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April 17, 2005

Glasgow Warriors 23 - 30 Leinster

Celtic League match played at Hughenden on Saturday April 16th 2005 | 2 comments

Dan Parks went over for a trademark interception try
With as many Lions in their starting lineup as the whole of Scotland can boast this year, the class of Leinster was always likely to tell in this Celtic League contest at Hughenden last night.

Yet it was impossible not to warm to the home side's appetite and endeavour, too, for although Glasgow's inexperience was all too obvious at times, there was a lusty sense of endeavour in their never-say-die attitude. The narrowness of their defeat was a fitting reflection of their overall contribution.

At times, Leinster appeared to be providing a lesson in efficient rugby to their hosts, but Glasgow responded with a heart-warming passion in their performance. The Lamont brothers worked tirelessly to create openings on the wing, and there was an admirable solidity about Glasgow's front five as well. They have made genuine strides this season and they can look forward to the next campaign with optimism.

By the time they took the field, Glasgow had a pretty clear idea that their chances of a Celtic Cup quarter-final home draw had already virtually gone, yet such issues had an academic look in the first few minutes, as Leinster, without ever taking full control of possession, looked far sharper in attack than their Scottish opponents.

Indeed, had that sharpness extended along the backline to Gary Brown, on the right wing, Leinster could easily have collected a couple of early tries. However, Brown allowed himself to be nailed in the tackle by Rory Lamont as the line beckoned after a break by Girvan Dempsey, and the hapless three-quarter then failed to collect an admittedly difficult pass from David Holwell.

Still, Glasgow did manage to contain their opponents until the start of the second quarter, when Holwell finally opened the scoring with a penalty awarded for an offside offence in front of the Glasgow posts. Yet they had been all but invisible going forward, save for one long-range attack squandered when Sean Lamont chose to showboat down the wing rather than off-load to Jon Petrie, steaming up in support.

Glasgow did manage to draw level shortly before the half-hour mark, Dan Parks clipping over a penalty when referee Phil Fear finally noticed that the Irish were capable of straying offside as well. Yet parity was to be a short-lived state of affairs, for the try that Leinster had been threatening to deliver from the start finally arrived when Brown made yards down the left side in a bold counter-attack from broken play, then delivered the sweetest pass that gave Dempsey the time and space to score.

Glasgow have made huge strides over the past season, but in terms of continuity they were given a lesson by Leinster, the Irish side knitting the phases together beautifully at times. The consequence was that Leinster always seemed to be playing the right sort of rugby in the right areas of the pitch. Glasgow tried to live on the scraps that fell from Leinsterís table, but it was a tactic that was always likely to provide only starvation rations.

Leinster's efficient and pragmatic control of the ball brought them another deserved score just before the interval. Again, they were patient in the build-up, playing keep-ball through a series of phases in which a powerful driving maul featured most prominently. When they muscled their way over the Glasgow 22, there was a noticeable rise in Leinster's determination level, and it was no great surprise when Glasgow provided the offside infringement that allowed Holwell to push Leinster's half-time lead up to 13-3.

The superstar contingent in Leinster's side might have helped to raise the Hughenden attendance to 4364, the biggest crowd of Glasgow's season, but neither Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy, nor Shane Byrne were particularly conspicuous in the their overall effort. As far as the hard yards were concerned, Victor Costello, the veteran No 8, was Leinster's most prolific provider, figuring prominently in the move that brought Holwell the opportunity to deliver his third penalty shortly after the break.

Yet Glasgow came thundering back into the contest with an even more impressive score just a couple of minutes later. It came when they prodded a penalty down the left touchline, resecured near the tail and spun the ball along the line for Rory Lamont to crash through some ineffectual tackling for his try. If the sight of Parks converting was warning to the Glasgow crowd, then the spectacle of the same player intercepting a weak pass from Holwell and sprinting half the length of the pitch just moments later was almost too good to believe. Yet Parks finished the move neatly, then blasted another conversion over to put Glasgow 17-16 in front.

Yet Leinster's composure and self-control had another wonderful demonstration almost straight from the restart. They won a position in the shadow of the Glasgow posts, churned the ball back from the forwards, then struck when the home defence was drawn out of position, a sequence of efficient passing along the backline making space for Kieran Lewis, the wing, to collect a try in the left corner.

Again, Glasgow closed the gap, drawing level with another Parks penalty. But Leinster levered it open again, the D'Arcy and O'Driscoll combination finally showing in a move that, with the significant contribution from Holwell, saw lock Ben Gissing collect their third try.

Report from today's Sunday Herald

Referee Phil Fear (Wales)
Attendance 4364
Man of the Match Some very good performances from Jon Petrie, Paul Dearlove and Dan Parks. Rory Lamont looks dangerous whenever he has the ball.
Kevin Tkachuk
Scott Lawson
Euan Murray
Joe Beardshaw
Dan Turner
Steve Swindall
Jon Petrie
Paul Dearlove
Sam Pinder
Dan Parks
Sean Lamont
Andrew Henderson
Andy Craig
Rory Lamont
Calvin Howarth
Scott Lawson
Ben Prescott
Andy Hall
John Beattie
Graeme Beveridge
Scott Barrow
Kenny Logan
Match Substitutions
Off On
Calvin Howarth Kenny Logan
Off On
Sam Pinder Graeme Beveridge
Off On
Andrew Henderson Scott Barrow
Off On
Gordon Bulloch Scott Lawson
Off On
Joe Beardshaw Andy Hall
Dan Parks Penalty
Rory Lamont Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Dan Parks Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Posted by Big G on April 18, 2005 10:37 AM | Reply to this comment

GB was his usual ineffective self.
Sam Pinder had a nightmare and he isn't good enough for Glasgow.
Seam Lamont is going to be sorely missed.
Hope Kenny Logan manages to hold onto his sprogs better than a rugby ball!!!

Posted by Highlandbrave75 on April 18, 2005 02:52 PM | Reply to this comment

You won't have to put up with Kenny next term. You can score him off the "ineffectives" list. Then Gordon will be off next week...another to stroke off the "ineffectives" list".

Who's going to be on this all important "ineffectives" list next season then?

From where I was standing on Saturday Rory Lamont was being rurned inside out by the Leinster backs all evening, even Reggie Corrigan strippe past him twice....

Scott Lawson, when introduced for Gordon Bulloch, made a few handling errors have you picked up on those?.

So no "ineffective" Gordy, no "ineffective" Kenny...As I said I wonder who's going to be on the "ineffectives" list next term!?

A Lamont perhaps? A Lawson perhaps? A Kerr perhaps? A Murray perhaps? Do these guys have 100% effective games each time they turn out in Glasgow colours?

makes you wonder eh?

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