Glasgow Warriors v Northampton Saints
Glasgow Warriors concluded their Heineken Cup campaign today with a thrilling 27-20 victory over Northampton Saints.
The match was close from the outset, but it came down to the wire with the scoreboard all square with seconds left on the clock. However, the match was won with a moment of sheer brilliance from replacement stand-off Peter Horne.
He collected an off-load from the advancing centre Alex Dunbar and then brushed off a number of tackles to dive in under the posts.
Also on the score-sheet today was scrum-half Niko Matawalu, who was awarded the Heineken Cup man-of-the-match, and Josh Strauss with tries. Their efforts were complimented by two penalties from Jackson and two conversions from Scott Wight and one by Horne.
Head coach Gregor Townsend said: "I"m absolutely delighted, these are rare moments when you get a last minute try and win, there is a great buzz in the team.
'the players played with a lot of passion today. They went out for the
win and played some very good rugby.
"Peter also really deserved his try, he is a very committed player. The two hand-offs and his pace were quality, but what I"m most proud of is the support line he ran.
"It hasn't been the season we wanted in the Heineken Cup, but we have been very competitive both home and away. There is frustration but I believe we will become a better team in the league and next season in Europe from the lessons we"ve learned."
The Warriors were straight on the scoreboard this afternoon, with Jackson wasting no time when the Warriors won a kickable penalty seconds into the match. It was a simple kick and the scoring began. 3-0
Another Warriors penalty was awarded ten minutes later, allowing Jackson to double the hosts' lead. 6-0
However, the visitors were quick to response with a penalty of their own. Stand-off Stephen Myler landed it and halved the deficit. 6-3
From there, Northampton Saints were dominant in attack, launching phase after phase upon the Warriors, who held firm and were fierce and resilient in their defence.
It looked as though the Saints would take the plaudits for first try, as winger James Wilson crossed the line 20 minutes in, but thanks to some brilliant defence from the Warriors, the TMO ruled against the score. It was full-back Stuart Hogg with the try-saving tackle.
This did not ease the pressure on the Warriors though, as the Saints continued to be relentless in their attack. Several times they tried to break through the line with a chip forward, but each time there was a Warrior there to collect and clear.
Half an hour in the Warriors had another chance at the line, as scrum half Niko Matawalu spotted a gap and went darting through, however he was called back inches short as the referee ajudged there to have been a knock on.
With only minutes remaining in the first half, Northampton centre Dominic Waldouck shook off tackles from Matawalu and Hogg and crossed the line for the visitors. It went to the TMO again, this time he gave it and Northampton took the lead for the first time in the match. 6-10
The Warriors had one more opportunity before the half ended, but Wight, replacing the injured Jackson, saw his first attempt at goal go wide.
Half-time: Glasgow Warriors 6-10 Northampton Saints
The second half started with an exchange of kicks between the full-backs as both sides fought for ground.
But five minutes into the half the Warriors went back into the lead as Josh Strauss drove forward and crossed the line, from Pat MacArthur's long throw into the lineout. Wight's conversion did not miss and the home side were three points ahead again. 13-10
The Saints, who were looking for the bonus point win, were determined not to stay behind for long, but the Warriors, buoyed by Strauss's try gave their all to build upon the lead.
Northampton crossed the line, just as the game was approaching the hour mark through powerful Samoan centre George Pisi, however replacement fly half Ryan Lamb, was unable to convert meaning the visitors only had a two point cushion. 13-15
It was down to a moment of magic from Niko Matawalu, who intercepted a loose pass and found himself in space, to score the try that took the Warriors ahead once more. Going into the final ten minutes it was Glasgow 20 Northampton 15.
A positional move around for the Warriors saw Wight replaced by Alex Dunbar, 70 minutes in. Horne moved to stand off, and Dunbar slotted in on the centre.
A minute later Ben Foden crossed the whitewash for the Saints, bringing the scores level and as Ryan Lamb failed to convert it was all set for a tense battle to the finish.
As the game clock wound down, both sides enjoyed periods of dominance, but neither quite managed to break through and score those vital extra points. It all came down to small margins, as Alex Waller was sent to the sin bin for the Saints with only 30 seconds left on the clock. The home side took full advantage of the extra man, and Scotstoun was on its feet as the clock hit 80 minutes and Horne shook off tackle after tackle to score the winning try, and conversion, in a thrilling finale.
Full-time: Glasgow Warriors 27-20 Northampton Saints
Man-of-the-match: Niko Matawalu
Glasgow Warriors team: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Byron McGuigan, Graeme Morrison, Sean Maitland; Ruaridh Jackson, Niko Matawalu; Gordon Reid, Pat MacArthur, Moray Low, Tim Swinson, Al Kellock (captain), Josh Strauss, James Eddie, Ryan Wilson. Replacements: Doug Hall, Ryan Grant, Tom Ryder, Alex Dunbar, Sean Kennedy, Scott Wight and Peter Horne (all used).
Northampton Saints team: Ben Foden; James Wilson, George Pisi, Dom Waldouck, Jamie Elliot; Stephen Myler, Lee Dickson; Soane Tonga"uiha, Dylan Hartley (captain), Paul Doran-Jones, Samu Manoa, Courtney Lawes, Calum Clark, Tom Wood, Phil Dowson. Replacements: Mikey Haywood, Alex Waller, Tom Mercey, Mark Sorenson, Rhys Oakley, Martin Roberts, Ryan Lamb and Tom May