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February 18, 2017

Ulster 37 - 17 Glasgow Warriors

GUINNESS PRO14 match played at Ravenhill on Saturday February 18th 2017 | No comments

Scott Cummings went over for two tries
Glasgow's PRO12 struggles during the Six Nations period continued as they went down 37-17 to Ulster at Kingspan Stadium.

With a large contingent with the Scotland squad the Warriors have struggled in their absence and a PRO12 play-off place is now looking unlikely.

Tries by winger Tommy Bowe and flanker Sean Reidy put Ulster into a 15-0 lead before Brandon Thomson - on loan from Stormers - touched down for Glasgow just before half-time.

Ulster went 30-5 up with tries by Ruan Pienaar and Jacob Stockdale.

Glasgow threatened a comeback when Scott Cummings scored two tries but replacement Stockdale broke through for his second try to make sure of the win.

Despite the defeat, Gregor Townsend was encouraged by aspects of the performance. He told "At one stage in the game momentum had really swung in Ulster's favour, they had the crowd behind them, they were playing really well and I thought our response in the last 15 minutes was excellent, scoring those two tries when we were down to 14 men and had been forced into some changes so that was encouraging.

"We let errors creep into our game that Ulster punished us for, whether it was a few defensive slips, the ball not going to hand or crucial penalties at the start of that second half that meant we couldn't put pressure on Ulster in the way we had planned.

"The areas we need to work on are our physicality around the breakdown. It was better in the second half but in the first half they managed to slow down our ball and win a few turnovers.

"It's a combination of making sure we're running in the right areas and the support players working hard.

"We also need to make sure we don't switch off at any time, whether it's first phase defence, staying onside, staying on our feet because those were the little things that gave Ulster penalties or line breaks."

Injuries over the course of the game meant Pete Horne returning from injury and Brandon Thomson on his debut featured for the full 80 minutes.

Gregor continued: "It's a strange one, you look at the result but I'm thinking back and there were lots of positives.

"Peter Horne playing 80 minutes and putting a huge effort in, that was great to see. Brandon Thomson who has only been at the club ten days doing really well and playing 80 minutes too.

"Nick Grigg showing that he can play really well at 12 as well as 13. I also thought our set piece functioned really well so credit goes to the young front row. I thought Jamie Bhatti did really well so that was encouraging because Ulster are a strong set piece team.

"We had three players with HIA protocols, Lee Jones was stretchered off but he made a quick recovery and was talking to the medics and was looking normal in the changing room.

"Mark Bennett and Adam Ashe were the others and we'll know more about all three over the next couple of days.

"Sean Lamont and Rory Hughes also picked up knocks and it's too early to say but we have more time to recover what with it being a Sunday game and there were positives out there with Pete and Henry Pyrgos playing 80 minutes each."

Next up for the Warriors are the Ospreys.

Gregor said: "We have an eye on what Ospreys might bring, I think they've been one of the best teams in Europe this year. The PRO12 is of such high quality this year and they have been one of the leading sides.

"It's going to be a really tough game for us but we've had two games now with this group and I did see improvements despite the score-line.

"It's likely we'll have to change the team due to a few injuries but I saw enough today to know we can go to Ospreys and really give it everything and work hard to get the result we missed out on the past two games."

Referee Dan Jones (Wales)
Alex Allan
James Malcolm
Sila Puafisi
Brian Alainu'uese
Scott Cummings
Robert Harley
Simone Favaro
Adam Ashe
Henry Pyrgos
Peter Horne
Sean Lamont
Nick Grigg
Mark Bennett
Lee Jones
Brandon Thomson
Corey Flynn
Jamie Bhatti
D'arcy Rae
Tjiuee Uanivi
Lewis Wynne
Grayson Hart
Richie Vernon
Rory Hughes
Match Substitutions
Off On
Lee Jones Rory Hughes
Off On
James Malcolm Corey Flynn
Off On
Sila Puafisi D'arcy Rae
Off On
Alex Allan Jamie Bhatti
Off On
Simone Favaro Lewis Wynne
Off On
Mark Bennett Richie Vernon
Off On
Rory Hughes Grayson Hart
Off On
Sean Lamont Tjiuee Uanivi