October 03, 2020
Connacht 28 - 24 Glasgow Warriors
GUINNESS PRO14 match played at Galway Sportsground on Saturday October 3rd 2020 | No comments
Tommy Seymour put Glasgow within reach of Connacht before a late penalty sealed things for the Galway men Glasgow Warriors didn't get the start to the new PRO14 campaign they wanted after a narrow defeat to Connacht in Galway this evening.
A bruising first half began with Oli Kebble being penalised for side-entry, allowing Jack Carty to open the scoring for Conacht in the second minute.
Carty and his opposite number Adam Hastings missed penalty attempts after 11 and 20 minutes respectively. The Scotland fly-half's shot came after second row Quinn Roux was sin-binned for a no-arms tackle.
Glasgow were looking the more dangerous side, with co-captain Fraser Brown and Huw Jones both gaining good ground, and Bundee Aki and Brown both showed their breakdown prowess to win penalties.
Connacht smothered a Glasgow drive in the 32nd minute but they did concede just before the short whistle. Armed with a penalty advantage, Hastings produced a half-break and short pass to send centre Nick Grigg over.
The increasingly-influential Hastings converted and then added a penalty, five minutes after the restart. Connacht hit back with Aki's try-scoring burst to the line, which rewarded some fine build-up play from Tom Farrell. Carty converted to make it 10-10.
Upping the pace further, Farrell, Alex Wootton and Peter Sullivan stretched the Glasgow defence before Roux crashed in under the posts past Tommy Seymour's tackle.
Glasgow quickly got back level at 17-17 when Jones expertly weaved through a midfield gap for Hastings to convert. Carty restored Connacht's lead three minutes later when he punished a Scott Cummings infringement.
Even better followed for the 200 home fans permitted to be at the Sportsground, with John Porch sparking a break from deep and Wootton's dabbed kick through dotted down by Aki. Carty missed the touchline conversion.
With an eight-point deficit to overcome, a sweeping Warriors attack ended with Grigg putting Seymour over on the right. Hastings again added the extras, only for Carty's 40-metre penalty to end Connacht's run of six successive defeats to Glasgow.
Assistant Coach Kenny Murray and the coaching team identified positives to take out of the Connacht match but the defeat is a disappointing one to take.
"We're obviously frustrated that we lost, especially after going in ahead at half-time," Murray told glasgowwarriors.org.
"We'd been under pressure in the first 20 minutes, so we were pleased to get on top and go in with Nick (Grigg)'s try at the break.
"We've got to be a lot more disciplined - we gave away far too many penalties in the game, and we need to be more clinical too.
"There were definitely positives to take, though. Our attack looked sharp at points and we defended well for long periods of the game, we just know we need to take a few more of our opportunities going forward."
Huw Jones impressed in Galway in only his third match for the club at full-back.
"We've got a lot of faith in Huw at full-back," said Murray.
"We know how good of an attacking threat he is, and he's got that ability to beat defenders in the wide channels. He's going to be a real asset for us this season.
"There are obviously parts of his game he needs to develop, but he's working hard on them in training and he's looking good in attack."
The match also marked a milestone for two of the matchday 23, as both Oli Kebble and George Turner made their 50th appearance in Glasgow colours.
"Oli is really enjoying his rugby at the minute, particularly in defence," said Murray.
"We tweaked a couple of things in our system and he's been enjoying getting stuck into collisions and being physical around the park.
"George didn't get a lot of game time tonight, but he's another guy that brings a lot of physicality to everything we do. They deserve to reach that milestone, and hopefully they'll be around for another 50 appearances for us."
The Warriors now have eight days to prepare for their opening home clash of the new campaign, as Scarlets make the trip to Scotstoun next Sunday night. Whilst the Welsh side are another side coming off a narrow defeat in round one, Murray is under no illusion as to the test posed by the men in red and the areas in which Glasgow will look to improve ahead of next week.
"Discipline is the big one," he said.
"We need to be tougher to beat, and that means not giving away soft tries. Those are the big areas for training this week.
"Scarlets obviously had a tough loss today, but at the end of the day they've got a squad littered with Welsh internationals. We know how tough they'll be, and we'll need to be on top form to get the right result next week."