A losing BP is all that Danny Wilson’s Warriors can take from fixture one of the 20/21 season, after an increasingly sloppy defensive performance cost Glasgow dear in the end. As a sidenote to this week’s podcast, the wind didn’t seem that bad.
Connacht’s kick-off put Glasgow under early defensive pressure, and they won a penalty within the first minute with Oli Kebble clearing out from the side. Their prolific stand-off, Jack Carty gave the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Kebble then conceded a contentious penalty at a scrum on half-way, which also saw co-captain – but delegated ref-speaker, Fraser Brown – receive lengthy treatment.
There are two major flaws in Adam Hastings’ game which happen time and time again, and they put Glasgow under pressure.
It was his forward pass which led to the scrum penalty, and then a high tackle allowed Connacht to kick to the corner.
As Glasgow scrambled to defend, Matt Fagerson was caught offside, but Carty missed a fairly simple looking effort.
Glasgow remained under the cosh, Huw Jones had to clear from the in-goal area to just outside the 22, but the previously stricken Brown claimed the overthrown line-out and careered into Connacht’s half before being hauled down.
Connacht knocked on at the breakdown contest, and this time Kebble overpowered Finlay Bealham to win this particular head-to-head.
Glasgow produced a lovely line-out move, Huw Jones took advantage of a slip to get within 5m but when realising he would be caught, his pass to Nairn was too hard to take at full-speed.
Connacht had infringed at the line-out, and then conceded three more in a short period, which eventually saw lock Quinn Roux take a seat for ten minutes, in a highly responsible, socially distance bubble-space with a selection of periodicals of his choice.
What looked like a certain equalising effort was missed by Hastings, and Glasgow conceded a turnover penalty with their next possession.
This clash of the counter-attackers saw both sides stretch the other’s defences only for skills to let them down in the first half-hour of the new season.
Connacht had weathered the storm of being without Quinn Roux, but upon his return, a Glasgow maul which was rumbling towards the line was illegally brought down, so Hastings again went to the sidelines.
Connacht defended this one much better, and the intervention of Connacht scrum-half at the maul, won the home side the scrum put-in, which they won a penalty from. Again, it was given against Kebble to tip the see-saw back in Connacht’s favour, but only for the next minute or so.
Glasgow won possession back and patiently worked forward, then with the clock in the red and a penalty advantage, Warriors worked their way over the line through Nick Grigg.
Half-time: Connacht 3 – 7 Glasgow Warriors
Danny Wilson doesn’t expect to reinvent the wheel at Glasgow, but a moment of peak-Warriors madness allowed Hastings to extend Glasgow’s lead in the 46th minute.
Having stolen possession back in their own 22, Hastings took full advantage of a free-play to chip ahead for Huw Jones to sprint onto. He gathered with one-hand (it was pretty suave) and another of those slightly dodgy breakdown pens went Glasgow’s way.
Connacht levelled the scores to 10-10 when Aki scored a similar try to Grigg’s effort, and as the teams turned to restart, the ineffective Robbie Nairn was replaced by Ratu Tagive.
Quinn Roux then bustled over to put Connacht into the lead, despite what looked like a forward pass by Marmion in the build-up, as the hour mark approached.
Warriors hit back in a “Aah, that’s my Warriors”-fashion moments later.
Now that the current coaching set-up has left – and there’s no full-back – the former wunderkind, Huw Jones, has a chance to prove he’s international class, and his wonderful finish from 30m after cutting an outside-to-in line, proved again how lethal he can be.
Carty knocked over a penalty to make it 20-17 for the Galwegians, then a fantastic, counter-attack try finished off by Bundee Aki stretched the advantage to 25-17.
This game had now exploded into life like Lazarus on crack.
Tommy Seymour finished off a fine Glasgow move in the right-corner, and then on came Horneito to replace Price with less than 10mins remaining. Richie Gray also replaced Scott Cummings, and Fotu Lokotui came on for his debut.
The Tongan international then conceded a penalty at the breakdown for not rolling away, and Carty dinged the penalty over, to make it a 28-24 game with 3mins remaining.
With 90 seconds of regulation time remaining, Glasgow snaffled the ball back, but as he tried to straighten up the line it caused Ratu Tagive to delay his outside run, and Jones’ prospective pass to him went straight into touch.
An interesting match which improved in attacking quality as it went on, but defensively and disciplinarily, Glasgow will look to improve as Danny Wilson gets his own imprint put into the team.
SRBlog Player of the Match: Huw Jones. He doesn’t have the thunder-boot of Hogg, nor is he a perfectly nuanced full-back, but his running game was superb, and he does cover the backfield well.
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU)