There was an air of anticipation at Firhill on a wet Saturday evening as the Warriors welcomed current RaboDirect Pro12 leaders Leinster.
In the fourth encounter between the two sides this season and it was set to be every bit as good as the previous three.
With the rain making conditions muddy underfoot the opening quarter saw the sides exchanging kicks and penalties. Leinster had an early opportunity to go ahead, seven minutes in, as the home side were penalised for not rolling away from the tackle. Irish fly half Ian Madigan stepped up to take the kick, and pushed it wide, much to the relief of the watching Glasgow crowd.
With conditions not being conducive to an expansive game, both sides dug in and exchanged kicks in order to gain territory and an edge through the line outs, in which both sides were evenly matched.
The game continued in this vein until Ruaridh Jackson stepped up to mark and with 30 minutes on the clock, kicked the first points of the game. The visitors responded to this with determination and grit but the final ten minutes saw a stalemate characterised by sloppy handling and mistakes as the rain made the play difficult. And the Warriors went into the changing rooms at half time, the leaders.
Half time 3-0
It was in the opening minutes of the second half when the game exploded into life. Pat MacArthur dove over the line whilst being bundled into touch by Leinster full back Isa Nacewa. After referee John Lacey had consulted with the TMO he ran between the posts and awarded the Warriors the penalty try, and Nacewa was sent to the sin bin, for not using his arms in the tackle.
With Leinster down to 14 men, Warriors really had the advantage but did not use it, and only 7 minutes later Leinster got their first points on board as Heinke Van Der Merwe powered over the line, and Ian Madigan converted, reducing the Warriors lead to only three points.
As the rain continued to pour down, the handling errors were on the up, and like in the lineouts, both teams were evenly matched in the scrum. With the minutes ticking away, it looked as though Glasgow would grind out a win, as they repelled the phases of Leinster attack.
The final points of the match went to Leinster, and Isa Nacewa who chipped over a simple penalty to level the scores with only ten minutes left to play.
Glasgow came close to scoring a last ditch try, as substitute Scott Wight spotted Tommy Seymour in open space on the wing, and threw a long pass, and the try-line was only inches away when Nacewa, perhaps making up for his moment of ill discipline earlier by putting in the work, came in and pounced on the chip forward.
The last moments of the game were dominated by scrums in which both sides fought hard to dominate. It fell to the Warriors to kick the ball into touch and finish the game level pegging. Glasgow Warriors 10 – 10 Leinster.
Speaking to us afterwards, Warriors head coach Sean Lineen spoke of the Leinster try: “they are a very clever team, and a man down, they got into the green zone, they keep the ball close and tight. They are perhaps the best team in the league at it. Overall our defence was outstanding; we kept them out for long periods of time. That try came from a moment of ill discipline and a lost line out. Which is something we need to address before our next game.”