Glasgow Warriors 10-23 Leinster

Glasgow Warriors fell to a disappointing 23-10 defeat to Leinster at Scotstoun this evening, as the defending Guinness PRO14 champions claimed victory under the Saturday night floodlights.

Ruaridh Jackson’s early brace was cancelled out by Cian Kelleher, with the kicking of Ross Byrne ultimately deciding proceedings in favour of the Irishmen.

The early play came courtesy of the hosts, as Dave Rennie’s men looked to make their presence felt. Sam Johnson was amongst the most prominent figures of the opening moments of the game, and it was the Scotland centre that created the first opportunity of the night; his line break and clever grubber towards the corner seemed destined for the hands of Huw Jones, only for Hugo Keenan to intervene with an early tackle. Referee Craig Evans deemed the action not severe enough for a penalty try, but sent the Leinster full-back for 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

Almost immediately, the Warriors made their numerical advantage count. Whilst the visitors managed to halt Glasgow’s progress from a rolling maul, they were powerless to prevent the score when Ali Price made the call to go wide. It was left to Johnson to draw the last man and feed Jackson for the score, the mulleted full-back sliding over untouched.

Despite Pete Horne being unable to add the extras, there was so nearly a second try for the home side just moments later. Johnson again was the creator, breaking the line before throwing the pass wide for Niko Matawalu. Yet with a clear run to the line, the ball slipped through the Fijian’s fingers and the chance went begging.

Leinster got themselves on the board with 13 minutes on the clock thanks to a Byrne penalty, but it would be the Warriors who would be next to cross the try-line. Once again the honour would fall to Jackson; a strong carry from Aki Seiuli – on for his Glasgow debut after an injury to Oli Kebble – took play to within two metres, before Price’s floated ball over the top allowed the full-back to catch and touch down. Horne’s conversion flew wide once more, leaving the score at 10-3 to the hosts.

The visitors then reminded those in attendance on a bitterly cold evening of their quality, conjuring their opening try on 31 minutes. Some impressive hands in midfield allowed Jimmy O’Brien to get his hands through the contact and feed Kelleher, with the winger running over unopposed from the Glasgow 22. Byrne converted, and the scores were level.

Kelleher then doubled up four minutes later, as Leinster pulled out an impressive strike move on the Glasgow 22. Once more it was the handling that caught the eye, as Keenan’s offload allowed his winger to dive over in the corner. A tricky conversion proved no test for Byrne, as the fly-half took Leinster’s lead to 17-10 at the half-time interval.

Having finished the first-half the stronger, it was the visitors that also made the better start to the second stanza. Yet despite their dominance of the early possession, it was Glasgow that came closest to scoring – a darting break from Matawalu took the Warriors in behind the Leinster defence, only for the opportunity to slip away once more.

It took until the 56th minute for the first points of the second half to arise, and it was once again the bot of Byrne that provided them. The fly-half needed no second invitation to extend his side’s lead to 20-10 when the Warriors were penalised for offside, before adding a further three points on 68 minutes to take the score to 23-10.

It was that penalty that seemed to spark Rennie’s side back into life for the final 10 minutes. Jackson was only denied a hat-trick by the TMO on 76 minutes, whilst a charge for the try-line by Gray was adjudged to have been held up by the scrambling Leinster defence.

Even a late push for a losing bonus-point ended in vain for the hosts. Nick Frisby’s dart for the corner saw the Australian bundled into touch just inches from the whitewash, bringing the curtain down on a disappointing night for the Warrior Nation.

Rennie’s men will have no time to feel down following the defeat, however – a Heineken Champions Cup double-header La Rochelle looms large on the horizon, with the trip to France in just a week’s time.

live commentary 7:35 PM Saturday 30 Nov 2019

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Kick-off 7:35 PM

Glasgow Warriors

Leinster

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