September 22, 2012
Glasgow Warriors 27 - 17 Connacht
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday September 21st 2012 | No comments
DTH van der Merwe went over for two tries Glasgow Warriors secured their first win at their new Scotstoun home but they were made to work hard by a resilient Connacht side.
Tries from Sean Lamont, Peter Murchie and a double from DTH van der Merwe gave Glasgow the bonus point win but they could never quite shake off the men from Galway.
The Warriors were forced into two late changes with Duncan Weir and Tom Ryder dropping out and Tim Swinson and Scott Wight moving up from the bench.
Just before kick-off there was a perfectly observed moment of silence in memory of the Ulster player Nevin Spence who died in a tragic accident last weekend.
When the game got underway Wight made an immediate impact with a straightforward penalty after Connacht dived in at a ruck. He then missed with a long penalty four minutes later but the game sprang to life at the end of the first quarter.
Connacht full-back Gavin Duffy spilled a steepling kick from Wight and the home side pounced on the ball with James Eddie sending Sean Lamont in at the right corner for an unconverted try.
Seven minutes later Glasgow ran back a Connacht kick in exciting fashion. Again on the right wing, a lovely back of the hand pass from Lamont fed full-back Murchie who raced 40 metres for the try converted by Wight.
Leading 15-0 Glasgow looked comfortable, but Connacht hit back in the closing stages of the first half.
A clever sidefoot from sub Jack Carty allowed left winger Mark McCrea to touchdown under the bar.
Matt Jarvis converted and then in the last act of the first half kicked a long penalty to cut Glasgow's first half lead to 15-10.
During the interval Glasgow supporters were introduced to new recruits Josh Strauss, Nikola Matawalu and Ofa Fainga'anuku who arrived at Scotstoun this week.
When the teams emerged for the second period Glasgow has switched to their white shirts as the Connacht alternate kit clashed with the predominantly blue jersey of the Warriors.
When Connacht failed again to deal with a towering Wight kick on 48 minutes the ball broke to van der Merwe who broke up field to score under the posts for Wight to convert.
However, when Glasgow failed to deal with the restart, Connacht prop Nathan White delighted in picking up and scoring for Jarvis' conversion to narrow the Glasgow lead to two points.
It was seven minutes from time before Glasgow made sure of the win. Substitute number 10 Ruaridh Jackson worked a bit of magic, Murchie hit the line at pace before putting van der Merwe in for his second try and the bonus point.
DTH took the man-of-the-match award and told BBC Alba: "We were disappointed by our loss to Scarlets here and we owed it to our fans and I'm glad we did it with a four-try bonus.
"Every point counts and you really need to deny the other side the bonus point and get four tries and I'm glad we did that.
"It's always great to have two tries and a man-of-the-match and I must say the crowd here are definitely a help when they are cheering you on and the boys dug deep, especially the forwards and they created the space for the backs."
DTH refused to take the credit for his well-taken tries and praised his teammates for making life easy for him on the wing.
"It was a great chase by Sean Lamont," he added. "The ball just popped right in front of him and I think I had one or two defenders in front of me and managed to get to the try line."
"For the second one, I'm not sure how it happened but Murchie ended up making a line break, like he's been doing all season, and put me through for the last try."