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November 04, 2006

Glasgow Warriors 39 - 34 Connacht

Celtic League match played at Hughenden on Friday November 3rd 2006 | 13 comments

Glasgow skipper Alastair Kellock scored a fine try
Glasgow shook off their jitters to step up their stirring revival with a precious bonus-point triumph over the Irish dark horses in the Magners League.

But the Warriors were forced to survive a late rally and a spate of bizarre refereeing verdicts by erratic Welshman Hugh Watkins - which reduced them to 13 men - before sealing this crucial success.

Glasgow had made a shaky start as the visitors drew first blood with an opportunist drop-goal by Mark McHugh.

The setback spurred the home troops into attacking action, however a combination of strong defence and hesitant handling prevented them making instant inroads.

And there was frustration among the Warriors support when Dan Parks was narrowly wide of the target with an angled penalty attempt.

Another chance went begging as prop Justin Va'a spilled a Graeme Beveridge feed following a series of well-controlled phases in the danger zone.

The blunder allowed Connacht to dash into enemy territory and they doubled their tally with a straightforward McHugh penalty from 30 metres.

Parks was handed a chance to repair some of the damage, and this time he confidently fired the ball through the middle.

Fit-again Argentinian Francisco Leonelli then burst his way into the match by grabbing the opening try.

Chasing his own hack towards the line, Leonelli appeared to be only third favourite to reach it first.

But the Connacht markers failed to mop up the peril - and sheer determination enabled the full-back to pounce and flop over.

The province bounced back immediately to create an excellent score for their number 15, Dan Riordan.

And the visitors maintained their patience in the face of tigerish tackling in midfield, with Riordan making the crucial break after latching on to a perfectly-weighted pass from Darren Yapp. McHugh slotted the conversion.

There was a double blow for Glasgow as McHugh followed up with his second penalty for failing to vacate the tackle scene - and Parks was out of luck again at the other end.

Parks' fortunes took an upward turn two minutes before half-time when he hurtled in for a close-range try and added the extras to leave his side adrift by a single point.

Within seconds of the restart, the Warriors powered back into the lead with skipper Ally Kellock firing a message at Scotland chief Frank Hadden.

Kellock, who is likely to be snubbed for next Saturday's Test against Romania, found an extra surge of pace to reach the line at the end of a 20-metre rumble.

It took Glasgow just two more minutes to make sure of the bonus point, John Barclay providing the finishing touch to a slick move. Parks added both tricky conversions for good measure.

And centre Graeme Morrison snuffed out any prospect of a Connacht fightback with a superb solo score, leaving three defenders in his slipstream. Parks again chipped the goal.

A mixture of slackness among the back ranks and puzzling refereeing by Watkins allowed the visitors to put a flattering complexion on the scoreline.

Ray Ofisa and Brendan O'Connor grabbed tries, the second of which came after Warriors centre Andy Henderson was the victim of a strange yellow card verdict.

Watkins then infuriated the crowd even more when he sin-binned Scott Barrow for obstruction when a Connacht player appeared to deliberately run into him. Paul Warwick kicked the penalty to set up a nervy finale.

Parks' penalty steadied the Glasgow ship - only for Yapp to snap up the touchdown which captured two undeserved consolation points for the Irish side.

Referee Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Attendance 1,574
Man of the Match Alastair Kellock
Kevin Tkachuk
Fergus Thomson
Justin Va'a
Andy Newman
Alastair Kellock
Andy Wilson
John Barclay
Jon Petrie
Graeme Beveridge
Dan Parks
Hefin O'Hare
Andrew Henderson
Graeme Morrison
Rory Lamont
Francisco Leonelli
Scott Lawson
Ben Prescott
Dan Turner
Steve Swindall
Sam Pinder
Ruaridh Jackson
Scott Barrow
Match Substitutions
Off On
Francisco Leonelli Scott Barrow
Off On
Fergus Thomson Scott Lawson
Off On
Graeme Beveridge Sam Pinder
Off On
Justin Va'a Ben Prescott
Off On
Andy Newman Dan Turner
Off On
Andy Wilson Steve Swindall
Dan Parks Penalty
Francisco Leonelli Try 
Dan Parks Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Alastair Kellock Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
John Barclay Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Graeme Morrison Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Dan Parks Penalty
Posted by GMJ on November 4, 2006 09:24 AM | Reply to this comment

Attendance last night 1,800........who is counting spectators through the gate.?

Certainly looked more than that.

Posted by sunday5 on November 4, 2006 01:20 PM | Reply to this comment

I really enjoyed the game. We were unlucky with the send offs, the second in particular, and the resulting tries but it made for nail biting stuff. Connacht would never have gotten a bonus point if we weren't down to 13 for the last 10 minutes. Still the best team won despite the ref. Leonellis try must be a good contender for try of the month.

Well done lads!!

Posted by Tom on November 6, 2006 08:47 PM | Reply to this comment

Where were you situated when Scott got sent off, I think even he must have felt he would be sin-binned for deliberately pulling back the Connacht player. Great result Glasgow, keep the momentum going

Posted by Dan Parks (not that one) on November 4, 2006 01:37 PM | Reply to this comment

As much as its a victory, it was poor to let connacht get 2 bonus points. I doubt you will see Glasgow get 2 points when they go to Galwey. But suppose you have to be thankful that they actually did win this time. It didn't turn into the Dragons all over again!!

Posted by Alistair on November 4, 2006 04:27 PM | Reply to this comment

Worst reffing performance ever. Barrow deserved to walk but the yellow carding of Henderson was a total and utter farce.

Posted by Big col on November 4, 2006 04:41 PM | Reply to this comment

Barrow deserved to walk ?????????????? Were you the ref ?

Posted by jim on November 6, 2006 02:08 PM | Reply to this comment

Scott Barrow was the victim of a runner looking for a penalty a la association football. It worries me that this kind of crap is creeping into our game, you only need to watch Leicester to see the writing on the wall. Yes Scott could have been more careful with his arms, but a grown man felled by brushing against an elbow takes a bit of believing...worst still the ref bought it and some of our own appear to think his misguided decision was valid???

Posted by Alistair on November 7, 2006 11:18 AM | Reply to this comment

From where I was sitting I could see a Glasgow player clearly pulling a Connacht shirt as they chased through. I thougt it was Barrow given that he was yellow carded. If the yellow card was for obstruction then that is a rubbish decision

Posted by mediumsizedal on November 4, 2006 05:46 PM | Reply to this comment

Good to get a win, but overall not an inspiring performance. They played very well for the last 10 mins of the first half & the first 20 of the second half, but missed a lot of first tackles & often failed to stop the Irish side offloading the ball. Connaught were a nuisance the whole game-they constantly disrupted the Glasgow scrum & won at least 4 of Glasgow's line outs. This was a much better Connaught side than we've seen recently, but I suppose Glasgow should have shut them out at 36-16. Couldn't see why Henderson was binned-presumably playing the ball in an offside position with deliberate intent to stop a promising move. I was in line with Barrow's incident-I think he knew what he was doing in obstructing the Irish player, but hoped to get the benefit of the doubt (as often is the case in minor obstructions). Yes the ref was poor,especially in the second half, and we could easily have lost that game-the 13 dug in well. Much better performance from the midfield, especially Henderson-I've been a critic of Morrison, but he played better last night & took the try well. However a win is a win & there are encouraging signs, especially the will to keep going & to play for each other when the chips are down.

Posted by luckyrugger on November 4, 2006 09:37 PM | Reply to this comment

I believe Henderson's binning was wrong, perhaps someone can confirm my understanding of the rules; the Connacht player was tackled and offloaded in the tackle before hitting the ground (therefore a ruck or "breakdown" was not formed) and even though Henderson was coming back, he should have been allowed to catch and play the ball. Offside by definition is being ahead of the hindmost foot at the breakdown.

Posted by mediumsizedal on November 4, 2006 10:49 PM | Reply to this comment

The ref probably thought he was loitering with intent-he did play the ball in front and not from behind-the ref probably penalised him because he thought he was NOT retreating (It's a fine line of judgement,& the ref was mince anyway).

Posted by disco on November 4, 2006 11:57 PM | Reply to this comment

You need a set piece or ruck /maul situation for offside to come into play. At the tackle the only player who has to watch himself is the tackler who can only contest the ball from the side closest to his own try line. It was a poor decision but then so was the fact he didn't bin Al Kellock for his stramash with their hooker. Just lucky there were no cameras at Hughenden!

Posted by vicki on November 5, 2006 01:35 PM | Reply to this comment

Good result for the boys - especially to nail the bonus point. Hopefully things are coming together for the team - they certainly look like a hungry, increasingly confident team. The forwards were most definitely not going to stand for any bullying this time around.

Dan showed his mettle and strength in character to shake off his early jitters and turn the game around getting the side back on track with his try and then sorting out his kicking. Lineen is right in saying that Dan has come onto excellent form. Good to see Gdog and Rory coming back into their pre-injury form as well.

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