February 20, 2010
Glasgow Warriors 7 - 30 Cardiff Blues
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Firhill on Friday February 19th 2010 | 5 comments
Max Evans went over for Glasgow's only try Cardiff Blues inflicted a first defeat in seven Magners League games on Glasgow Warriors with a resounding victory.
International calls and injuries affected Glasgow coming into the clash with Cardiff Blues, and although the visitors were hit as well they lined up the more experienced outfit and it showed.
Cardiff were clinical and sometimes cynical, from the moment Maama Molitika clipped Ruaridh Jackson late in the opening minutes.
Whether that affected the Glasgow stand-off is debatable, but he missed three kickable penalties and the chance to give Glasgow the lead on two occasions.
Ben Blair was the opposite, the Cardiff full-back nailing three penalties out of three after 12, 16 and 34 minutes, all in spells when Cardiff upped the pace and put pressure on a shaky Glasgow defence.
James Eddie, Richie Vernon and Richie Gray had lone forays for Glasgow but they could not match the solid play of the Cardiff pack, with Xavier Rush in control in the contact area and Ceri Sweeney pulling the strings at number 10.
And although Paul Tito and Casey Laulala were held just short, Cardiff used the field position for Blair to slot the penalties which gave Cardiff a deserved 9-0 half time lead.
Having softened Glasgow up, Cardiff cranked up their game further and two minutes into the second half Gareth Cooper sniped through a gap in the home defence for the first try, converted by Blair.
There was no way back for Glasgow who were hard pushed to create an attack worthy of the name.
Laulala had been a threat to the Glasgow midfield for the opening 55 minutes, and then got his reward with a try when Glasgow were unable to retain their own scrum ball.
With the ball switched to the left, the Cardiff centre stretched over to score with ease.
Blair again converted and the score which epitomised the difference between the sides arrived on the hour mark.
With nothing seemingly on and a raft of defenders in front of him, Cardiff wing Tom James burst through four tackles on his way to the line and went clear for a try with an embarrassing number of Warriors players in his wake.
Blair added the extras, and Cardiff kept play in the Glasgow red zone as they pushed for the bonus point with the hosts forced into desperate defence.
The final try of the night went to the home side though, Max Evans crossing for Colin Gregor to convert with the final kick of a game Glasgow will want to forget.
Glasgow Warriors head coach, Sean Lineen said: “We were architects of the result.
“We got a little bit carried away playing in certain areas.
“We didn’t convert some great passages of play into points.
“But most of all we didn’t control or respect the ball well enough and that was our downfall.”
Grim. Absolutely grim. Jackson had a terrible night - poor placekicking, aimless kicking from hand and too many missed touchfinders. Cardiff must be laughing themselves silly that we've sold them our fly half. On the basis of last night Jackson has a very short time to improve for next season - or we wont be near the top of the table again.
Grim yes, but it really just displays the lack of depth we have in Scotland. Most of the young lads who were on display last night are good enough players with talent. However Scottish Rugby needs to look at how much actual game time these boys are getting and the level of rugby they are playing. In club rugby there is an adage that your 1st XV is only as good as your 2nd XV and for our pro game there is no 2nd XV - merely a crowd of gym rats who might if they are lucky get a couple of back-up games - poor quality really - and a few outings on the bench. And although Parks may be the man of the moment, there is no doubt that Ruaraidh is the man of the future but he needs that vital game time to learn how to manage the game. For God's sake give our young players a chance!
at the end of the day Sean Lineen is judged on the performances in the league and at this stage lat year there were grumblings about a change needed. So can't really blame him for picking the front line guys most of the time.
We do seem to have had fewer 2nd's games this year than previous years. The only suggestion i can think of to get more games for the back up guys is to make a semi pro regional tournament - whether the club guys would be happy with more of their players away is potentially a stumbling block.
Finally I think this is the year we have to do something (at least the final) as I don't think we will have the depth next year to challenge. Also given the fixture list over the next few weeks last night was a must win game. We don't have a good record away to connaght, and away games to Munster and Leinster are not games to pick up points. really need to win one maybe two of these games.
At the end of the day, is Sean really judged by our position and performance in the Magners league or the number of our players in the Scotland squad? He has already said that his job is to develop players for the Scotland team .. not for Glasgow. What do Glasgow fans want? We have 2 threads here .. Warriors 7 Cardiff 30 ..and 13 Warriors in Scotland squad. Which is more important to Glasgow fans? We obviously cannot have both!
But we can have both, 13 players in international duty and a successful ML team. Suspend ML matches during 6 nations, make 6 nations over 5 weeks. Very very simples!
Only having 2 teams makes it very hard for us to absorb player losses.
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