February 25, 2012
Glasgow Warriors 10 - 10 Leinster
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Firhill on Saturday February 25th 2012 | No comments
Peter Murchie put in a good shift at full-back for Glasgow Glasgow and Leinster shared the points at a rain-drenched Firhill Stadium tonight but the Warriors will know this was a game they could and should have won.
Glasgow were the last team to beat Leinster back in September and they appeared on course to do so again for much of the game, a penalty try converted by Ruaridh Jackson and a Jackson penalty putting them 10-0 in front.
However, they couldn't shut the game out and Leinster came back to earn the draw that stretches their unbeaten run to 19 games in all competitions.
A Heinke van der Merwe try, converted by Ian Madigan, got Leinster back in the game and a late penalty from Isa Nacewa completed their comeback.
Leinster were first to pass up an opportunity in what was a very uninspiring first half, fly-half Madigan striking the upright with an early penalty attempt.
The hosts opted not to kick at goal from penalty awards on two separate occasions in the opening 10 minutes, and had to wait until the 28-minute mark for another opportunity.
A long punt from full-back Peter Murchie was gathered by Madigan, but under pressure from the onrushing home defence he spilled the ball.
The resulting scrum was collapsed by the Leinster front row, handing Jackson the chance to notch the game's first score.
He duly obliged, but Madigan was again off target moments later when he skewed another effort wide.
Fiji full-back Nacewa took over the kicking duties from Madigan as the half reached its close, yet a slip in his run-up ensured his penalty did not threaten the scoreboard.
Glasgow began the second half with a degree of urgency that had been lacking in the first period, and their increased aggression created the first clear try-scoring opportunity.
Captain Rob Harley secured scrappy lineout ball and beat one defender before slipping the ball to the onrushing Pat MacArthur, who charged toward the corner.
The last-ditch covering tackle of Nacewa appeared to have diverted MacArthur into touch just inches short of the line, only for referee John Lacey to award a penalty try, deeming Nacewa's tackle to have been dangerous play.
Jackson gratefully nudged over the conversion from beneath the posts as the Fijian was sent to the sin-bin.
Yet, just as Glasgow appeared to have gained the initiative, Leinster hit back thanks to a try from prop Van der Merwe, who bundled over after a spell of forward pressure, Madigan slotting the conversion.
Having returned from the sin-bin, Nacewa was restored to kicking duties, and it was his calmly-struck penalty effort 10 minutes from time that earned Leinster a share of the spoils.
Warriors head coach Sean Lineen said: “Credit to the players for another tremendous shift on what was a really foul night, but in the final analysis there’s frustration and disappointment in our dressing room once again because we should have won.
“When you take a step back, we can’t be too distraught about holding the European champions and RaboDirect PRO12 table toppers, but we’re about winning and we need to start putting these games to bed.
“It’s about composure at crucial times; making the right decisions and not giving away cheap penalties. The best teams will punish you if you get these things wrong, and Leinster certainly did.”