February 12, 2016
Ulster 13 - 10 Glasgow Warriors
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Ravenhill on Friday February 12th 2016 | No comments
A try from Taqele Naiyaravoro gave Warriors a bonus point Warriors scored two tries in Belfast but came away with just a losing bonus point to show for their efforts as they went down 13-10 to Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium tonight.
The win puts Ulster back on top of the PRO12 but the Warriors will see this as a game they could have won with more composure and better discipline.
Ruan Pienaar had the first opportunity to open the scoring for the hosts but his kick at the posts was off target.
Warriors broke the deadlock inside the opening 10 minutes. After defending well, a boot up field saw the momentum change, providing the first chance for Glasgow to attack. Sam Johnson burst through the Ulster back line, and after a couple of touches it was fed through to Lee Jones who went over. Gregor Hunter wasn't able to convert a difficult kick at goal.
The sides went in just a couple of points apart at the break due to a Pienaar penalty.
Ulster thought they'd snatched the lead only for a superb Ali Price challenge to halt the celebrations. A looped ball forward was pounced on by Pienaar, but Price got back to deny the South African.
Hunter missed an opportunity to put a five point gap between the sides when his kick went wide of the posts. Not long after Ulster edged themselves ahead with Callum Black going over after a spell of pressure. Paddy Jackson made no mistake with the conversion.
Warriors put the hosts under pressure but Jackson extended Ulster's lead with a three pointer.
Warriors suffered another self-inflicted blow when Ryan Wilson was sin-binned for pulling down an opponent.
Glasgow kept battling and managed to salvage a bonus point in the final minute when Grayson Hart's chip over the top fell into the path of Taqele Naiyaravoro, who stormed over.
Peter Horne missed the kick, but Warriors ensured they wouldn't be travelling home empty handed.
After the match Gregor Townsend told glasgowwarriors.org: "I believe that was probably our toughest game of the season. They had a strong side out and are top of the table. It was the ultimate test for us but we fronted up very well and our scrum was probably the best it’s been this season.
“We did very well, disrupting their line-out drive and we scored a cracking try in the first half.
“After that we didn’t get back into their 22 enough during the first half.
“At the beginning of the second period we were playing closer to their try line which was great.
“Defensively we were excellent and held our line very strongly. There were a few occasions where they looked clean through but we defended really courageously.
“To score more tries than the opposition demonstrates the effort the players put in.”
In the dying moments Taqele Naiyaravoro picked the ball up from a deft kick from Grayson Hart to ensure the Warriors didn’t walk away empty handed.
Gregor said: “An eight-point defeat is the worst you can get, knowing that you came close and were competitive but didn’t get anything out the game.
“We were down to 14 men and had used our entire bench but still managed to grind it out. It was a great bit of thinking from Grayson and Taqele, providing just reward for the effort the players put in.”
Gregor Hunter made his first start for the club in Belfast and during the game the head coach was impressed with his input.
“Gregor has been out of action from pro level for two seasons through injury. He’s played a lot for Hawks this year and to get his first start away to Ulster when he’s up against internationalists was a big test.
“I thought he was very focussed during the week and he was accurate during the match.
“It was great to see Peter Horne back from injury too.
“I was proud of the squad overall, whether it was the young guys or the older, more experienced heads. They really took the game to Ulster and that’s what we have to continue to do in our upcoming games.”
Next week the Warriors are at home, taking on Munster at a Rugby Park. Gregor said: "Munster are a really good side and we get to go to Kilmarnock again – a place which holds good memories for us.
“It should be an open game with the pitch being in good condition.
“The Ulster match was very physical but we need to make sure we build on that performance and perform to our best for the whole game.”