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November 21, 2015

Glasgow Warriors 15 - 26 Northampton Saints

Champions Cup match played at Scotstoun on Saturday November 21st 2015 | No comments

Peter Horne's first-half try was one of the few brights spots in the game for Glasgow
Glasgow's European campaign got off to a disappointing start as they went down to Northampton at Scotstoun this evening.

Northampton had by far the better of the first half despite a penalty by Finn Russell giving Glasgow an early lead. Russell had missed an earlier shot at goal.

Before Glasgow troubled the scoreboard again, Northampton had built up an 18-3 lead.

With the visiting pack on top, stand-off Stephen Myler controlled play and produced a high kick that Glasgow could not deal with to set up the first try for centre George Pisi in the eighth minute.

Pisi collected the loose ball and touched down by the posts, with Myler converting.

Seven minutes later Northampton struck lucky when a kick from Myler came back off a post and earned the visitors a five-metre scrum. When Glasgow were penalised, Myler took another three points.

Glasgow were in trouble in the scrums and in the 20th minute referee Pascal Gauzere sin-binned loosehead prop Ryan Grant.

Myler kicked his second penalty and in the 29th minute worse was to follow for the home side.

Following a lineout, Northampton moved the ball from left to right and winger Tuala ran through a weak tackle by full-back Stuart Hogg for an unconverted touchdown.

Glasgow, who had repeatedly shot themselves in the foot when well placed, at last brought some hope to the big crowd eight minutes from the interval.

The quickest of possession from a scrum in front of the Northampton posts was whipped out to centre Peter Horne who darted over the goal-line for a try that Russell was able to convert.

However there was still time for Myler to kick his third penalty from another scrum nfringement, so Northampton went in looking comfortable on their 21-10 lead.

Northampton stretched their lead in the 53rd minute. A number of missed tackles ended with number eight Sam Dickinson getting into the home 22. Myler struck a grubber kick to the right wing and Tuala picked up his second unconverted try.

Glasgow responded with their first high-tempo play of the evening. Northampton centre Luther Burrell was sin-binned and finally home number eight Josh Strauss drove over to cut the deficit as the final quarter dawned, but the contest ran out without further incident.

After the game Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend said: "You're angry with the players if they haven't put in the effort.

"I firmly believed the way they were playing that we would win the game."

The Warriors now play Scarlets back-to-back with the first match against the Welsh team at Scotstoun next month.

And Gregor, whose side have never qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions Cup believes the Warriors can break that record.

"To qualify from this group just got tougher," he told BBC Scotland. "You've got to win four or five games. We have five games left. But I believe we can still qualify from our group."

Asked whether he felt Glasgow would have to win all their remaining pool matches, Gregor replied: "Maybe four; we'll probably have to beat Northampton if it's four.

"Now that you've played a team, you find out a little bit more about them, you get a determination having put in a lot of effort and lost to put it right when we play them in January."

Back-row Josh Strauss, meanwhile, conceded Saints played the more intelligent rugby.

"Credit to Saints, they played the game smarter than us," said Josh. "That's where they got a lot of their advantage.

"At scrum-time, they're an excellent team. We looked at it all week, we knew what was coming and we couldn't counter.

"That's the disappointing thing - you do all the work; there's nothing more we could have done in training, it's the execution. If you're not there mentally with the discipline, it's not going to work."

Referee Pascal Gauzere (France)
Attendance 6,800
Team
1
Ryan Grant
2
Pat MacArthur
3
Sila Puafisi
4
Leone Nakarawa
5
Jonny Gray
6
Robert Harley
7
Simone Favaro
8
Josh Strauss
9
Mike Blair
10
Finn Russell
11
Sean Lamont
12
Peter Horne
13
Mark Bennett
14
Tommy Seymour
15
Stuart Hogg
Sub
Shalva Mamukashvili
Sub
Gordon Reid
Sub
Zander Fagerson
Sub
Tim Swinson
Sub
Ryan Wilson
Sub
Grayson Hart
Sub
Richie Vernon
Sub
Taqele Naiyaravoro
Match Substitutions
Off On
Pat MacArthur Shalva Mamukashvili
Off On
Ryan Grant Gordon Reid
Off On
Simone Favaro Ryan Wilson
Off On
Leone Nakarawa Tim Swinson
Off On
Sila Puafisi Zander Fagerson
Off On
Stuart Hogg Taqele Naiyaravoro
Off On
Peter Horne Richie Vernon
Off On
Mike Blair Grayson Hart
Scorers
Finn Russell Penalty
Peter Horne Try 
Finn Russell Conversion
Josh Strauss Try