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November 29, 2013

Ospreys 16 - 28 Glasgow Warriors

GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Liberty Stadium on Friday November 29th 2013 | No comments

Chris Cusiter's breakaway try got Glasgow back in the game
A late surge from Glasgow Warriors gave them a valuable win over Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium this evening.

Second half tries from Chris Cusiter, DTH van der Merwe and Ryan Wilson sealed a fine victory for the visitors who bounced back after a disappointing defeat to the Dragons last week.

The win may have come at cost, however, as Sean Lamont was stretchered off with what looked like a serious looking knee injury.

Canadian winger Jeff Hassler scored the only try for an inexperienced Ospreys, who were missing a number of influential players from their squad.

Glasgow enjoyed the lion's share of ball in the early stages and fly-half Ruaridh Jackson put the visitors in front with a penalty with two minutes on the clock.

Gregor Townsend's men continued to control the match but, against the run of play, it was the Ospreys who scored the first try of match.

Tito Tebaldi gathered from a misplaced Glasgow lineout and fed the ball to Tom Isaacs who powered his way through the visitors' defensive line before offloading to Hassler who touched down for his third score of the season.

Sam Davies, making his first start for the Ospreys, converted the try before Jackson kicked a second penalty after Tebaldi was penalised at the tackle area to reduce Glasgow's deficit to one point.

The Italian scrum-half atoned for his error by stealing the ball from the away side and putting in an inch perfect kick deep into Glasgow's 22. After being taken into touch by the visitors, Ospreys won the lineout and Tebaldi laid the ball on a place for Davies to kick a simple drop-goal to extend the hosts' lead to seven points at the break.

Neither side managed to take control of the game in the second half, as Davies failed with a second drop goal attempt ensuring that Glasgow remained only a converted score behind. But the number 10 found his range soon after as he notched his second penalty of the evening after a lung-busting run from full-back Richard Fussell.

Glasgow responded in devastating style as they expertly converted turnover ball inside their own half into a try. The ball was ripped deep into the away side's 22 as Sean Lamont steamed towards halfway before coolly offloading to Cusiter on the left wing who ran in a try from 50 metres out to silence the home crowd.

Stuart Hogg landed a penalty from long range to move Glasgow to within two points of the home side as the game ticked into the final quarter.

The visitors were rampant and they continued to dominate at the scrum with Ospreys forward Scott Baldwin being sent to the bin after a powerful shove from the away pack.

Glasgow immediately made their numerical advantage count as DTH van der Merwe sneaked over on the left wing, with Jackson converting, to give the Warriors a five point lead with 10 minutes of the match to go.

Replacement Ryan Wilson - returning after five months out through injury - made the game safe as he drove through the Ospreys defence in the final minute to score Glasgow's third try of the match, which Jackson duly converted, to seal the comeback win.

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend was a happy man at full-time. He said: "To get things back on track after the defeat last weekend and also having been 10 points down away from home, I'm absolutely delighted with the win this evening.

"I thought we played well in the first-half but errors crept into our game after three or four phases and in the second half we didn't start well at all.

"The breakaway try really turned things around because after that we played really well and our bench played well.

"When you're dominating possession and moving the ball well and then errors creep into your game maybe the players are thinking it's not their night. But then we got a lucky break and after that we played much more like we'd planned to play."

Glasgow are back in Wales next weekend for the first of two back-to-back games against Cardiff Blues in the Heineken Cup and Gregor believes tonight's win will give the whole squad a massive boost ahead of these games.

He added: "Winning will give a nice glow to the mood in the camp ahead of coming back down here next weekend for the first of two massive games against Cardiff Blues."

Referee Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Attendance 5,679
Man of the Match Chris Cusiter
Ryan Grant
Pat MacArthur
Ed Kalman
Jonny Gray
Alastair Kellock
Robert Harley
Tyrone Holmes
Josh Strauss
Chris Cusiter
Ruaridh Jackson
DTH van der Merwe
Sean Lamont
Mark Bennett
Tommy Seymour
Stuart Hogg
Dougie Hall
Gordon Reid
Jon Welsh
Tom Ryder
James Eddie
Ryan Wilson
Henry Pyrgos
Finn Russell
Match Substitutions
Off On
Pat MacArthur Dougie Hall
Off On
Alastair Kellock Tom Ryder
Off On
Ed Kalman Jon Welsh
Off On
Robert Harley Ryan Wilson
Off On
Sean Lamont Finn Russell
Off On
Josh Strauss James Eddie
Off On
Ryan Grant Gordon Reid
Ruaridh Jackson Penalty
Ruaridh Jackson Penalty
Chris Cusiter Try 
Stuart Hogg Penalty
DTH van der Merwe Try 
Ruaridh Jackson Conversion
Ryan Wilson Try 
Ruaridh Jackson Conversion