January 18, 2015
Glasgow Warriors 21 - 10 Montpellier
Champions Cup match played at Scotstoun on Sunday January 18th 2015 | No comments
Man-of-the-match DTN van der Merwe went over for three tries Glasgow Warriors completed a European double over Montpellier at Scotstoun this afternoon.
However, the Warriors will be disappointed they couldn't secure a bonus point after DTH van der Merwe went over for three tries.
Glasgow went for the four-try bonus point from the start but only managed a single converted touchdown from van der Merwe before the break and found themselves behind after Thibaut Privat's try, which was converted by Ben Lucas, who had also kicked an earlier penalty.
The hosts continued their tactic of pinning Montpellier back with penalties in the second half and were rewarded with two more van der Merwe tries, both converted by Finn Russell.
Coach Gregor Townsend had said before the match that nine points were required from the final two games, and from the start Glasgow turned down penalty goal opportunities to kick to the corner in the hope of the forwards getting over the line to build up a bag of tries.
However, Glasgow's first try came from an orthodox handling move, from right to left starting on the halfway line, in the 13th minute.
It moved Glasgow in front after Lucas' penalty had seen Montpellier take the lead in the sixth minute.
The Warriors' lead lasted only four minutes, though, as Montpellier drove a lineout from five metres out, with lock and captain Privat scoring and Lucas converting to give them a 10-7 lead they held to the break.
Montpellier's lead came despite Glasgow dominating the final 15 minutes, but their close-in drives were always repulsed, with prop Pat Cilliers sent to the sin bin in the 33rd minute.
Glasgow's first chance to kick to the corner came in the 56th minute and with the pressure on, the next penalty was tapped and van der Merwe found a way over. Russell again converted to put Glasgow back in the lead at 14-10.
As Glasgow piled on the pressure, Montpellier winger Lucas Dupont was sent to the sin bin with just over 10 minutes remaining and a minute later van der Merwe found his way through for his hat-trick try, which was again converted by Russell.
The final minutes were frantic but Glasgow now go to Bath next Sunday looking for a bonus-point win.
Head coach Gregor Townsend voiced his frustration at missing out on the extra point, which could end up costing his side dear as they battle for a top-two finish in Pool Four.
He said: "It was frustrating to spurn so many chances to score tries.
"I think when you go up against a French team and win you should be really happy - and that's us done the double over them, but as you can tell we are disappointed by how we didn't make the most of our opportunities.
"Maybe it was over eagerness, or our accuracy or decision-making in that last 22, but it wasn't at the level it needed to be today to get the victory we wanted.
"When you create so many opportunities and put pace on the ball and get down into their half, then it's about outworking the opposition and tries or penalties will come. But we maybe rushed things too much and didn't get in our right shape which proved costly."
Canada international DTH van der Merwe, who became only the second Glasgow player to score a hat-trick in the Champions Cup, also felt that "silly mistakes" had let them down.
He said: "In the first half we didn't stick to the basic things which get you the tries. We went wide a number of times and maybe our eyes were too big which cost us in the end with silly mistakes."