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Glasgow 35-17 Ospreys

The sun shone on Glasgow tonight. At Scotstoun anyway, the home team were basking in the glow of a bumper crowd and a seasonally late appearance from the golden orb that is supposed to be keeping us warm in April as they took on champions Ospreys, packed with Lions past and elect.

Duncan Weir had a shaky start with the boot, missing two early penalties versus Dan Biggar’s three pointer but luckily the backs outside him were stocked with zeal as Dunbar and Maitland combined nicely with a couple of, shall we say, New Zealand style passes, to put Barclay over. He was adjudged to have been held up – a shame on potentially his final home game for Glasgow – but it wasn’t long before Ryan Grant made good on Glasgow’s pressure to dive over.

Barclay may not be flavour of the month with the Warrior’s payroll men but he put in a towering first half performance. Rumours have him playing second division rugby in France or in Wales (which is worse) but he showed what Glasgow will be missing out on. Foolish to get rid of him, really.

Weir missed the conversion but it wasn’t long before Glasgow scored again as that man Niko Matawalu put a kick into the narrow dead ball area. Pace man Sean Maitland powered behind Fussell and got a hand on it with inches to spare; so far so good for Glasgow.

Both sides had come to play, with the Ospreys surviving off little possession and showing touches of an offloading game. Glasgow had the pick of the play though, and put some lovely offloads together to send Grant over for his second try to the delight of the home crowd.

It was a big game for the wee prop who was up against everyone’s Lion elect tighthead in Adam Jones. In the early scrums, referee Alain Rolland was certainly seeing it his way, but Grant had a few calls against him too as plenty of scrums ended inconclusively. In the loose, Grant was by far the better of the two with a couple of a tries and even a searing break late in the game. Crucially though, Glasgow had the rub of the green in the fiery set-piece exchanges before half time due to an excellent attitude from their forwards.

Straight after half time though Rolland lost his patience and carded both of them in favour of a some new props. Still, they will have learnt a fair amount about each other over the course and Grant’s brace of tries will have done nothing to dent his chances of making the plane alongside the hairy one from Wales.

It was scrappy in the early stages of the second half after those cards but the Ospreys had clawed their way into the game and earned a close range try that Glasgow will have been disappointed to have concede. They had no advantage, but the sin bin period had woken them up at least and Glasgow had been rocked a little despite holding a 12-point lead.

Glasgow settled themselves and after a penalty which looked like Matawalu had taken foolishly the diminutive Fijian streaked through 22 metres of Ospreys and dotted down without even a dive, once again proving us all wrong. Grant was on hand to collect the hat-trick if required but he wouldn’t have complained as Glasgow collected the bonus point.

Duncan Weir went off with a serious looking leg  injury on the hour mark to be replaced by Pete Horne. But little mistakes were creeping in and the Ospreys crossed for another soft try. It almost looked like a reverse of the Munster game as the Ospreys grew in stature.

Horne steadied the ship a little with a penalty to maintain the lead, but with Niko calling the shots as often as he was allowed, Glasgow were breaking through the line everywhere (Sean Lamont, DTH, Strauss, even Ryan Grant) and kept the game in the right area.

As the clock wound down, so did the Ospreys resistance and after an ovation for Morrison – whose future is unclear but it looks like he won’t be at Glasgow next season – DTH Van Der Merwe gathered an awkward bouncing kick and sprinted over the line.

Glasgow booked their slot in the play-offs and went back up to second in the table. The play-off spot is secured, but a tricky away trip to Galway awaits. Leinster and Ospreys will face off but Ulster will be hard to catch. Glasgow need the results to go their way for a home semi but with two heavy beatings now administered to two title hopefuls at Scotstoun, Glasgow will want to be Scotstoun.

And no-one will want to visit them there.

Attendance: 6,642

SR Blog Man of the Match: Niko could have had it, as always, and John Barclay was brilliant (he was the official MoM). But Ryan Grant was top of the heap, even for 70 minutes. He harried, he chased, he tackled. He had a great line break, had two tries and could have had three. Announced himself, big time.

3 Responses

  1. Congratulations Glasgow a pleasure to watch. Congratulations also to the Coaching team for their vision and style and to the squad who have embraced them this season

    Despite how well things are going I can’t help feeling this squad is still a work in progress who have not yet reached their full potential and regardless of how this season finishes (with the championship I hope) I am already looking forward to next season to see how it continues to develop

    On the other side of the coin how good was Tipuric?

  2. Thank goodness for Glasgow – a real cause for optimism in Scottish rugby. I think they can only get better and I hope they get a good crack at the HEC next year. Hopefully Townshend will win trophies with Glasgow before he is inevitably ushered upstairs to the Scotland post. So far, he seems to be fulfilling the high hopes the establishment had for him.

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