Glasgow Warriors v Ulster
Ulster - unbeaten in the RaboDirect PRO12 and fresh from a home bonus point victory against Castres - put a big dent in Glasgow's Heineken Cup hopes, triumphing in a war of attrition in this Pool 4 clash at Scotstoun.
The Warriors, having missed out at Northampton last week, needed to eke out a win and although the try count was level at one apiece, Ulster kept the scoreboard ticking courtesy of the boot of their stand-off Paddy Jackson, while Glasgow could only reflect on their inability to manage the points on offer with the same aplomb.
Glasgow's head coach Gregor Townsend reflected: "We"re clearly very disappointed not to have produced the win we all wanted for a great home crowd.
'the players battled very well the whole game long, but we didn't play consistently enough over the piece to win."
There was a great atmosphere bouncing around Scotstoun, which was full to capacity at 6,200, as Ulster kicked off.
It was a cagey opening as both teams probed via the aerial route in the driving rain before Glasgow were caught offside in the fourth minute allowing Ulster a shot at goal from around halfway. Paddy Jackson's effort, however, did not have the legs.
In the home response, Glasgow sought to exploit a powerful scrummage surge but their member of the Jackson clan, Ruaridh, just over-cooked a teasing touchfinder.
A penalty for Glasgow, after Ulster had gone off their feet at breakdown, enabled Jackson to find a promising touch in the visitors" 22, but Dougie Hall's lineout throw was deemed squint and Ulster cleared from the subsequent scrum.
Ruan Pienaar, Ulster's South African scrum-half, was short when he attempted a penalty from out on the right, nine metres inside his own half in the 14th minute and Peter Horne's radar suffered a blip, too, as he miscued from a scrummage penalty attempt four minutes later.
As the first quarter ended, Glasgow's scrum again exerted its authority and the French referee concluded Ulster were at fault. _Horne, this time, made no mistake and Glasgow had the lead.
Within three minutes however, a deft attacking kick from Pienaar had threatened to wrong-foot Byron McGuigan. The emergency winger did well to recover and all but evaded a tackle but was then penalised for holding on in contact. _Paddy Jackson thus levelled.
A fumble from a kick-ahead forced Stuart Hogg to concede a lineout in the home 22 and from possession at the tail, and a forward rumble Ulster were awarded a penalty at breakdown which Jackson goaled (3-6, 27 mins).
Ulster were dominating possession and territory at this point but a timely piece of work by Ryan Grant saw Ulster pinged for holding on. _Sadly, however, another penalty-to-touch lineout misfired and if that was bad enough matters worsened as McGuigan departed with a rib injury to be replaced by Nikola Matawalu.
Referee Maynal failed to play a distinct advantage to Glasgow and was unmoved as Ulster popped up from another scrum. _His decision to penalise Tom Ryder as Glasgow sought to build phases did not endear him to the home following.
A lineout penalty, advanced for failure to retreat at the quick tap, gave Glasgow a chance for parity as the interval neared but Horne pushed the kick wide.
Pienaar's creativity all but inspired an Ulster try before the break - once again flighting a dangerous kick up the left wing - but a lack of composure enabled the hosts to escape.
HALF-TIME: GLASGOW WARRIORS 3-6 ULSTER
Glasgow's pack deserved better than another abortive Horne penalty as once again Ulster's scrum incurred the displeasure of the referee within two minutes of the restart.
Horne was helped off the field by the medics on the 45th minute, having taken a blow to the head, and once again Glasgow's back resources were being stretched to the numerical limit as Scott Wight joined the fray, slotting in directly at inside centre.
Glasgow had to endure some fraught moments inside their own 22 but their rearguard was sound and from a trusty Al Kellock lineout take and John Barclay carry, Henry Pyrgos cleared to half-way.
Continuity remained elusive for both teams, though Ulster were still probably just worth their lead, and when Glasgow were done for side entry Pienaar's goal attempt could have increased their cushion on the hour. His effort was short and Hogg cleared only for the referee again to pull out a side entry penalty as Ulster sought to drive from the subsequent lineout.
This time, Ulster opted for the touchline and from their lineout take they rumbled and rolled Glasgow over the try line for Chris Henry to be awarded the try after a lengthy consultation with the TMO. Jackson converted and Ulster led 13-3 after 61 minutes.
Glasgow needed an immediate reply. Instead, they found themselves penalised at a scrum and Jackson landed his third penalty for 16-3.
Next scrum, and the penalty circus reverted to the hosts but they could build nothing as they infringed in the loose.
The game was drifting away from Glasgow and Jackson's fourth penalty saw Ulster stretch their lead to 19-3 with five minutes remaining.
Credit to Glasgow they contrived to create a try in the closing stages. _Having been denied on the left touchline, they recycled possession and Scott Wight's diagonal was pouched by the 5ft 8ins Niko Matawalu for a tasty unconverted try, his first points for the club.
Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg; Byron McGuigan, Peter Murchie, Peter Horne, Alex Dunbar; Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos; Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Mike Cusack, Tom Ryder, Al Kellock captain, Josh Strauss, Chris Fusaro and Ryan Wilson. _
Subs: Finlay Gillies for Hall (68 mins), Ofa Fainga"anuku for Cusack (70 mins), Gordon Reid, Tim Swinson for Ryder (75 mins), Robert Harley for Strauss (50 mins), John Barclay for Fusaro (blood 31-40 mins and then in 50 mins), Scott Wight for Horne (45 mins) and Nikola Matawalu for McGuigan (31 mins).
Ulster: Jared Payne; Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Tom Court, Rory Best, John Afoa, Johann Muller captain, Dan Tuohy, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry and Nick Williams
Subs: Rob Herring, Callum Black for Court (69 mins), Adam Macklin, Lewis Stevenson for Tuohy (61 mins), Mike McComish for Henderson (73 mins), Paul Marshall for Jackson (75 mins), Luke Marshall for Wallace (70 mins) and Craig Gilroy for Trimble (73 mins).
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Heineken Man of the Match: Rory Best (Ulster)