April 22, 2023
Glasgow Warriors 29 - 27 Connacht
United Rugby Championship match played at Scotstoun on Saturday April 22nd 2023 | No comments
Huw Jones got Warriors off to the perfect start but was forced off with injury just before the break Glasgow Warriors rounded off the regular URC season with a hard-fought win over Connacht at Scotstoun.
Huw Jones, Tom Jordan, Ali Price and Johnny Matthews tries helped Glasgow to the bonus point win, with Jordan and George Horne kicking the other points.
Connacht's points came via a penalty try and scores from Cian Prendergast and Shamus Hurley-Langton. Jack Carty kicked two conversions and a couple of penalties but it wasn't enough to end Glasgow's winning home run.
Both teams now know their URC play-off opponents as Glasgow Warriors will host Munster while Connacht head to face Ulster.
Glasgow, already assured of fourth place in the URC, started in style with some slick phases straight from kick-off, with Jones and Stafford McDowall making powerful midfield breaks before Rory Darge sent Jones over for the game's opening try with lovely back-handed offload.
Connacht struck immediately by forcing Jones to carry the ball back over his own line, and then pressurising the home scrum into conceding a penalty try.
Connacht continued to pressure the home scrum, but the Warriors play around the park was always a threat and they grabbed back the lead in the 18th minute when Jordan juggled the ball before going under the posts.
Glasgow's Scott Cummings was sin-binned for an obstruction on Caolin Blade and Carty kicked the penalty for the men from Galway.
Connacht took advantage of the extra man and went back into the lead when Prendergast burrowed over from a tap penalty, with Carty adding the conversion.
Warriors did not panic however, and they struck back with Price finishing off on the left after some lovely offloads.
Cole Forbes thought he had scored another Glasgow after a great break from Jordan was carried on by Jones but he knocked-on whilst being tackled and so it was chalked off. Jones ended up leaving the field.
There was no more scoring until the hour mark, when replacement Glasgow hooker Matthews went over at the back of a line-out maul and Horne added the tricky conversion to make it 26-17.
Connacht would not lie down though, and after Horne and Carty had exchanged penalties, a Hurley-Langton try converted by Carty made for a tense final five minutes but Warriors were able to hold on.
In a bruising encounter Jamie Dobie and Cole Forbes limped off and Huw Jones and Lucio Sordoni departed with head injuries. It meant that replacement forward Matt Fagerson had to be deployed in the backline.
"Winning was the most important thing for us tonight against a motivated team from Connacht," said Head Coach Franco Smith after the game. "We work with a plan. I know that in play-offs there are usually injuries and we must be prepared for that. I believe we have been preparing for the finals from the first day. We've had a plan. The players understand the plan and I think we did well. Matt Fagerson in the centres did well. We prepare always for the worst case. All our loose forwards are well prepared and have a good idea of what we want to do with it."