April 18, 2014
Glasgow Warriors 27 - 9 Ulster
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday April 18th 2014 | No comments
Mark Bennett was outstanding for Glasgow, scoring a try and taking the man-of-the-match award Glasgow Warriors gave their play-off hopes a huge boost by beating Ulster and moving up to third in the PRO12 table.
Ulster appeared to have taken hold of the game with three penalties by Paddy Jackson in the middle of the first half but he had an important miss in the 31st minute and Glasgow closed the half with a fine try from Sean Maitland.
The conversion by Finn Russell added to his earlier penalty allowing Glasgow to go in leading 10-9 and they dominated the second half, scoring tries through Tommy Seymour and man of the match Mark Bennett, with Russell converting both and adding a penalty.
Glasgow can now look forward to an exciting end to the regular season as they seek a top-two finish, with a previously-postponed home game against Edinburgh next Saturday followed by Treviso away and Zebre back at Scotstoun.
The pressure is now on Ulster to retain a top-two place to ensure they get a home tie in the play-offs. They have the difficult all-Irish run-in of Leinster at home and Munster away to wrap up the regular season.
On a beautiful Glasgow spring evening the first scoring chance fell to Ulster number 10 Jackson but he sliced his effort from a central position on the home 10-metre line.
Glasgow looked the more likely at this stage with good work from Maitland and Seymour.
In the ninth minute full-back Peter Murchie broke to the Ulster 22, won a penalty which was tapped and when interfered with, the advanced penalty was hit home by Russell.
Ulster were sloppy but as the first quarter ended they got their act together.
The renowned Glasgow defence was put under pressure and three close-in penalties were conceded, struck home by Jackson in the 21st, 25th and 28th minutes.
The second of those saw Glasgow number eight Ryan Wilson pick up Glasgow's 10th yellow card of the season, sent to the sin bin by referee John Lacey.
Jackson missed a tricky penalty in the 31st minute and Glasgow hit back in the closing minutes of the half to go in ahead.
A break initiated by centre Mark Bennett was halted two metres out thanks to a brilliant tackle on Peter Horne by Luke Marshall.
But Glasgow kep the pressure on and a wonderful pass from youngster Russell put in Maitland for a 40th-minute try converted by Russell.
Within 10 minutes of the restart Glasgow led 20-9.
First Russell kicked a penalty, with Ulster flanker Sean Doyle sin-binned.
Then a Glasgow line-out drive, with backs attached, ended with one-time Ulster winger Seymour getting the touchdown and Russell converting from the touchline.
Ulster came back and Andrew Trimble was cut down under the Glasgow bar before a line-out drive was referred to the television adjudicator, only to be disallowed.
Glasgow, boosted by their defensive effort, got upfield and following a line-out drive, centre Bennett came back against the grain to reach the Irish line. Again the TV official was given work to do and this time he awarded the try, which Russell converted.
Glasgow closed out the game in the Ulster half, with only a fine tackle from Trimble preventing them from getting the try bonus point.
The Warriors were convincing winners against the Irish province but misses out on the opportunity for a second try-scoring bonus point of the season.
“There is disappointment, but you’ve got to remember who we’re playing here,” said man-of-the-match Mark Bennett. “We’re playing against Ulster, who are higher in the league than us, so the fact that we’ve got the win is what we were going out for.
“If we’d got the bonus, it would have been exactly that, a bonus, so we’re delighted with the win.
“There’s a lot of sore bodies out there, that’s from both sides there’ll be plenty of sore bodies, so we need to just get the recovery done and get ready for Edinburgh.
“I think when Ryan [Wilson was sin-binned in the first half] we really knuckled down. We knew it was going to be a really big challenge and we came together as a team.
“It was great. We were moving the ball and getting go-forward off it so it was exactly what we needed to do and the result speaks for itself.”
The centre went over for Glasgow's third try but admitted he was surprised it was awarded.
“If I’m honest, [it wasn’t]. I was 90 per cent sure I hadn’t [scored],” he said. “But I’m not going to complain.”