May 17, 2019
Glasgow Warriors 50 - 20 Ulster
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday May 17th 2019 | No comments
Matt Fagerson put in another man-of-the-match display Glasgow Warriors clinched a place in the PRO14 Grand Final after a convincing win over Ulster at Scotstoun this evening.
Early leaders thanks to Tommy Seymour's third-minute score, the hosts led 24-3 at the break following further efforts from Ali Price and Robert Harley.
Seymour added a second after the break, with Kyle Steyn, Peter Horne and George Horne also crossing to set up a meeting with either Leinster or Munster at Celtic Park next weekend.
In a breathless start, it was the hosts - dominant from the first whistle - who drew first blood just three minutes in.
Not for the first time during the evening, fly-half Adam Hastings was the architect, flighting a defence-splitting pass over to the right-wing for fellow Scotland international Seymour to crash his way over.
The Warriors were playing like a side determined to seize their chance of a final in their home city, dominating possession and territory against the visitors.
But with Ulster working hard in defence, it took until the end of the first quarter for the Conference A side to further press home their superiority.
This time it was the turn of another Scotland international to impress.
Price, a key figure for Gregor Townsend's side towards the end of the Six Nations campaign, making the most of space on the blindside to scurry home on the left wing following a dominant maul.
Ulster responded with their first foray into the Glasgow 22, yet received scant reward, Hastings and John Cooney trading penalties to leave Dan McFarland's men two scores off the pace.
That was not the end of the first-half scoring, either, flanker Harley going over from close-range just before the whistle to dent hopes of an Ulster fightback.
Similar was to follow after the break, with tiring legs opening up even more space for Glasgow to exploit.
55 minutes were on the clock when Stuart Hogg, in his final home game as a Glasgow player, provided another glimpse of his top-level ability by freeing Seymour for the wing's second of the evening.
It was the sixth time the two had linked for a try in the PRO14 this season, and the pair's connection will be key to their hopes of taking the main prize later this month.
With their lead nearly insurmountable, still Glasgow pressed, and Steyn and Peter Horne dotted down either side of a trademark Marcel Coetzee score.
Rob Herring grabbed his eighth try of the season from a driving lineout, with George Horne and Michael Lowry exchanging late efforts as Ulster restored some pride.
"That was pretty unexpected," two-try Tommy Seymour told BBC Scotland at full-time.
"We're just delighted we were able to come out here after what happened last year when we let ourselves down in the semi-final.
"We've come back here, with the incentive of the home final, and it's great to give it back to the fans and everyone who has worn the jersey this season."
Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie felt his side had allowed Ulster to take some of the gloss off the scoreline, with two of their tries coming towards the end.
"I'm really rapt, but I'm not very happy with the last 10 minutes - we celebrated a little bit early," Rennie told BBC Scotland.
"In the end, we're where we want to be. We talked about getting a home semi-final to give us the opportunity to go to Celtic Park and we shouldn't be afraid of that.
"I guess we ran to the light and the boys fronted."
The semi-final was Stuart Hogg's last match at Scotstoun, with the Celtic Park showpiece his farewell in a Glasgow Warriors shirt.
Warriors will learn their opponents on Saturday when Leinster and Munster go head-to-head.
"We'll make sure there's not too much hype," Rennie added. "There will be a lot of emotion being at home, and with guys like Hoggy moving on.
"I'm looking forward to sitting back at home and watching two Irish teams batter each other. Either side's going to be tough."