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May 07, 2006

Glasgow Warriors 18 - 21 Leinster

Celtic League match played at Firhill on Sunday May 7th 2006 | 9 comments

Stuart's try in the second half brought Glasgow the bonus point
Glasgow Warriors had the match there for the taking, but only came away with a bonus point, which moves them off the bottom of the league.

Glasgow proved last night just how competitive they can be after taking a title-chasing Leinster side to the wire, but discovered that steely resilience is not enough on its own to secure victory.

The commitment shown, particularly by a clutch of young Scots in the home side, was what pleased Sean Lineen most, but Glasgow's head coach admitted that the lack of a great attacking threat remained his most pertinent problem.

He said: "I think that was the gutsiest performance from the guys since I took over, and I'm delighted that we showed that we can compete, but we know we didn't play much rugby and the guys' heads are down simply because we didn't do enough to win.

"But that is a good thing as well. Some of the youngsters - guys like Stuart Corsar, John Beattie, Fergus Thomson, James Eddie and Ben Prescott - are starting to come of age; Corsar would have run through a brick wall to score his try if one had been there."

While the coach admitted his frustration with the match officials for failing to spot forward passes in the lead up to Leinster tries, he also noted that the tries which pushed Leinster to the finish came from an interception and turned over lineout.

That was perhaps where Glasgow were shown up by a Leinster back division which featured five British and Irish Lions in total and Felipe Contepomi, Argentina's world-class playmaker. And yet had Dan Parks not missed a penalty and conversion, Glasgow would have won.

It had opened brightly for the Scots with the pack setting a lively pace, and Parks kicked a long-range penalty and though Contepomi levelled there was an urgency about Glasgow's attack.

The mood changed when Andy Henderson was sin-binned with 21 minutes gone, for pulling back Guy Easterby, the Leinster scrum-half, and from the subsequent penalty, Leinster drove the lineout, ending with Keith Gleeson, the openside flanker, diving over the try-line. Glasgow were still competing well in the set-piece but their attack lacked the crispness and ambition of their opponents', relying too heavily on Parks' boot, which invariably invited counter-attacks.

Leinster's second try, just eight minutes before the interval

owed everything to Brian O'Driscoll's direct running. His pass wide to Rob Kearney looked forward and the left wing also seemed to lose the ball over the line in the tackle from Colin Gregor, but referee Hugh Watkins deemed it good and Leinster were 12 points ahead.

The differing resources of the sides top and bottom of the Celtic League was highlighted at half-time when Leinster took off O'Driscoll and duly sent on Gordon D'Arcy, the 2005 Player of the Six Nations. Yet, it was Glasgow supporters toasting a centre just two minutes into the second half when Henderson intercepted a pass just inside the Leinster half, shook off the attentions of Kearney and sprinted in beside the posts, Parks converting.

Contepomi moved it back to eight with a second penalty, and Parks sent an effort wide before the Irishmen began to lift the tempo and force the hosts under a sustained spell of pressure. Glasgow defended manfully and even after losing Donnie Macfadyen to the sin-bin for handling in a ruck a fine attack-ending tackle on Contepomi by Fergus Thomson and Henderson typified the bristling, collective effort.

Gregor almost broke Leinster with his inimitable eye for a chance, but, agonisingly, Hickie, the last defender, got his fingertips to Gregor's chip and the danger was cleared. Still, Glasgow battled on, however, and Parks and Contepomi traded penalties as the tension rose.

Malcolm O'Kelly stole a Glasgow lineout 15 metres inside Leinster's half, but Stuart Corsar, the home side's replacement prop, was first to the loose ball and he flew at the covering defence, burst through two players and dragged another couple over the line with him for a tremendous try.

Parks' conversion drifted wide, but with Firhill resounding to chants of 'Glasgow, Glasgow', the hosts, with another substitute, Graeme Morrison, to the fore, stepped up the pressure. Gregor, who shone despite a rare appearance at scrum-half, carved Leinster open again, but was hit with a bad shoulder tackle by Contepomi which ineffectual referee Watkins ignored.

The final whistle soon followed and though the home players trudged off the field wearily, their securing of a bonus point keeps alive their fight with the Borders for the second Heineken Cup.

Report from The Scotsman

Referee Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Attendance 1,129
Man of the Match Stuart Corsar for his second half try
Kevin Tkachuk
Fergus Thomson
Ben Prescott
James Eddie
Dan Turner
Andy Wilson
Donnie Macfadyen
John Beattie
Colin Gregor
Dan Parks
Spencer Davey
Andrew Henderson
Hefin O'Hare
Rory Lamont
Colin Shaw
Eric Milligan
Stuart Corsar
Craig Hamilton
John Barclay
Steve Swindall
Iain Monaghan
Graeme Morrison
Match Substitutions
Off On
Andy Wilson John Barclay
Off On
Dan Turner Craig Hamilton
Off On
Ben Prescott Stuart Corsar
Off On
Hefin O'Hare Graeme Morrison
Dan Parks Penalty
Andrew Henderson Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Conversion
Stuart Corsar Try 
Posted by Gordon on May 7, 2006 11:32 PM | Reply to this comment

Big improvement. Attitude was good too - we didn't get bullied. Only guy that was bullied was Hugh Watkins.

Posted by vicki on May 7, 2006 11:43 PM | Reply to this comment

Attitude was the most important improvement on recent games. Tonight, the Warriors wanted to win, and believed they could. The team looked focused and weren't prepared to be bullied by the Irish (unlike against Ulster).

There's very little that can be said about the ref, and there's no point bleating about his ineptitude.

Posted by A True Warrior on May 7, 2006 11:45 PM | Reply to this comment

Guys stood up for themselves well tonight, and fought for it all the way. Really looked and sounded up for it right from the warm up (where they seemed to make more noise than they had in previous games). What about Henderson against Horgan, anyone else get the impression Horgan was rather scared of our boy? The phrase in his back pocket comes to mind! By all accounts a decent performance and good to hear the crowd get behind the team!

Posted by apeboy on May 8, 2006 08:23 AM | Reply to this comment

I had the same feeling about Henderson and Horgan, shame he got sin binned otherwise who knows what might have happened.

Posted by The Pirate on May 8, 2006 08:37 AM | Reply to this comment

I did not see the game, can anyone tell me how the parks-gregor combination went at 9 and 10. Is it something Glasgow can build on for next year.

Posted by sunday5 on May 8, 2006 10:41 AM | Reply to this comment

I think young Gregor had a great game. yes, he does need some practice as his passing left somthing to be desired but his darting presence cheeky side steps he is simply too good to sit on the bench. He was unlucky not to get a try.

Posted by Alan on May 8, 2006 07:06 PM | Reply to this comment

Problem is, I think he would have come on for Dan in the second half...but he was already on!!

Posted by The Pirate on May 9, 2006 08:15 AM | Reply to this comment

What do you mean 'the problem is' do you think Gregor is better coming off the bench or are you saying that Gregor should be there instead of Parks. Lets look to these last games before we pass judgement, I am sure Gregor is working on his passing and it was a tough side they played with some positives out of the game. Come On boys finish the season off strongly and look to next year. Good Luck

Posted by sunday5 on May 9, 2006 08:22 PM | Reply to this comment

The simple fact of the matter is that Gregor is not as good a Fly-half as Dan Parks. End of story. That said, he is a very usefull player and with careful tuition he could become a capable No. 9. Had he been bigger and stonger then he could be handy and a danger to Parks. As it is he is too small to stop most of the centres that would run at him in the Pro, and no doubt soon the International games. The tricky part to call and the thing that is most in his favour, is that he has an undoubtable knack for slicing through defences. He has the edge over Parks with his mentality and pace but the Parks boot is one of a kind and arguably the best in the country. He should strive to master the black arts of the No.9.

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