Glasgow Warriors v Connacht

For the first time in eleven weeks, Glasgow took to the Scotstoun pitch in RaboDirect PRO12 duty, defeating basement side Connacht in a closely fought encounter.

The visitors were combative opponents and led at the break despite Mark Bennett dotting down for the Warriors.

In the second period, Glasgow were in the ascendancy but failed to score a second try with a Jackson penalty proving to be the difference and sealing victory for the hosts.

After signing on loan until the end of the season, Lee Jones began the game on the right wing with debutant Rory Hughes starting on the opposite flank.

Richie Vernon made his first start for Glasgow in the centre and Josh Strauss captained the side.

Connacht started brightly and had an early chance to take the lead but Craig Ronaldson saw his kick skew wide of the posts.

After eight minutes he redeemed himself by slotting a simple penalty, putting the Irish side three points in front.

Glasgow then built up a long period of pressure and scored a well worked try after a clever break from Pyrgos allowed him to chip the ball to the onrushing Bennett who showed composure to touch down.

Ruaridh Jackson attempted the conversion in windy conditions with Pyrgos having to steady the ball but the stand off saw it fly wide of the target.

Connacht were eager to respond instantly and were awarded two penalties in quick succession but Ronaldson saw both opportunities go abegging.

Despite lying bottom of the RaboDirect PRO 12, Connacht proved to be a feisty outfit and they had a prolonged period of pressure at the tail end of the first period.

Glasgow prevented them from crossing the try line but couldn’t stop a last gasp penalty to put the visitors 6-5 up at the break.

Half-time: Glasgow Warriors 5-6 Connacht

At the start of the second half, Glasgow were awarded their first penalty of the game and Jackson did the honours, putting the Warriors in front.In his first appearance for Glasgow, Lee Jones provided a spark and after 49 minutes he made a scintillating break, darting beyond three men before being halted on the 22.

Gregor Townsend then rang the changes in the front-row with Welsh, Yanuyantawa and Hall replacing Kalman, Reid and MacArthur after 49 minutes.

Connacht also made a raft of substitutions with Dan Parks taking to the field against Glasgow on their home patch for the first time since he left in 2010.

After 68 minutes, Glasgow had a chance to increase their lead but Ruaridh Jackson stroked his long distance kick wide of the posts.

Five minutes later, Mark Bennett had another chance to collect three points from inside his own half, but his kick hit the woodwork.

The game was far from a pretty spectacle but Townsend’s men showed great resolve to battle from behind to secure the win ahead of next week’s trip to Cardiff.

After the game, man of the match Henry Pyrgos said: “It was a tough game and conditions weren’t great but it was brilliant to secure the win.

“We wanted to get a few more points on the board as the game ended up being tighter than we wanted it to be.

live commentary 2:00 PM Sunday 9 Feb 2014

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