December 08, 2017
Glasgow Warriors 22 - 29 Montpellier
Champions Cup match played at Scotstoun on Friday December 8th 2017 | No comments
Leonardo Sarto went over for two tries Glasgow's slim Champions Cup hopes are over after a disappointing defeat to Montpellier at Scotstoun this evening.
This was a match Warriors could and perhaps should have won but back-to-back yellow cards for George Turner and Jonny Gray gave Montpellier a firm foothold on the game and they took full advantage.
A Finn Russell penalty put Warriors ahead but the visitors struck back with a try by Kelian Galletier.
Glasgow came back at Montpellier with two fine scores by Leonardo Sarto and George Turner, both converted by Russell as the home side went 17-5 ahead.
In the 28th minute George Turner was yellow carded for a daft off-the-ball shoulder charge to the back of Louis Picamoles.
Warriors were made to pay with Galletier going over for another score before Montpellier went further ahead with a penalty try that saw Jonny Gray sin-binned. Again the cost to Warriors was high with Jacques du Plessis stretching the Montpellier lead and giving them a try bonus in the process.
A fine second try for Sarto put Warriors back in the hunt but Francois Steyn stretched the French lead with a penalty. Warriors still had plenty of chances to strike back but a mis-firing lineout and numerous handling mistakes ensured the French team would be going home with all five points.
"We started pretty well; George's sin-bin was dumb," head coach Dave Rennie told BBC Scotland after the match.
"Leading by 12, we should've had a line-out 20m out to apply more pressure and instead he ends up in the bin, and three minutes later they've scored.
"They scored again by half-time, and we've got another one in the bin," Rennie continued. "They scored 21 points while we had guys in the bin and we lost by seven.
"But even with that, our ball retention was woeful tonight. Just too manic, chasing the game, 30 minutes out we could barely go beyond one phase and we'd turn it over.
"For us to put Montpellier under pressure, we needed to build phases and try and run them off their feet, but we tried to run around them all night and came unstuck."
Under Rennie, Glasgow have won all 10 of their PRO14 matches since he took charge this summer.
"We've talked about Europe and you've got to have attacking balance," Rennie said.
"We have to be prepared to go through the middle a couple of phases and then use it. Really, we're tying to run around them all day.
"That's the thing with this competition - there's more pressure. They brought a lot of line speed outside Finn Russell and tried to force him back in, and we should have tried to expose them in that area.
"But we still tried to go outside them and made errors. Another tough lesson, and really Europe is over for us."
Glasgow travel to France to take on Montpellier again next weekend in their fourth pool outing, ahead of two derby showdowns with inter-city rivals Edinburgh on 23 and 30 December.
"I guess we won't have players overdone in regards to playing in two competitions; we'll reassess what our team looks like next week," Rennie reflected.
"We certainly won't be taking a second string team over [to France], but we'll have in the back of our mind the fact that we've got to make sure we've got a good side against Edinburgh on the field in the next couple of weeks."