Glasgow Warriors V Ospreys
14-man Glasgow Warriors slipped to a 22-5 defeat at home to the Ospreys, as the Welsh visitors made the most of their numerical advantage.
Brian Alainu’uese’s red card just minutes into the second half proved the crucial moment in the game, with the visitors running in three tries in his absence to secure the win.
On a clear November night in the west end, Rory Clegg got proceedings underway from the kick-off.
It was the visitors that enjoyed the bulk of the early possession, as they searched for an early breakthrough. However, strong defence ensured the door remained firmly shut, with the likes of Tim Swinson and Nick Grigg to the fore.
The Scotstoun crowd had to wait until the 12th minute for the first chance of points to arrive, with Josh Matavesi offered the chance to punish a Glasgow indiscretion at the breakdown. The Fijian pushed the penalty wide, though, meaning the game remained scoreless.
That seemed to provide the catalyst for the Warriors to kick-start their performance, with Lee Jones agonisingly close to scoring at the other end just moments later after a fortuitous bounce saw the winger race clear from halfway. The Scotland Sevens man was dragged down just short, before a knock-on allowed the Ospreys to clear their lines.
A head knock to D’arcy Rae after 21 minutes saw Stirling County prop Adam Nicol make his debut for the Warriors, with Rae returning to the field five minutes later having undergone the required assessments.
The first try arrived three minutes before the interval, and it went against the run of play. Despite Glasgow’s forwards winning the physical battle up front, a loose ball saw the Ospreys kick the ball clear, with Tom Habberfield winning the foot race to touch down for the score.
Matavesi was off target with the conversion, meaning the score read 5-0 in the visitors’ favour at the break.
However, the second half was sparked into life after 46 minutes, with Glasgow Warriors second row Brian Alainu’uese shown a straight red card by referee George Clancy to the disbelief of the Warrior Nation.
The Ospreys made the extra man count almost immediately, replacement winger Tom O’Flaherty gathering a cross-field kick from Matavesi to touch down. The conversion was sent wide, but Glasgow trailed by 10 with half an hour to play.
That gap grew on 57 minutes, as Dan Baker drove his way over from close-range to score Ospreys’ third try of the night. Matavesi’s struggles from the tee continued, however, hitting the post with a relatively simple conversion attempt to leave the score at 15-0 to the Welsh side.
With the Glasgow defence tiring, the Ospreys wrapped up the four-try bonus point with 12 minutes remaining. With the Warriors defence racing across to cover the overlap, Ashley Beck stepped off his left foot and went through the gap to score. Matavesi also added the extra two points for his first successful kick of the night, extending his side’s advantage to 22-0.
The final 10 minutes saw the introduction of George Horne and Patrick Kelly, who replaced Grayson Hart and Sam Johnson respectively, for their Warriors debuts.
With two minutes to go, the Warrior Nation were given something to cheer as Junior Bulumakau went over for a try in the corner. After a prolonged spell of possession in the Ospreys 22, a miss pass from Clegg found Bulumakau out wide, who touched down for his first try of the season. Clegg was unable to add the extras, leaving the final score at 22-5.
A difficult defeat, then, for Glasgow to swallow. However, Gregor Townsend’s side will have an opportunity to make amends in just seven days’ time, when Munster arrive at Scotstoun for a highly-anticipated clash.