Glasgow Warriors V Connacht
Glasgow withstood a second-half Connacht fightback to secure their first win of the new GUINNESS PRO12 season. Glasgow Warriors Scrum
Despite being outscored four tries to three, 18 points from the boot of Rory Clegg ensured the Warriors held on for victory.
The early exchanges were frenetic, and Glasgow survived a scare after five minutes, as the TMO denied Connacht a bizarre early try. Daniel Poolman touched down after Junior Bulumakau had thrown the ball back onto the pitch in anticipation of a lineout, but the TMO decided the quick throw-in did not stand.
Rory Clegg and Jack Carty traded penalties as both sides struggled for a breakthrough. Warriors captain Peter Murchie was forced off with an injury after 15 minutes, with flanker and Scotland Sevens cap Hugh Blake replacing him at centre.
A series of phases in the Connacht 22 resulted in a penalty just left of the posts. Clegg duly converted to give the Warriors a 6-3 lead.
Clegg extended their lead after 28 minutes, after line breaks from first Fraser Lyle, and then Fusaro set up field position, before pressure from the forwards at scrum time earned a penalty to make the scores 9-3.
The crowd sensed the first try wasn’t long in coming, and it arrived on the half-hour mark, as Glenn Bryce crossed for his second league try in as many games. Quick ball saw the former Stirling County man step inside the defence and dive over the line. Clegg added the conversion to give Glasgow a 16-3 advantage. Glenn Bryce
With five minutes to go until half-time, the Warriors crossed for their second try, as Scott Cummings barged his way over the line for his first try in Glasgow colours. Once again, Clegg was spot on with the conversion, and Glasgow had a 23-3 lead.
Connacht did manage to reduce the arrears before half-time, as Carty kicked a penalty from distance, with Glasgow going in 23-6 in front.
The Warriors made the best possible start to the second half, as Rob Harley picked off a wayward Connacht pass and sprinted 20 metres to touch down with just 90 seconds played in the second period. Once more, Clegg added the extras, and Glasgow’s lead was now 30-6.
Connacht needed to score next, and on 46 minutes they crossed for their first try of the night. Winning a scrum against the head, number eight Eoghan Masterson carried strongly into the 22, before feeding scrum-half John Cooney who raced over in the corner. Carty converted from out wide to reduce the gap to 30-13.
The game was becoming more open in the midfield, with the Warriors repelling Connacht’s attack. Tyrone Holmes replaced Fusaro, with Rob Harley becoming Glasgow’s third captain of the evening after 53 minutes.
A series of penalties against Glasgow at the scrum saw Zander Fagerson shown the yellow card after 56 minutes. From the very next scrum, referee Ian Davies awarded Connacht a penalty try, much to the displeasure of the 6267 Scotstoun crowd. Jack Carty added the simplest of conversions, as the Warriors saw their lead cut to just ten points.
Connacht were now dominating up front, and they scored their third try just moments later, as Danie Poolman latched on to a kick through to score the Irish side’s third score of the night. From the touchline, Carty pushed the conversion wide, leaving the score at 30-25.
Having weathered the storm, though, Glasgow once again looked dangerous in the Connacht 22. Rory Clegg continued his successful night with the boot, as his penalty established an eight point lead for his side.
Once more, however, Connacht came back at Glasgow. A rolling maul out wide saw flanker Nepia Fox-Matumua go over for his second try of the season and Connacht’s fourth of the game. Carty kicked a superb conversion from out wide to leave the score at 33-32 to Glasgow.
With the clock past 80 minutes, Glasgow held firm. Despite Connacht attacking from deep, a knock on drew the final whistle from the referee, giving Glasgow their first win of the new campaign by the narrowest possible margin.