Glasgow Warriors V Ulster
A second-half comeback from Glasgow Warriors saw them claim a fifth straight win in the GUINNESS PRO12 as they defeated Ulster by 27-17 at Scotstoun. Glasgow Warriors Celebrations
Tries from returning internationals Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour, as well as the boot of man-of-the-match Finn Russell, ensured the Warriors maintained their push for a top four place in front of a sell-out crowd.
The home side were put under immense pressure right from the off, with Ulster camped in the Warriors 22. Hogg was shown the yellow card just 90 seconds into the match for a professional foul and the visitors immediately made the extra man count, as returning flanker Iain Henderson crossed near the posts. Paddy Jackson’s conversion meant that Ulster led 7-0 after just five minutes.
Hogg’s return to the pitch saw a shift in momentum, with Glasgow recycling the ball through a number of phases deep in the Ulster 22. They were eventually rewarded with their first points of the night, with Finn Russell making no mistake with a penalty after 24 minutes.
Russell was accurate from the tee once again four minutes later, bringing the score to 7-6 in Ulster’s favour.
Jackson restored Ulster’s four-point advantage on 35 minutes, with a long range penalty taking the score to 10-6.
As the clock ticked over the 40-minute mark, Russell found a gap in the Ulster defence, with his break taking the Warriors to the edge of the Ulster 22. When referee John Lacey penalised the Irish side at the ruck, the fly-half duly slotted his third penalty of the night to leave the half-time score at 10-9 to the visitors.
However, to the dismay of the Warrior Nation, it was Ulster who once more started the second half on the upper foot. A quick lineout from Craig Gilroy 10 metres from the Glasgow try-line caught the Warriors flat-footed, allowing Stuart McCloskey to race over unopposed. Jackson’s conversion saw Ulster’s lead extended to 17-9.
Russell had the chance to narrow the gap with another penalty on 55 minutes. However, his kick from the Ulster 10-metre line drifted wide for his first miss of the night. Tommy Seymour
The Scotstoun faithful were in full voice just moments later, though, as Glasgow finally found the breakthrough. Russell’s long miss pass found Hogg on the wing, with the full-back chipping over the top of Rory Scholes and regathering his own kick to touch down for a wonderful solo effort. Russell was unable to add the extras from a difficult angle, but the deficit was cut to 17-14.
Just moments later, the crowd were on their feet again, this time to acclaim a try-of-the-season contender. Russell’s cross-kick on his own 10 metre line found Tommy Seymour in full flight, with the winger scorching past three Ulster defenders to score. Russell’s conversion attempt was successful, giving the Warriors the lead for the first time in the match.
Both sides had been made to work hard in defence and gaps were appearing across the pitch. Another break from Russell resulted in a penalty for the home side, with the fly-half on target yet again to take the score to 24-17 in Glasgow’s favour.
With both sides chasing a play-off spot, every ball was being fiercely contested. When Glasgow were awarded a penalty on the stroke of full-time, it was left to Hogg to hammer the kick over from halfway to deny Ulster a losing bonus point and secure a crucial 27-17 win for his side in the defence of their GUINNESS PRO12 title.