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April 25, 2009

Leinster 36 - 13 Glasgow Warriors

GUINNESS PRO12 match played at RDS on Saturday April 25th 2009 | 6 comments

Lome Fa'atau scored Glasgow's second try (photo courtesy of Rob o'r Bont)
Glasgow's miserable season continued with a 36-13 defeat to Leinster at RDS on Saturday night.

Glasgow were well in contention to become the first Scottish side to win a match at the RDS, leading 13-8 at half-time thanks to tries from Kelly Brown and Lome Fa'atau.

But converted efforts from replacements Shane Horgan, Sean O'Brien (two) and Jonathan Sexton saw last season's Magners League champions pull clear after a testing opening hour.

The result was immaterial as, after Munster's bonus-point win over the Scarlets on Friday, Leinster's title reign is at an end.

Leinster head coach Michael Cheika will nevertheless take a number of plus points into the Croke Park showdown - not least how flanker O'Brien and fly-half Sexton put their hands up for selection, while Brian O'Driscoll and company came through unscathed and Rocky Elsom put in yet another man-of-the-match display.

After a rough run of recent results, Glasgow came to Dublin determined to put in a strong showing and they were unfortunate not to open the scoring when Ruaridh Jackson watched a penalty attempt slide away.

Felipe Contepomi punished a ruck offence from Brown to kick Leinster in front but a huge hit by Moray Low on Contepomi helped the Glasgow forwards pile through and set up Jackson for the levelling kick.

Sean Lineen was forced into an early switch, with Fergus Thomson coming on at hooker for the injured Dougie Hall (calf/ankle) yet, just moments later, Brown gobbled up a dinked kick through from Jackson to touch down in the right corner.

After the missed conversion, a break from Girvan Dempsey got Leinster within scoring range and off a set lineout move, Devin Toner tapped down to Malcolm O'Kelly and Elsom then peeled away for a short burst to the try-line.

Contepomi failed to add the extras, leaving it 8-8, and he also pushed a penalty wide of the uprights on the half-hour after a thunderous tackle from Jamie Heaslip on Bernardo Stortoni.

Then Samoan speedster Fa'atau pounced for his try, brilliantly hacking a dropped Leinster pass on towards the line and winning the race to the ball. Jackson was off target with the conversion attempt.

Shortly afterwards, Stortoni was sin-binned for slowing up Leinster ball close to his posts and Gordon D'Arcy missed out on a try when he lost control of the ball just five metres out.

Some niggle crept into the game, with Glasgow captain Alastair Kellock and Leinster prop Stan Wright fortunate to stay on the field, and the Scots looked solid in defence despite losing their Argentinian full-back.

However, Leinster gradually found their rhythm in the third quarter.

Contepomi missed another penalty chance but they continually pinned back Glasgow in their half and the pressure eventually yielded tries.

After Brown and Heaslip were sin-binned for throwing punches, Leinster made use of the extra space and a quick turnover allowed Sexton send Horgan galloping over for his try.

Contepomi made it a seven-pointer, putting Leinster back in front, and four minutes later Girvan Dempsey pumped his legs out of a tackle and lovely hands from O'Driscoll put O'Brien charging over behind the posts.

After Contepomi's conversion, Glasgow had a third player sin-binned when replacement prop Justin Va'a was caught on the wrong side of a ruck.

With the visitors caught for defenders, Sexton gathered a swift delivery from Chris Whitaker to dive over to the right of the posts and O'Brien rumbled over from close range for his second try, six minutes from the end. Contepomi converted both to wrap up a runaway win.

Referee James Jones (WRU)
Attendance 10,900
Kevin Tkachuk
Dougie Hall
Moray Low
Dan Turner
Alastair Kellock
Calum Forrester
John Barclay
Kelly Brown
Mark McMillan
Ruaridh Jackson
Thom Evans
Graeme Morrison
Max Evans
Lome Fa'atau
Bernardo Stortoni
Fergus Thomson
Justin Va'a
Richie Gray
James Eddie
Colin Gregor
Andrew Henderson
Hefin O'Hare
Match Substitutions
Off On
Dougie Hall Fergus Thomson
Off On
Calum Forrester James Eddie
Off On
Bernardo Stortoni Colin Gregor
Off On
Dan Turner Richie Gray
Off On
Graeme Morrison Andrew Henderson
Off On
Kevin Tkachuk Justin Va'a
Off On
Lome Fa'atau Hefin O'Hare
Ruaridh Jackson Penalty
Kelly Brown Try 
Lome Fa'atau Try 
Posted by s153 on April 26, 2009 12:31 PM | Reply to this comment

well done boys, another great performance. Second bottom beckons, the teams below us all have games in hand, so it would be no great surprise to see them over take us, and we are 13 points behind that mob from the east. Improvement, progress, you must be joking, not good enough!

Posted by neilmacd74 on April 26, 2009 01:12 PM | Reply to this comment

Thought we started well enough but the second half performance was as poor as any I've seen.
There's a lack of leadership on the pitch and being honest there are probably only 3 or 4 players who can earn pass marks for the season.
Since the win in Toulouse it's been downhill pretty much all the way with the exception of the Scarlets game a couple of weeks ago
The sooner this season ends the better.

Posted by RJG on April 26, 2009 09:45 PM | Reply to this comment

Couldn't agree more. A really dispiriting end to the season that promised so much. I remember Ally Kellock talking about how we were going to qualify for the knockout stages of the Heineken this year, and i thought we were a decent outside bet for the title. Reality bites.

Looking back through the match reports for this season, we have had 4 games in the ML alone (Ospreys at home, Connacht away, Dragons at home and Ulster at home), that we have lost, where we had enough chances to win but did not take them. Last couple of seasons, we have been very consistent with the boot, but this year, Parks, Gregor and Jackson have all taken kicks, and have all been average at best.

Even counting the losing bonus points, we could easily be sitting with another dozen points if we had been taking our chances.

I now wonder if we need to add a new goal kicker to our non existent shopping list.

SRU are you listening? Glasgow is getting behind its rugby team, but we need some hope!

Posted by tall, dark and haggard on April 27, 2009 08:17 AM | Reply to this comment

Keep doing the same things - keep getting the same results.

Think we need to strengthen that pack. Have elief in Shaun and the backs but not convinced up front.

SRU are you listening?

Posted by sunday5 on April 27, 2009 10:09 AM | Reply to this comment

From The Herald 7th May 2009

"We let ourselves down against Leinster.. blah blah.. The boys are really hurting... blah blah... The performance against Toulouse.. BLAH BLAH.. We have the chance to redeem ourselves against the Ospreys etc."

It is a depressing life being a Glaswegian/Scottish rugby fan!

Posted by A True Warrior on April 27, 2009 11:31 AM | Reply to this comment

Sean keeps talking about potential, and that the team can do it when they want to. Sadly Iím beginning to wonder if we can only do it when the opposition donít take us seriously enough.

If we look across to the round ball game, Inverness Caley turned up at Ibrox a couple of weeks ago and beat Rangers, at the time was top v bottom, yet Caley got beat the very next weekend by Falkirk. St Mirren got a really hammering at Parkhead one weekend then knock Celtic out the cup the very next weekend. A host of other so called smaller teams have beaten both Rangers and Celtic this season yet their miles clear at the top.

The point Iím making is that supporters and the media talk about these results as upsets or off days for the bigger clubs. No one starts claiming these sides should be capable of it every week. Iím really worried that weíve all been guilty of over hyping our players and we expect too much? Does Sean really believe in his heart of hearts that this Glasgow team could have won the league or are as good as the Tolouse/Scarlets/Cardiff (home) games suggested???

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