Connacht V Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors overcame the elements, a vocal home support and a physical Connacht side to begin their Guinness PRO14 campaign with a victory.
As an Atlantic storm battered the Irish West coast, kicking was seldom an option but the young Glasgow side embraced the phase play, in both defence and attack to grind out a win.
Playing into horizontal rain in the first half, Dave Rennie’s side were 3-0 down after a minute, Jack Carty punishing an early Glasgow offside, his kick struggling with the wind before finding it over.
Adam Hastings made his Warriors debut earlier than he maybe expected to, replacing Sam Johnson who came off with a HIA that was later made permanent.
Glasgow attempted to suss out the wind through a Pete Horne penalty that was pushed back from the posts. The fly-half evening the score moments later with a successful attempt.
Connacht enjoyed a strong period of front foot ball and Glasgow dealt with the pressure, holding the ball up at the base of the post having had their line hammered by wave after wave of green shirts.
Eventually the home side forced the defence to give away a penalty and doubled the score with a simple kick.
On the stroke of half time Connacht had another three, the Warriors forced into another penalty defending their line.
With the wind on their backs in the second 40 Glasgow began to enjoy more possession. Horne had another three just five minutes after the restart.
As conditions began to threaten the encounter would be tryless Glasgow had crossed the whitewash.
An attacking move that Mr. Rennie has built his reputation on. Off the back of the scrum Price fed Hastings whose soft hands released Horne. Price had continued his run to receive the inside ball again and dive over.
Horne’s kick gave Glasgow an eight-point buffer and Hastings began to exploit the wind, three long kicks knocked on by retreating Connacht defence.
Oli Kebble’s debut came off the bench and Leonardo Sarto replaced Hastings who left the field on a stretcher having received a gash to the leg.
Connacht brought the game to within a point with a penalty and just as it looked like it was going to be a nail bighting finale Lee Jones relieved the pressure.
Sarto collected a clever cross-field kick and scrambled to the line before being dragged down. Getting the call from his wing partner he popped the offload that Jones collected and converted in the corner.
Horne’s conversion couldn’t creep over from out wide meaning Connacht were still within a score but resilient defence held out the green jerseys and the Glasgow Warriors Dave Rennie era began with a victory.