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January 25, 2009

Glasgow Warriors 13 - 10 Newport Gwent Dragons

Heineken Cup match played at Firhill on Sunday January 25th 2009 | 7 comments

Graeme Morrison skippered Glasgow to the win
Glasgow ended their rollercoaster Heineken Cup campaign by earning a narrow and jittery home win against the Dragons at Firhill.

While the Warriors' display was never likely to emulate their heroics in Toulouse the previous weekend, they produced a gritty and streetwise display to avoid the group wooden spoon.

They had the better of the jittery opening exchanges, with Colin Gregor missing a long-range penalty after less than a minute.

His luck changed almost immediately when he found the target from 35 metres in the wake of a high challenge on stand-off Ruaridh Jackson.

And Gregor jumped back into the limelight in the 10th minute to repeat the dose after the Dragons killed the ball at a ruck.

Between times, James Arlidge had two opportunities to break his side's duck, but on both occasions he sent his efforts wide.

Glasgow continued to have the bulk of possession and territory - only to find themselves adrift four minutes before the interval.

Arlidge and Tal Selley combined to take the ball into the danger zone, where a brilliant Max Evans tackle halted Ashley Smith.

Dragons were awarded a penalty and their decision to run instead of going for three points paid off as hooker Tom Willis slid over in the corner.

Arlidge's conversion was from the widest possible angle, however he atoned for his earlier misses with an accurate strike.

To add to the Warriors' worries, Gregor squandered his next pot at goal, while Palepoi and Justin Va'a both let the ball slip from their grasp to spoil promising raids.

It was a different picture after the restart as Glasgow snatched back the initiative with a superb try - started and finished by Jackson.

He sparked panic stations among the Dragons back-ranks with a deft chip which was then hacked on by Thom Evans.

And following two scrums close to the line, Bernie Stortoni entered the line to create the time and space for Jackson to streak over.

Gregor added the extras from a wide angle to inject further confidence.

But instead of building on their lead, Glasgow grew careless again and were pinned back in their own half for long periods - although during this sequence the Welshmen did not look likely to burst through.

However, a tense finale was ensured as Shaun Connor slotted a penalty 11 minutes from time to narrow the gap to three.


Glasgow coach Sean Lineen accused the Dragons of trying to bore his side to defeat in their final Heineken Cup encounter.

Although pleased with another tournament win, the coach believes their Welsh rivals had gone into battle in this Pool Five encounter with no intention of providing entertainment for the Firhill crowd.

And he also accused rookie French referee Jerome Garces of playing a negative part in the contest by allowing the Newport troops to make a mockery of the breakdown laws.

The Warriors' display was never likely to emulate their heroics in Toulouse the previous weekend - but a gritty and streetwise performance enabled them to avoid the group wooden spoon.

Sean declared after the 13-10 success: "This was a completely different experience to last week in Toulouse for us.

"When you are facing a team who don't want to play and a French referee, it can make it very difficult.

"We struggled to get any clean ball - but then they were lying all over it."

Sean admitted his own players had also toiled in their own right, saying: "Some of our skill levels were amateurish and the decision-making was poor.

"But at the end of the day we got the win, which was brilliant. We just couldn't put them away."

Glasgow show true grit to snuff out Dragons' fire and bring end to jinx - The Times

Glasgow forced to work hard to beat Newport - Telegraph

Referee Jerome Garces (France)
Man of the Match Kelly Brown
Justin Va'a
Dougie Hall
Moray Low
Dan Turner
Opeta Palepoi
Calum Forrester
Kelly Brown
John Beattie
Colin Gregor
Ruaridh Jackson
Thom Evans
Graeme Morrison
Max Evans
Jose Maria Nunez Piossek
Bernardo Stortoni
Eric Milligan
Ed Kalman
Richie Vernon
Steve Swindall
Mark McMillan
Hefin O'Hare
Colin Shaw
Match Substitutions
Off On
Calum Forrester Steve Swindall
Off On
Jose Maria Nunez Piossek Hefin O'Hare
Off On
Colin Gregor Mark McMillan
Off On
Justin Va'a Ed Kalman
Off On
Opeta Palepoi Richie Vernon
Colin Gregor Penalty
Colin Gregor Penalty
Ruaridh Jackson Try 
Colin Gregor Conversion
    Posted by osama Bin Hidin on January 25, 2009 10:31 PM | Reply to this comment

    On behalf of all the good people of the London borough of N16 (including the Turks. Well most of 'em ARE Turks right enough but nothing wrong with that, mind, cos they keep their shops open 24 hours 7 days a week and make TRULY GREAT kebabs)... I say...

    Well done.

    Thank you, and good night.
    Yours aye
    Laird of N16

    Posted by bossco85 on January 25, 2009 11:40 PM | Reply to this comment

    A truly horrendous game of rugby. The Dragons looked to have an advantage in the forwards, the ease they moved forward was alarming at times, why cant our forwards move forward when we take the ball in? We seem to go backward most the time! Gregor and Jackson struggled I felt, I know the service they got wasn't brilliant but there was no organization in the back line and the forwards only really did well when MacMillan came on and didnt stop yelling at them! Morrison was a poor choice for captain, it should of been Kelly Brown without doubt. The performance shows that we really miss the leadership of Parks and Barclay! Thought the ref was total nonsense as well! Nothing new there then!

    Posted by s153 on January 26, 2009 08:58 AM | Reply to this comment

    2 wins on the trot, just a pity they could not have done this at the start of the HC when it actually meant something. We need consistnecy in performances, players and coaches it is over to you!

    Posted by Bongo Boy? on January 26, 2009 12:05 PM | Reply to this comment

    Thought Mark McMillan was just what we need - Someone with some balls and guts to show some leadership. Putting their foot on the ball and taking charge- clear, letting the Ref know what was going on and constantly on the back of his forwards - brilliant, professional and completely in control - keep it up Spartacus. Big Al might learn a thing or two about driving the team on...

    PS Anyone (of the girls) think he looks a bit line Matthew (Bongo Boy) McConaughey?

    Posted by Les on January 26, 2009 05:33 PM | Reply to this comment

    A truly awful game not helped by a ref that seemed happy for Newport to flop over the ball (yes, Andy Hall we saw you!!). Boys did well to hold out for the win - long may this continue.

    Re scrum half I am still to be convinced with Mark - yes he spends a lot of time shouting and pointing at other players but too little time watching where the ball is. A number of times the opposition have simply walked round and picked the ball up while Mark was pointing at his team mates.

    It is still disappointing that with three yards to go and some big blokes in pack and backs we still cannot make penetrating runs to break through. Discuss

    Posted by weebaw on January 26, 2009 06:48 PM | Reply to this comment

    Disagree with everything stated here! Except that McMillan changed the game and should be straight into the team again.We need a wee neb as all other teams have one. I've been saying for ages we're far too nice.

    There would have been no tries at all If Parks had been playing though we would have won 15-6 but the game would have been worse. yes, Jackson made a few errors but nice to see him trying a few things and why has nobody mentioned the try, a piece of brilliance.He also had a shocking service from Gregor to contend with.
    We should treat the Dragons with some respect bearing in mind our record against them. So a victory should be applauded.
    Some good performances too-Stortoni, Brown the Evanses and pack generally were ok. I hate to think what Andy Hall's back looks like but he deserves every scar. Imagine what a Jim Telfer led team would have done to him! Suggest thats why possession was so slow.

    Posted by mediumsizedal on January 26, 2009 07:36 PM | Reply to this comment

    It was an awful game-because of the ref, the approach the Dragons had to rucks and to Glasgow's inability to deal with the situation. I don't think the forward effort was good (except Brown). We badly missed Barclay & even Kellock. The clearing out was poor and the delivery Gregor got was very untidy-which then led to Jackson getting poor service. He didn't play badly & took the try well-but his general kicking game needs to improve-however I do think he is the way forward. Backs generally did OK with the erratic service they had, but don't think Morrison made a good captain. Still that was a good win & despite not playing well the boys still ground out a result-I'll take that kind of win against defeat any day. Got some time now to regroup and hopefully take the momentum into the latter part of the season. It was very important to beat the Dragons at home-even if just as a morale booster!!

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