Warriors Well Bitten By Sharks

Glasgow Warriors fell to defeat in their final warm-up match before the start of the RaboDirect PRO12 season, failing to match the levels of execution and intensity they showed in the win over Newcastle Falcons at Firhill a fortnight ago and returning from Stockport empty-handed.

Sean Lineen's team were well in the game in the first half, but conceded too many penalties for the head coach's liking and as a result were always struggling to properly stay in the contest thereafter.

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Glasgow Warriors fell to defeat in their final warm-up match before the start of the RaboDirect PRO12 season, failing to match the levels of execution and intensity they showed in the win over Newcastle Falcons at Firhill a fortnight ago and returning from Stockport empty-handed.

Sean Lineen's team were well in the game in the first half, but conceded too many penalties for the head coach's liking and as a result were always struggling to properly stay in the contest thereafter.

There were positives to take in the form of Stuart Hogg's excellent running lines and awareness at full-back and the lineout mastery of Robert Harley, but the Warriors know they will need to be much sharper and slicker when the RaboDirect PRO12 campaign begins against Ulster at Ravenhill next Friday (kick-off 7.05pm, live on BBC ALBA).

The game ebbed and flowed in the opening stages, both teams looking to stamp their authority on proceedings on a night where the wet underfoot and overhead conditions made the usual pre-season notions of expansive rugby somewhat difficult to employ.

There were a couple of psychological boosts struck by the Warriors pack_in this early sparring, their collective efforts comfortably holding off Sale's repeated attempts to make ground with the rolling maul while the home eight were forced into conceding a couple of penalties at scrum time.

The Warriors were also enjoying a degree of dominance in the lineout, Harley rising in typical lighthouse fashion to claim a couple of towering takes and immediately put pressure on the Sharks rearguard.

One such pouch and release set up a spell of sustained Glasgow threat, MacArthur, Duncan Weir and Tom Ryder all going close as the Warriors pummelled the home line. The attack eventually fizzled out, and Lineen's men were made to pay an immediate price, a penalty going against them close to halfway and Sale stand-off Nick MacLeod slotting the first points of the night 26 minutes in.

Things went from bad to worse for Glasgow shortly afterwards, Sharks full-back Rob Miller embarking on a scything run from inside his own half and evading the Warriors cover to slip in at the right-hand corner despite Federico Aramburu's best efforts.

Dave McCall, the Glasgow winger, left the field in the immediate aftermath of the score, having appeared to pick up a hand injury early in the game. MacLeod missed the conversion, but soon notched another penalty to give the hosts a commanding lead.

HALF-TIME: SALE SHARKS 11-0 GLASGOW WARRIORS

Glasgow made a host of interval substitutions, Ed Kalman and Jon Welsh coming into the front row, Ryan Wilson and James Eddie joining the back row (in place of Rory Pitman and Harley respectively), Colin Gregor and Scott Wight teaming up at half-back and Rob Dewey taking Peter Horne's spot at outside centre.

The Warriors made a lively start to the second half, the impressive Hogg breaking at great pace down the left and smuggling himself across the Sale line only for a knock-on to thwart Glasgow's progress.

Frustratingly for the Scots, the next incursion on the scoreboard again came from the Lancastrians. Another midfield penalty gave MacLeod a straightforward opportunity to put the Sharks 14-0 up and the fly-half duly obliged.

Glasgow saw plenty of the ball in the third quarter, but committed too many handling errors to truly establish much in the way of profitable mometum.

Sale were still the more clinical side, and stretched their advantage to 21 points when openside flanker and captain David Seymour dotted down with the last of a series of close-range drives. MacLeod's conversion effectively settled the match.

Sadly for the Warriors, there was further punishment to take. Kalman received a yellow card for taking out an opponent in the air, and, at the resulting scrum, the referee awarded a penalty try as Glasgow found themselves accused of collapsing the set piece.

FULL-TIME: SALE SHARKS 28-0 GLASGOW WARRIORS

Sale Sharks: 15. Rob Miller, 14. Tom Brady, 13. Andrew Higgins, 12. Luther Burrell, 11. Joaquin Tuculet, 10. Nick Macleod, 9. Dwayne Peel, 1. Tony Buckley, 2. Joe Ward, 3. Henry Thomas, 4. Kearnan Myall, 5. Fraser McKenzie, 6. James Gaskell, 7. David Seymour (capt.), 8. Mark Easter.

Replacements: 16. Marc Jones, 17. Lee Imiolek, 18. Vadim Cobilas, 19. Tommy Taylor, 20. Neil Briggs, 21. Scott Mathie, 22. Charlie Amesbury, 23. Kyle Tonetti, 24. Aston Croall, 25. Jordan Davies, 26. Tom Holmes.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg,14 Federico Aramburu, 13 Peter Horne,12 Troy Nathan, 11 Dave McCall, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Henry Pyrgos,1 Ryan Grant, 2 Pat MacArthur, 3 Mike Cusack, 4 Tom Ryder, 5 Nick Campbell, 6 Rob Harley (capt.), 7 Chris Fusaro, 8 Rory Pitman.

Replacements: 16 Finlay Gillies,17 Ed Kalman, 18 Jon Welsh,19 Gordon Reid, 20 Colin Gregor, 21 Scott Wight, 22 Tommy Seymour, 23 Colin Shaw. Other subs.: James Eddie, Ryan Wilson, Rob Dewey.

Ref: AP-Geraint Roberts