Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Ospreys 26-15 Glasgow Warriors

Peter Murchie - pic © ALASTAIR ROSS | Novantae Photography
Peter Murchie - pic © ALASTAIR ROSS | Novantae Photography

Sunday 26th Feb, Liberty Stadium

Glasgow’s run of recent league disappointments continued, as some costly defensive lapses and sloppy handling, in admittedly horrible conditions, allowed the Ospreys to run out 26-15 winners, moving the hosts into second place of the Pro12, and the Warriors languishing twelve points adrift of the play-off positions.

Osprey’s opened the scoring in the 10th minute, a line-out on the right-hand side, was eventually worked to the left-wing and Dafydd Howells, a last-minute replacement for the injured Hanno Dirkson. Howells beautifully executed a pick-up from off his toes, albeit with a hint of a knock-on as he gathered, leaving Nick Grigg flat-footed and Howells with space in front. Opposite wing Keelan Giles was inside to offer support, took the pass, and left last man back Grayson Hart twisting in the wind and rain for a simple stroll to the sticks.

Glasgow seemed to have played their way back into the match, but with just over the first quarter played, Ospreys moved further ahead on their next visit to the Glasgow danger-zone. Peter Horne will have memories of his Scotland debut v Samoa in Durban, as Josh Matavesi ran straight through him on his way to the try-line, leaving another simple conversion.

Glasgow though hit back almost immediately. A scrum was awarded for an Ospreys knock-in just inside their 22, Brian Alainu’ese made good hard yards through the middle up to within 5m, and with the pitch opened up the Warriors went left, Corey Flynn eventually diving over from close range.

Glasgow progressed to have slightly more of the possession for the remainder of the first-half, however, neither team was able to add to their points tally. A penalty conceded by the Warriors at the breakdown whilst in the Ospreys 22m, saw the end to an entertaining if error-strewn first-half.

Half-time: Ospreys 14-7 Glasgow Warriors

The 2nd half started strongly for the Warriors, Corey Flynn, having one of his better games of the season, won a jackalling penalty within striking distance for Brandon Thomson to add three points.

Further good news for Glasgow was close behind following a huge hit on Keelan Giles. The young Welsh starlet had barely laid hands on the ball deep inside his own 22, before Rory Hughes was upon him and delivered an almighty thump. Hart was on hand to pick up the loose ball and feed Murchie, who managed to weave a route through the scrambling defenders to cross white-wash, after confirmation from the TMO. The conversion was missed from out wide, but Warriors took the lead for the first time at 15-14.

However, the pendulum quickly swung back the way of the Welsh, and this time it stuck there. In quick succession Tyler Ardron went over, before replacement Kieron Fonotia scored a break-away try following a wayward Peter Horne pass, to put the Ospreys out of reach.

This was always going to be a tough away match for the Warriors, even if both teams had been at full strength, but the lack of intensity, particularly in defence, was the key to this defeat. The ease with which Ospreys scored will have been a worry for Matt Taylor, away on Scotland duty. Speaking of away, it has also been announced Josh Strauss will join Sale Sharks next season.

Glasgow will be happy some players got game time, but with one more match before the international cavalry return, victory over Newport is essential if they want to stay in touch with the play-off contenders.

SRBlog Man of the Match: I’m going to opt for big lock Brian Alainu’ese, he put a strong carrying shift in, never taking a step backwards.

13 Responses

  1. No Pro 12 party for Glasgow this year. Losing all their matches during the international breaks has killed their season stone dead.
    The ‘fringe’ players and injury return players all got game time which is a plus, but some of us expected them to play a damn site better.
    It seemed strange to lose DTH a couple of seasons ago, but this year does seem like the end of the Townsend era, with so many players leaving.
    Also concerns about how poorly some played. Grigg and Hart were very poor I thought.

    1. I think this season will see the end of the strategy of filling the Glasgow squad solely with the core of the National Side. We simply cannot afford to have effectively our entire first choice XV away on international duty for maybe 25-35% of the pro12 season.

      1. Realistically, given other competitions I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone sat down at the beginning of the season and decided Pro 12 is simply not a priority this year, save to qualify for ECC.

        This year it is all about:
        Six Nations.
        NZ and Lions.

        I don’t mind that.

      2. I think the assessment about ECC and 6N is about right. Lions, no – I think everyone would have been realistic about how Gatland would go about things from the outset.

        It was about time more focus was put on the ECC. Saracens will be as tough as it comes, but there’s a chance.

        I hope Rennie brings a fresh perspective and a fresh look at the squad, especially the second string / non Scottish Squad players.

        Time will tell.

      3. Andy/NRS and anyone else that will listen to a daft me.

        I dont mind them playing in ECC and Internationals however for me the Lions is not a club consideration. In fact it is not in our interest as fans of Glasgow and Edinburgh to have lions in the squad.

        I am concerned that immediately after the 6N this lot need to be ready for Saracens and what is more, I dont want the potential lions coming out wrapped in cotton wool in case they get injured (al la Paul O’Connell incident).

        It needs looking at , but the factors are much bigger than we think, including the SRU rest period rules. This lot might be due a rest after the 6N , its a long intense time for them.

        Putting more Internationalists into championship or french sides is good for us, for now, however if we beat England next week they will not be long in coming out with some draconian laws to prevent you gaining access to them (as the english clubs did under Rowell once before).

        If we load up Glasgow and Edinbugh with non 6N guys,where do we nurture our development players?

        In my wildest dreams buy a side (on the cheap) in a competative league ,somewhere in the world, where we can park them for a year ir two , bring them back when ready to step up to Glasgow or Edinburgh. But that is a dream, not realistic.

        Or is it ?

      4. Not if that league has rules about having a certain number of domestic players as the RFU does. You’d need them to be dual qualified and hope they were loyal!

      5. The problem for Scottish Pro12 coaching is that the SRU are stressing a need to develop grassroots talent, have project signings firing on all cylinders, and keep everyone playing at the highest level of European competition possible.

        Two clubs isn’t enough to harness all this and a prolonged period of depth comparible to the likes of Ireland or Wales.

        Is now the time to launch a third Pro12 club? An established Glasgow await Rennie, Cockerall and Myreside are destined to build a sting Edinburgh, and our international side is turning heads on the world stage.

        Feel like we have the commercially savvy SRU to make it happen these days.

      6. Typo of mine to say ‘NZ and Lions’ when I meant ‘Aus [Scotland tour] and Lions’.

        ML, BD, Nic – good points not sure I have much to, bar we’re struggling to fill both pro sides with development talent presently?

  2. i think one of the problems this season is that there are so many key glasgow players now performing well for scotland and nailing their place down. If we look at last year the week Scotland played Italy, Glasgow played the Dragons and fielded Dunbar, Duncan Weir, Fraser Brown, Strauss, Gordon Reid and Zander Fagerson along with Favaro. One year on, all of them are playing well in the league and the six nations.

    From last year they also havent replaced certain players who left the club. e.g. Naiyaravoro, Nakarawa, Yanuyanutawa. These guys were key players who were always available during 6 nations. Glasgow need to sign a foreign 9, to compete with price and be available for international weeks. (I think pyrgos to edinburgh wouldn’t be too bad).Wouldnt mind Rennie brining across players from Super Rugby even for short contracts, while Super Rugby off-season, because thats when we really need them.

  3. We need to have players from NZ and AUS during international periods, we have simply proved this season that the young guns aren’t cutting it at this moment in time. Development is brilliant but results matter, no one is going to be looking and saying ‘oh yes they are bottom of the league but their player development is fantastic, they’ll win the league in two years’ It’s a tough business and just doesn’t work like that…

    1. It is a real shame though to see Townsend go out of the league like this, I just hope we get a couple of big games in Europe now!

  4. Turned it off at half time as I knew they were gonna lose. The total lack of any intensity was obvious, players strolling around the pitch from knock on to turnover to poor set piece etc, and the worst display of passing and handling I’ve seen since…er…Edinburgh the night before! Too many players just going through the motions and no-one taking them by the scruff of the neck and giving them a bollocking. They desperately miss a Kellock like figure to show some leadership when Jonny is away.

    1. Jonny doesn’t show the Kellock leadership, I always thought that Chris Fusaro looked to be a genuine leader when Kellock was away but tbh Chris has never shown any potential in the last few seasons?

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