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January 19, 2013

Glasgow Warriors 27 - 20 Northampton

Heineken Cup match played at Scotstoun on Saturday January 19th 2013 | No comments

Pete Horne scored in the final minutes of the game to secure the win
Peter Horne scored a dazzling last-gasp try as Glasgow ended Northampton's Heineken Cup hopes for another season.

Two Ruaridh Jackson penalties gave the hosts the lead but a Dominic Waldouck try and a conversion and penalty from Stephen Myler put Saints 10-6 up.

Josh Strauss and George Pisi traded tries before Nikola Matawalu crossed, Scott Wight converting both home tries.

Ben Foden's unconverted late try seemed to have secured a draw but Horne's fine score gave Glasgow victory.

Northampton went into the game with hopes of a victory, preferably with a bonus point, that would have given them a shot at reaching the last eight.

But despite dominating most of the first half they only managed one try in the opening 40 minutes and Glasgow were a different side after the interval.

There was also a worrying sight for Northampton - and England - as second row Courtney Lawes, who had once again been outstanding, was taken off in the second half after sustaining a blow to the head.

Two early penalties from Jackson saw the hosts get the scoreboard moving before Myler popped over a penalty for the visitors, but they really needed tries to keep their European hopes alive.

They created plenty of pressure but lacked a cutting edge, although winger Jamie Elliott went desperately close, being bundled into touch by Stuart Hogg as he went over in the corner.

Saints continued to press Glasgow back and they finally opened their try account when Waldouck cut back against the grain and beat three men on his way to grounding the ball against the base of a post.

The conversion was a formality for Myler and with a 10-6 half-time lead Northampton looked set fair to ramp up the pressure in the second half.

But Glasgow came out ready to give it a lash and a see-saw second period turned into a minor classic.

Six minutes in Strauss picked up from the base of a ruck and powered over despite Dylan Hartley and Lee Dickson hanging off him, with Wight, on for the injured Jackson, converting as Glasgow went back in front.

The visitors were soon back in the lead as Samoa centre Pisi stepped inside the cover and powered over out wide but Ryan Lamb, on for Myler, could not convert.

And the tit for tat scoring continued as Fiji international Matawalu, who had moved from scrum-half to the wing, plucked the ball from Foden's hands and scorched 50 metres to score.

Wight converted and with 15 minutes remaining Glasgow led 20-15, but Northampton poured forward again and levelled when England full-back Foden crossed out wide to avenge his earlier error.

Lamb missed the conversion to leave the scores level and Northampton could not force a fourth try, which would have given them not only victory but a welcome bonus point.

Instead, and with 80 minutes up on the clock, Glasgow attacked from just outside their own 22 and Horne, on as a replacement, picked up the ball on halfway.

He beat four Saints players on a weaving run to the posts before converting his own score as the hosts secured their first Heineken Cup win of the season.

Head coach Gregor Townsend said: "Iím absolutely delighted, these are rare moments when you get a last minute try and win, there is a great buzz in the team.

"The players played with a lot passion today. They went out for the win and played some very good rugby.

"Peter also really deserved his try, he is a very committed player. The two hand-offs and his pace were quality, but what Iím most proud of is the support line he ran.

"It hasnít been the season we wanted in the Heineken Cup, but we have been very competitive both home and away. There is frustration but I believe we will become a better team in the league and next season in Europe from the lessons weíve learned."

Referee Leighton Hodges (WRU)
Attendance 4,193
Man of the Match Nikola Matawalu
Gordon Reid
Pat MacArthur
Moray Low
Tim Swinson
Alastair Kellock
Josh Strauss
James Eddie
Ryan Wilson
Nikola Matawalu
Ruaridh Jackson
Sean Maitland
Graeme Morrison
Byron McGuigan
Tommy Seymour
Stuart Hogg
Dougie Hall
Ryan Grant
Tom Ryder
Sean Kennedy
Scott Wight
Alex Dunbar
Peter Horne
Match Substitutions
Off On
Ruaridh Jackson Scott Wight
Off On
Ryan Wilson Tom Ryder
Off On
Pat MacArthur Dougie Hall
Off On
Byron McGuigan Peter Horne
Off On
Tommy Seymour Sean Kennedy
Off On
Gordon Reid Ryan Grant
Off On
Scott Wight Alex Dunbar
Ruaridh Jackson Penalty
Ruaridh Jackson Penalty
Josh Strauss Try 
Scott Wight Conversion
Nikola Matawalu Try 
Scott Wight Conversion
Peter Horne Try 
Peter Horne Conversion