Glasgow Warriors v Castres Olympique
Glasgow Warriors were looking to boost their Heineken Cup campaign with a home win over French side Castres Olympique this evening, but were edged 6-9 at Scotstoun Stadium.
It was a match that saw both teams being penalised a high number of times and with neither team infiltrating the others try-line it came down to the accuracy of the boot.
In the end Castres scrum-half Rory Kockott hit the target one more time than Warriors stand-off, Scott Wight.
Head coach, Gregor Townsend, said: "We made far too many mistakes in this match and conceded a high number of penalties.
"We should be translating what we are doing on the training pitch into our performances and tonight we didn't do that. It is very frustrating.
"We need to work together as a group and look at how to get the best out of the team each week."
The visitors had the first opportunity to put some points on the board, after the home-side were penalised within an easy range of the posts. However, Castres scrum-half Rory Kockott sent the kick wide.
Soon after the Warriors opened the scoring as Castres were penalised Wight seized the opportunity and took the hosts three points ahead.
It didn't let up the continued attack, but the Warriors held firm, finding themselves tested in the both the line out and the scrum. Castres won a couple more penalties from these, but fortunately for the Warriors, Kockott was unable to level the score with the first attempt. 22 minutes in, however he finally found his stride and brought the score to three all.
The Warriors immediately responded to this, as Wight chipped the ball forward to find winger Tommy Seymour. Immediately bundled in a tackle by Castres, the Warriors found themselves with another opportunity to kick for the posts and Wight comfortably slotted the ball between the sticks.
Bouyed by being in the lead once again the Warriors determinedly pushed on, increasing the pressure on Castres and inching towards the try-line, building through the forwards; Hall to Kellock and Kellock to Barclay who burst through the defence. However, it was frustratingly not to be, as a forward pass curtailed the attack, which in turn gave Castres a chance to respond.
It was to remain a tight half though, as Kockott also kicked another penalty for the visitors shortly after, once again levelling the score.
Half-time: Glasgow Warriors 6-6 Castres Olympique
The second half started well for the Warriors, with Wight instantly picking out Tommy Seymour in space for the chip-kick forward. Seymour wriggled through his tackler, and darted towards the line, however Castres were quick to nullify the threat and respond with an attack of their own, building through the phases and pushing the Warriors defence to its limits.
It was Castres who began to dominate in the scrums, and they successfully built the pressure on the Warriors throughout the second half.
With both teams fairly evenly matched it came down to a battle of the goal kickers. Wight had the chance to take the Warriors up to nine points, but the ball flew agonisingly wide of the posts, leaving the score level pegging as the game approached the hour mark.
The pressure was back on the Warriors as the Castres forwards drove towards the line, but they were their own worst enemy as they were penalised for crossing._ The Warriors clearance kick however failed to make it to touch, and Castres came at the home side once again.
The visitors then had the next chance for points, as Kockott fancied his chances from a long-range effort. Successful with the kick, Kockott put Castres into the lead.
Replacement scrum-half, Niko Matawalu boosted the Warriors attacking, with his quick ball helping to drive the home side forwards. Once again however, it was to a frustrating end as the ball was knocked on inches from the line.
Drama in the scrum followed as new signing Sean Maitland's debut, came as a replacement to injured Al Kellock. Maitland joined the backs while winger DTH Van Der Merwe stepped up to join the forwards. A recovered Tim Swinson relieved him of his honourary forward spot moments later.
With the clock ticking down towards full-time the Warriors were forceful in their attempts to even the score and get the try. However, Castres stood firm, and gave the home side no room to breathe, shutting down any and all attempts at attack,
Full-time: Glasgow Warriors 6-9 Castres Olympique
Glasgow Warriors team: Peter Murchie; Tommy Seymour, Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne, DTH Van Der Merwe; Scott Wight, Henry Pyrgos; Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Mike Cusack, Tim Swinson, Al Kellock (captain), Robert Harley, John Barclay, Josh Strauss.
Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Gordon Reid, Moray Low, Tom Ryder, Ryan Wilson, Niko Matawalu, Duncan Weir, Sean Maitland.
Castres Olympique team: Romain Martial; Marcel Garvey, Seremaia Kaikeinuku, Remi Lamerat, Marc Andreu; Pierre Bernard; Rory Kockott, Yannick Forestier; Mathieu Bonello, Karena Wihongi, Matthias Rolland (captain), Christophe Samson, Ibrahim Bornman, Antonie Claasen.
Replacements: Marc-Antoine Rallier, Mihaita Lazar, Anton Peikrishvili, Pedri Wannenburg, Yannick Caballero, Thomas Sanchou, Paul Bonneford, Daniel Kirkpatrick
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)