May 25, 2019
Glasgow Warriors 15 - 18 Leinster
GUINNESS PRO14 match played at Celtic Park on Saturday May 25th 2019 | No comments
Matt Fagerson put Warriors ahead Glasgow Warriors came up just short in this evening's PRO14 Final with Leinster at Celtic Park.
A try from Matt Fagerson gave Warriors the lead but soon after Garry Ringrose pounced to touch down after Stuart Hogg's kick had been charged down.
Cian Healy went over Leinster's second try and Johnny Sexton's kicks put daylight between the teams.
Hogg went off injured after a reckless challenge in the air from Rob Kearney. The Irish full-back was yellow-carded by referee Nigel Owens although many observers thought it deserved a red.
Replacement hooker Grant Stewart finished off a fine Glasgow move late on but it was not enough for Dave Rennie's side.
Adam Hastings missed the conversion on Warriors' second try and they could not get the try they needed in the final few minutes to snatch the win and their first trophy since 2015's PRO14 title.
Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie was left thinking about what might have been. He said: "The disappointing thing from our point of view is that we could have played a lot better and we only lost by three.
"They put a lot of pressure on us through their kicking game and I thought they defended really well.
"We had some opportunities and didn't take them. They were pretty good at strangling us out of the game. They were able to dominate the ball in the second half and dictate the pace of the game.
"You've got to give Leinster credit, they kept coming at us, they had a lot of line speed, probably more than they normally do and they nullified us.
"We handed them the ball eight or nine times and you can't afford to do that in a big game."
Warriors will have the summer to lick their wounds but the performances of young players like Matt Fagerson and Scott Cummings will give them plenty of cause for optimism.
Rennie added: "It's always tough to reflect on where we are at in the season on such a disappointing night. Certainly we'll review and reflect on it over the coming weeks.
"You can tell by the disappointment in the changing room that we'll back ourselves to beat anyone in Europe but we've got to be at our best, that's the key and we weren't there tonight.
"We're in a pretty good place. The advantage, some people would see it as a disadvantage, is that we have a lot of international guys who can't play week in, week out.
"We play a lot of other guys who have grown heaps, we've got a lot of young guys coming through. We've created depth, we've seen that in this competition, we scored the most points in the international windows. That means other guys are doing a really good job for us.
"We've got the nucleus of a good side. We've got some good young men who will play for Glasgow for a number of years. We've got to tweak and adjust which will give us a different edge to our game."
Glasgow skipper Callum Gibbins said his team hadn't been at their best and their errors proved costly. "A couple of dropped balls, we gave them it back. Once they get the ball, especially in the second half, they controlled the pace of the game really well," said the open side flanker.
Gibbins added that he never lost confidence in his side's ability to come from behind to lift the trophy, despite being 18-10 behind into the final 10 minutes.
"I was pretty confident, even after we scored late, but we coughed up the ball again and that was that," he said.
"They defended pretty well. They put a lot of pressure on us when we had the ball, but we didn't run out of ideas, we just needed to pick different options."