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.