Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Glasgow Warriors 27-20 Northampton Saints

Pete Horne - Photo © Alastair Ross
Pete Horne - Photo © Alastair Ross

An injury-time try from replacement Peter Horne gave Scotstoun  a first European win to saviour as Glasgow defeated 2011 finalists Northampton.

Horne broke free with the final play of the game to evade the clutches of the covering Ben Foden to score underneath the posts, before adding the conversion to seal the deal.

Man of the Match Niko Matawalu, who moved from scrum-half to wing upon the introduction of Scotland squad member Sean Kennedy, kept the home side in touching distance with an interception breakaway score after tries from Foden and Dom Waldouck put the visitors in the ascendency.

Josh Strauss forced his way over late on to bring the game close, before the double strike by Matawalu and Horne sealed Gregor Townsend’s first win in the competition this season.

In what was effectively a dead-rubber for the home side, there was an early exchange of penalties, with Ruaridh Jackson and Stephen Myler getting both sides on the board inside the first five minutes.

On a bitterly cold afternoon, there was little flow to the match as handling errors hampered both teams efforts. That changed, though, when a simple move allowed former Wasps centre Dom Waldouck to crash through the Glasgow defence to score.

Half-time: Glasgow Warriors 6-10 Northampton Saints

The second half was a more entertaining affair, as the visitors pushed for the four-try bonus point they required to advance in European competition this season, and their hopes were dashed when Al Kellock’s superb carry off a well-worked lineout resulted in Josh Strauss barging his way over the line.

Scott Wight, on for the injured Jackson in the first half, added the extras to put the Warriors three points ahead.

As the Saints pushed, they created a number of chances out wide, and finally their efforts were rewarded when Samoan centre George Pisi rounded off a simple overlap to score. Ryan Lamb missed the conversion, meaning it was a two-point game (13-15).

Matawalu then struck from a poorly delivered pass, as he rushed out of the defensive line to outstrip the covering Elliot to score. Wight’s conversion was successful, meaning the Warriors had a five-point cushion with less than ten minutes to play.

England full-back Foden had other ideas though, as he went over to score for Jim Mallinder’s side in what was to be a frantic final ten minutes at Scotstoun.

Peter Horne, who moved to stand-off following the introduction of Alex Dunbar for Wight minutes earlier, took a looping pass on half-way, before breaking one tackle with a wonderful hand-off and outsprinting the covering Foden to the line.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Byron McGuigan, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Ruiridh Jackson, 9 Niko Matawalu; 1 Gordon Reid, 2 Pat MacArthur,3 Moray Low, 4 Tim Swinson, 5 Al Kellock (captain), 6 Josh Strauss, 7 James Eddie, 8 Ryan Wilson

Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall (on for MacArthur), 17 Ryan Grant (on for Reid), 18 N/A, 19 Tom Ryder (on for Kellock [blood] then Wilson, 20 Alex Dunbar (on for Wight), 21 Sean Kennedy (on for Seymour), 22 Scott Wight (on for Jackson), 23 Peter Horne (on for McGuigan)

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliot, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson; 1 Soane Tonga’uiha, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 4 Samu Manoa, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Calum Clark, 7 Tom Wood, 8 Phil Dowson

Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller (on for Tonga’uiha), 18 Tom Mercey (on for Doran-Jones), 19 Mark Sorenson (on for Clark), 20 Rhys Oakley (on for Lawes), 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb (on for Myler, 23 Tom May (on for Wilson)

Heineken Man of the Match:  Niko Matawalu

21 Responses

  1. Have heard two opinions on this match. On a clearly hacked off Saints fan claimed Glasgow were a bunch of dirty cheats who held on in the tackle, ran offside, hit late, etc. However, a comment on the Daily Telegraph said exactly the opposite and Glasgow were on the receiving end of a thuggish Saints (Lawes and Hartley in particular) and a dreadful referee. Either way shows guts, nous, and real commitment. Any Embra players watching take note!

  2. Try of the season from Wight?
    How was Manoa not cited for the late and dangerous hit on Jackson?
    Re. Allan’s comment above I think Edinburgh are a poorly put together sqaud.Glasgow have beniftted from some very good signings at key positions , in fact Glasgow have so many quality players that too many of them are not getting enough game time to fully develop their potential. Duncan Weir hardly plays and Mark Bennett has not played at all since moving back to Glasgow.
    On the other hand guys like Rees , Yaap ,Atiga , Francis etc have brought very little to Edinburgh and are probably getting paid very well for their poor performances.

  3. I watched this on TV and near enough spat my beer out when Horne broke for that try.

    I would like to see Horne developed at 10. He is played primarily as an inside centre but I belive that he spent most/all of his time before pro contract as a 10.

    Wight needs shipped to another club that can offer him game time at a pro12 level of above. I feel that, with game time, he can develop into a decent/good 10. His contract for Glasgow is up this year. I just hope there is enough pro footage of him to show to other clubs.

    1. He is played as an inside centre but he came up through the age grades as a fullback, I remember seeing him carve a couple of U20 sides open on a couple of occasions. I’d still like to see him there again at some point, perhaps with Hogg moving to 13?

    2. Interesting. I thouogh he was a 10. Good to know that he has the ability at 15 and the balls to step up to 10 in a tough HC game. Good things to come for this boy.

      Any chance on getting a discussion going on captain?

  4. Surely Wight to Edinburgh would make most sense for Scottish rugby – he’s just incredibly reliable, unfussy and not at all flashy, perfect for the capital side

    1. He wanted Dunbar on. Fresh legs and a big tackler in midfield. Morrison was having an outstanding game and was organising the defence so it was one of the other subs who had to come off. Horne or Wight? Well Horne is a better defender and at that point they were trying to protect a 5 point lead. Fair call IMHO

  5. Gonna take a wild stab at Toonie believing Horne would be the best player to get the backs moving and secure the win. Wight had been off the pace and too deep all game imo.

  6. a good time to give a fancied Premiership side a doing esp when the media experts seemed confident of a bonus point victory – in fairness the Northampton fans didn’t display the same arrogance, not the ones I spoke to anyway. I felt very sorry for Wight, the ignominy of the sub being subbed – I still believe he is Glasgow’s most complete 10 (see post re Scotland’s 10). Agree he didn’t really get into the pace of the game. If it was Greegor’s decision to take him off and shuffle Hornie to 10 then I have to concede this was inspired and in effect won the match. It was an uplifting performance and deserved to be seen by more than the 4,000 plus – why don’t we get more? Encouraging displays from Hogg, Morrison who had a reelin’ in the years game (- I’d have a one-legged Morrison over NDL … write him off at your peril), Hornie, Nico, Rhino I and Rhino II, Big Al, Gordon Reid – listen, it was inspiring and without getting carried away, it’s morale boosting coming in to the 6N. Glad to hear some (apart from Edin zzzzz) are criticising Glw for being street wise. Hartley is a horrible player!

    1. I think part of the reason why the numbers are so low is the cost of the ticket. £4 for a crap beer is also taking it too far. It is hard not to feel taken advantage of and you dont want that in a place you devote time and energy to.

  7. I’ve had a season ticket at Edinburgh since they moved to murrayfield. Each Fixture means a 3 hour round trip. The catering is second rate and the beer much worse than that. Fortunately I drive so am spared the latter.
    I am a Fifer so value for money is important to me and until this year I have seldom missed a home match.
    Now I just can’t be bothered. The players showed what they are capable of in last years Heineken, after that, watching their sad scared performances this season has been grim.
    I realise that as a fan I am letting the team down by my absence and criticism and I feel bad abut it but ging and watching poor teams scoring resounding victories against us make me feel worse.

  8. I think you do get value at Glasgow, you’re watching international players. Maybe not at Edinburgh, I’m not sure how they’ve ended up with such a weak squad, no depth at all. I reckon you’d get a Glasgow team from players that weren’t in the sqaud v Northampton that would beat Edinburgh.

    1. Let’s try, Andy!

      Against Saints:

      Hogg; Seymour, McGuigan, Morrison, Maitland; Jackson, Matawalu; Reid, MacArthur, Low, Swinson, Kellock, Strauss, Eddie, Wilson.

      Replacements: Kennedy for Seymour (59), Horne for McGuigan (55), Wight for Jackson (34), Grant for Reid (61), Hall for MacArthur (50), Ryder for Wilson (45), Dunbar for Wight (69).

      So that would leave:
      Murchie, RLamont, DTH vdM, Bennett, SLamont, Weir, Cusiter, Welsh, Gillies, Cusack, Gray, Campbell, McDonald, Fusaro, Barclay

      Replacements: Fergus Scott, Araoz, Kalman, Templeton, Harley, Pyrgos, Russell, Thompson

      Yup, reckon they’d beat Embra

  9. I’d have Ofa and Taylor P on the bench (German is away now). In the extremely unlikely all were fit a bounce game between those two teams would be fantastic!… If you’re watching Gregor?

    On a more serious note, there are too many of the Glasgow players not getting enough game time. Time for a 3rd pro team? Or transfer a few over to Edinburgh?

    1. Get tae. We have a strong squad and I won’t see it weakened just when it’s depth is showing it’s value.

  10. re David D’s comment – I don’t think ticket prices are exceptional and you don’t have to have a beer. The main consideration is what is delivered on the pitch and that is good at the moment. Also the ground is good …. I had reservations about Scotstoun but it has been a real plus and its good to play on a proper size pitch. Catering etc is flim flam and pressure can be exerted to improve it from within. The on field fare deserves a better crowd – it was embarassing the numbers that turned up for Castres.

    1. I agree that better performance will increase sales but it won’t put money in the pockets of those who don’t have it. I still think the ticket and beer prices are over the top regardless of how well we play. The facilities are more plentiful than Firhill and in better condition. Maybe the staff are still getting used to the set up. Main stand produces bigger queues than the North stand. I usually go to a mobile vendor when at the main stand.

      Having said that I am thoroughly enjoying Scotstoun. I know there are a fair few people that are staying away because they have the hump over the move. I am hoping a great finish to this year will entice some of them back.

      The running track is the biggest problem there with the lack of East and West stand a close 2nd. Without those stands the noise made seems to float away taking the atmosphere with it. Full capacity should help a bit . Or even leaving the temps up all season. That would be costly unless they own them.

  11. The “why don’t we draw a bigger crowd” question is a perennial one, and an issue a certain sports journalists for the Herald likes to trot out every so often so bolster his argument that the two pro-sides have never really been taken to heart by the rugby community.

    Perhaps the most obvious thing to say it that its not just down to one issue. Tickets are £25 for the main stand, but if bought in advance you can get a reasonable seat in the North Stand for £20 or stand/sit in the temp areas behind the posts. I can’t afford the main stand, so the North Stand is where you’ll find me, and the view is ok without being fantastic.

    In part this pricing structure is there to encourage people to buy season tickets £225 for the main stand works out at £16 a game and £180 for the North Stand at £12 per game. So you could miss a few games and the season ticket work out cheaper than paying on the gate. Will be interesting to see if the prices increase for next season.

    The food is overpriced, but that’s what I expect from any event like this.

    The big issue for the SRU and Glasgow / Edinburgh is why are they unable to get people who will pay £50 to go to a six nations match to become regular attenders at the pro teams. Ok, many of them don’t live in the central belt, but many do! Furthermore, how many of the people who will tune in the BBC to watch the 6 Nations actually realise that they could watch most of these guys by turning up at Scotstoun? The marketing to the teams is at best sporadic. Indeed, I’d say that since we moved to Scotstoun attempts by the club to grow the crowd have been minimal, certainly not the same effort that there was when we were at Firhill. Part of this is because we’re in a smaller stadium and thus capacity is an issue.

    Having said all that, if we take out the Edinburgh game then attendances look to be on average up for the Rabo games and slightly down (due to the poor turn out for Castre) for the HEC games. Last year we’d four games where the crowd was under 3k, this year our smallest crowd was 3,313 for the visit of Zebre.

  12. If we get a shirt sponsor for next year then maybe they will put a little more money into advertising and drawing in bigger crowds.

    I would like to get myself a Main Stand season ticket for next year. I believe that, if you can’t make a game, they will put your seat up for sale for that game and give you a cut of the ticket cost. That about right?

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion