September 26, 2014
Glasgow Warriors 39 - 21 Connacht
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday September 26th 2014 | No comments
Henry Pyrgos charged down for Glasgow's second try Glasgow Warriors continued their winning start to the new PRO12 campaign with a 39-21 win over Connacht at Scotstoun this evening.
A double from Stuart Hogg, and tries from Henry Pyrgos, DTH van der Merwe and Mark Bennett ensured the hosts backed up victories over Leinster, Cardiff Blues and the Dragons, while the Irishmen succumbed to their first defeat of the new season.
The Warriors almost capitalised on their early dominance through centre Bennett, whose run for the corner was halted at the line, the ball held up by brilliant Connacht defence.
The resultant series of scrummages drew penalties and put pressure on the visitors. From a blindside move off number eight Adam Ashe, Hogg scampered for the line, stepping past Danie Poolman to slide over.
Duncan Weir converted from wide on the left, but the Irishmen were unlucky not to hit back immediately, as Weir's opposite number Jack Carty scythed through the Glasgow midfield; it was Sean Lamont's interception that saved the day.
But as the wind carried Hogg's clearance some sixty metres downfield and over the dead ball line, Connacht found themselves with a prime spot of real estate deep in home territory. Carty's deft grubber caused havoc in the Warriors 22, and centre Dave McSharry scooped up the ball and fought his way to the line.
Marmion's replacement, Ian Porter, landed a super conversion against the Scotstoun gusts, and fired another warning shot across Glasgow's bow from the kick-off with a thirty-metre snipe from the breakdown.
Weir slotted a routine penalty to edge the home side ahead again on the half-hour mark, before making his gravest error of the game in running headlong into giant tighthead, Rodney Ah You; grimaces all-round.
It was Connacht who really shot themselves in the foot as half-time approached, however. Darragh Leader dallied on a clearance inside his own 22, allowing Pyrgos to charge him down and dive on the loose ball to give Glasgow a ten-point lead with his pivot's conversion.
Porter and Carty continued to keep the Warriors on their toes, as Pat Lam's charges finished the half in possession, but failed to breach the home defence.
The second forty began in much the same way as the first, Glasgow forcing their way forward with carries from Tim Swinson and DTH van der Merwe. It was from there that they scored the pick of the bunch, a looping pass from Bennett finding Lamont in space on the right touchline, who drew the defence and passed inside for Hogg to gather and speed home untouched.
Weir failed with the conversion, but with the Warriors chasing a bonus point 22-7 to the good, Connacht had to hit back fast to stay in the game.
They duly did, as Leader redeemed himself with a great finish at the corner flag from Carty's floated pass; Porter was on-target from the tee again.
Glasgow would soon have their bonus point though; van der Merwe carved through a gaping hole in the visitors' defence to open his account for the season under the posts, and hand Weir a simple two-pointer.
With Euan Murray's departure, the home scrum found itself under pressure, and referee Cladio Blessano awarded a penalty try as the Connacht set-piece rumbled its way to the line, Porter converting.
Weir doused any hopes of a late away comeback with a penalty in the final ten minutes, before Bennett collected a wayward pass from former Glasgow second-row Aly Muldowney to race seventy metres for a fifth, converted by the fly-half.