January 17, 2016
Northampton 19 - 15 Glasgow Warriors
Champions Cup match played at Franklin's Gardens on Sunday January 17th 2016 | No comments
Finn Russell kicked four penalties for Glasgow Glasgow Warriors are out of this season's Champions Cup after this evening's defeat to Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.
Not for the first time this season, indiscipline and missed kicks contributed to a loss that could easily have been a win for the Warriors.
Northampton flanker Taimana Harrison crashed over from a catch a drive early on, with JJ Hanrahan adding the extras with a clean strike.
Glasgow rallied their way back into the contest with two penalties, both kicked well by Finn Russell. The first came as a result of some good work by Sam Johnson, while the second came as Northampton strayed offside.
In between the kicks, Tom Collins was forced off for the home side, but not before eight minutes of medical attention on the pitch following an accidental mid-air collision with Warriors' full-back Stuart Hogg.
Warriors fought hard for a first half turnaround, but it was not forthcoming as Saints held their backline to enter half-time with a 7-6 lead. However, the visitors wasted no time in starting where they left off, earning a penalty inside two minutes of the restart. This time though, Russell saw his effort drift wide.
Northampton failed to learn from their mistakes, and Glasgow took the lead for the first time in the match, Russell atoning for his earlier misses.
Northampton went back to the rolling maul with Christian Day going over for the second try of the match, restoring the host's lead.
The two sides remained just a penalty apart as the conversion was missed. But it seemed neither side could hold onto a lead, with Glasgow winning a scrum penalty, which was kicked by Russell to square things up at 12-12.
A period of play followed in which neither side could get their best rugby together, but Glasgow received their second scrum penalty of the day with less than ten minutes left on the clock. Hogg hit home the three points, handing the away side the lead once more.
Glasgow were then forced to play the final six minutes with 14 men, as Tim Swinson was sin-binned for a stupid punch in the maul.
And the extra space paid dividends for Northampton, who scored their third try of the day in the dying moments as Harry Mallinder got over the line after a lucky bounce in the build-up.
As the home fans celebrated and the visitors despaired, Stephen Myler converted to cap off an exciting match.
After the game, Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend said: "Losing a player is never great, but I don't think that was the worse thing to happen.
"It was more like we looked as though we were getting a penalty from a lineout drive, so to give away a penalty and suddenly have to defend a few phases was disappointing.
"I think it was a punch. It's out of character, and it is something he is really disappointed with. He feels like he let down the team.
"We played with a real good effort throughout the team. It was much more like us, and to be leading in the 78th minute, it is obviously then very disappointing to lose the game.
"We knew it was about winning today, and that's what hurts - losing the game and being out of Europe."