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September 13, 2013

Ulster 12 - 13 Glasgow Warriors

GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Ravenhill on Friday September 13th 2013 | No comments

James Eddie's try turned the game Glasgow's way
A last-gasp converted try from James Eddie gave Glasgow Warriors their first win at Ravenhill since 2009.

Flanker Eddie had replaced Rob Harley with 12 minutes left on the clock and it was left for Stuart Hogg - who also nailed two penalties - to kick the extras and take the win.

In a hard-fought battle, Paddy Jackson had drilled over four penalties for Ulster, who had seemingly ground out a victory before Eddie struck.

From the off the Warriors were knocking on the door and a Johann Muller high tackle allowed Hogg to smash over his first penalty of the game with four minutes gone.

But the home side, who were looking to put their opening RaboDirect PRO12 defeat to Newport Gwent Dragons behind them, immediately responded with a penalty of their own through the boot of Jackson.

The first points of the night soon clicked Ulster into gear as a shattering forwards drive saw Mark Anscombe's men charge downfield, resulting in another success for Jackson from the kicking tee.

Another kick from the 21-year-old - this time from a monster 45 yards out - followed midway through the half but it was fast turning into a personal tussle between the kickers as Scotland international Hogg nailed a penalty from a troublesome angle to the left.

The visitors were having trouble coping with Ulster's tempo through the phases and when Harley was penalised for not rolling away, the hosts' fly-half stepped up to do the honours once more.

In first-half injury time it was Hogg who finally erred first as his penalty rocketed inches wide of the post for the Warriors, who were looking for their first back-to-back RaboDirect PRO12 victories in three years.

The war of attrition continued after the restart, with Ulster looking the more likely to build on their slender lead but for fumbling the ball in vital areas.

In one instance, Jackson offloaded to Luke Marshall for a clear run at the try-line, but the centre could not hold on to the ball for the simplest of scores.

On the hour mark the Irish side were this time thwarted by a valiant Warriors defence as four bodies pounced on David McIlwaine - starting in place of the injured Andrew Trimble - to prevent him touching down.

The visitors refused to let Ulster cross the whitewash despite a constant barrage from the forwards and had to settle for a penalty, which Jackson uncharacteristically blasted wide.

Moray Low was sin binned with ten minutes remaining to dent Warriors' chance of a comeback but nerves were getting the better of Ulster.

A break from DTH van der Merwe saw the Warriors breach the home side's 22 and moments later Eddie bustled through to punch home a try at the death.

The conversion was needed and Hogg kept his nerve to clinch victory for Gregor Townsend's side.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "Perseverance is the adjective I'd use for that performance tonight. The whole team put in a lot of effort in the second half and showed real ambition to go out and win the game.

"Ulster dominated the second half in terms of territory and usually when you're playing in your own half and give away penalties you're not going to win, but our players showed great resolve to come back and we're delighted with the last minute try."

On Friday the Warriors take on defending champions Leinster at Scotstoun in a re-run of last season's play-off and Gregor is hoping for a better result this time around.

He added: "We got close to beating Leinster last season but they held a little gap above us so we'll be motivated for that game next week at Scotstoun.

"It's a long season and last season we lost our first two games and then went on to finish third, so we know there are a lot of challenges still to come. But we're delighted to come here and get a result, at a very tough place to play.

"It was a real contest tonight, Ulster really took the game to us but we hung on in there and managed to get the win."

Referee Ian Davies (Wales)
Attendance
Team
1
Ryan Grant
2
Pat MacArthur
3
Ed Kalman
4
Tim Swinson
5
Jonny Gray
6
Robert Harley
7
Tyrone Holmes
8
Josh Strauss
9
Henry Pyrgos
10
Ruaridh Jackson
11
DTH van der Merwe
12
Mark Bennett
13
Sean Lamont
14
Tommy Seymour
15
Stuart Hogg
Sub
Dougie Hall
Sub
Gordon Reid
Sub
Moray Low
Sub
James Eddie
Sub
Chris Fusaro
Sub
Richie Vernon
Sub
Chris Cusiter
Sub
Gabriel Ascarate
Match Substitutions
Off On
Pat MacArthur Dougie Hall
Off On
Tyrone Holmes Chris Fusaro
Off On
Josh Strauss Richie Vernon
Off On
Sean Lamont Gabriel Ascarate
Off On
Ed Kalman Moray Low
Off On
Henry Pyrgos Chris Cusiter
Off On
Ryan Grant Gordon Reid
Off On
Robert Harley James Eddie
Scorers
Stuart Hogg Penalty
Stuart Hogg Penalty
James Eddie Try 
Suart Hogg Conversion