November 22, 2013
Glasgow Warriors 8 - 23 Newport Gwent Dragons
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday November 22nd 2013 | No comments
Gregor Townsend was a disappointed man Glasgow slumped to defeat in a dismal performance against the Dragons at Scotstoun this evening.
The Dragons were well-deserved winners with man-of-the-match Jason Tovey capping a fine display at stand-off with 18 points. But with a the visitors losing three players to the sin-bin Glasgow's ability to play dumb rugby was a major contributory factor in their second defeat in a row at Scotstoun.
The Warriors made the best possible start at Scotstoun as they saw Dragons centre Pat Leach sent to the sin bin inside the opening couple of minutes and moments later Stuart Hogg was breaking through the defensive line and setting up Nikola Matawalu to score.
That was as good as it got for them in the first half though as the visitors impressively fought back and took the lead just as Leach was re-entering the fray. Henry Pyrgos had missed the earlier conversion for the Warriors and Tovey made him pay with two penalties in quick succession.
And Tovey was the hero again later in the half as he pounced on a mistake by the try-scorer Matawalu. The Fijian looked to have averted danger after a kick through to the corner but spilled the ball for Tovey to touch down and nail his third successful kick of the night made it 13-5 at the break.
An early Pyrgos penalty reduced the deficit and it looked like the comeback was on when Matthew Pewtner was sent to the sin bin for the visitors shortly afterwards.
It wasn't forthcoming though as, despite being down to 14 men, the Dragons created the chance for Will Harries to score in the corner and Tovey added the conversion to stretch the lead to 12 points. It was a fine score but the wing was given far too much space by the Glasgow backline.
Another yellow card, this time for Fijian number eight Netani Talei, gave the hosts even more hope of a revival.
However, despite a couple of concerted periods of pressure from the Warriors, the visitors' defence held firm and Tovey fittingly slotted over a drop goal in the dying stages to cap off the victory.
Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend was a disappointed man at full-time. He told BBC Scotland: "It was a bad, bad performance.
"We're all disappointed because we are much better than that.
"That looked like a Glasgow team that I've not seen since I've been here as a coach but also before that.
"We made some horrific mistakes to give the Dragons cheap points.
"When you put in a performance like that at home you feel like you've let down a lot of people.All of the supporters who came out on a cold night.
"We just couldn't get out of the hole.
"Possibly the fact we scored so early did something to the players' heads, I don't know.
"After that, we just couldn't create anything. It was just mistake after mistake.
"We were up against a team who fought really hard and got better and better. They knew how to play us, slowing down the game as much a possible and keeping control of the ball.
"Richie Rees (Dragons scrum-half) was given an armchair ride but he controlled the game well.
"It was better in the second half, we were putting our bodies on the line a lot more. We were creating penalty after penalty and yellow card after yellow card.
"But we couldn't capitalise on the numerical advantage and the opportunities we had. We missed some gilt-edged chances for tries.
"There were players out there who hadn't had much rugby this season and they were really determined.
"Some nights it doesn't go your way individually but we need to have a minimum level and we were way below that.
"We've got responsibilities and it starts with me as the coach and we've got to produce a better performance for next week."