swindall
Colin Gregor
Sean Marsden
Match Substitutions
Off On
Andy Wilson Steve Swindall
Off On
Andy Newman Dan Turner
Off On
Moray Low Kevin Tkachuk
Scott Barrow Try 
Dan Parks Penalty
Posted by ajm686 on December 16, 2006 09:39 PM | Reply to this comment

Well done Glasgow ... to 'win ugly' is a mark of all good teams, hope the good form continues ... 3000 for a crowd - don't you just wish it ...

Posted by vicki on December 16, 2006 09:55 PM | Reply to this comment

Well done Warriors! We all knew it would be a different matter altogether facing Narbonne in France, despite the result from Hughenden, so to get a win, no matter what the score, is a huge achievement! Bring on the Gunners!

Posted by grumpy on December 17, 2006 01:59 AM | Reply to this comment

Thank god , we can finally win ugly away from home

Posted by vicki on December 17, 2006 02:32 PM | Reply to this comment

Does anyone know what happened to Ally Kellock that he was subbed by Stevie (injury or just a tactical switch?) and then, what caused Stevie's yellow card?

Posted by gnasher on December 19, 2006 12:17 AM | Reply to this comment

Stevie subbed Andy Wilson at half time but the announcer said it was James Eddie. I didn't think Ally Kellock came off at all and the report above now reflects that.

Posted by Allan Coulter on December 23, 2006 12:35 PM | Reply to this comment

Stevie was cautioned for pulling down the opponents twice at the line out. However if Parks had made touch properly in the 1st place, then all of it would have been fine. Apart from that it was quite enjoyable winding up the locals in my pigeon French when we won!

Posted by Hugues on December 17, 2006 04:54 PM | Reply to this comment

Well done Glasgow!!!

Hope the fans who followed the team enyoyed their visit to Narbonne.
Good luck V Edinburgh

Posted by gnasher on December 17, 2006 05:46 PM | Reply to this comment

The coffee and croissants never tasted so good as this morning. A terrific ugly performance and what a fabulous weekend it has been - great food and wine and an away win. The sun even shone in Languedoc today. Roll on the Gunners and the Parma trip.

Posted by Phall on December 17, 2006 07:58 PM | Reply to this comment

Parksy man of the Match...is that an unbiased view...

Posted by vicki on December 18, 2006 04:42 PM | Reply to this comment

You know me, Phall - I pride myself on being unbiased!!!

Posted by Gordon on December 18, 2006 10:46 PM | Reply to this comment

It was a genuine team effort - everyone played their part, including the travelling support that supplied the vocal backing.

Very few Scottish teams have come back from France with a win, so it was great to see Glasgow dig deep to bring back the points.

Posted by Michael Dudikoff on December 19, 2006 12:22 PM | Reply to this comment

Nice effort grinding out a win in enemy territory. 7-8 doesn't sounds like a spectacle, but as someone said elsewhere, to be able to "win ugly" is the sign of a controlled and adaptable team. Great work and good luck against Edinburgh.

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