Glasgow Warriors 19 – 32 Leinster

After a weekend filled with Scottish triumphs, could Glasgow Warriors do the almost unthinkable and end Leinster’s 22-match winning run in the Pro14?

No. It was a decent effort though, particularly in the loose, but set-piece deficiencies and the clinical nature of Leinster’s attacking play eventually put paid to any ideas of a home victory against the undisputed Pro14 kings.

Peter Horne – paired at half-back with little brother George – so you can guess what he’s being referred to for the rest of this piece – got proceedings under way with a kick which landed in line with my usual seat, acting as a cruel reminder of what I was missing. The opening salvos didn’t disappoint.

Glasgow had the upper-hand, particularly in terms of territory, but although making two incursions into Leinster’s 22, the formidable Irish outfit managed to win turnover penalties.

Once they had gotten into Glasgow’s half, a poor exit kick from Horneito gave Leinster the attacking platform, and with their usual effectiveness, they sucked players in to the breakdown until full-back Jimmy O’Brien was fed an inside ball on the angle, and he strongly fended off Huw Jones before crossing.

Recent complaints from the Warriors’ faithful has been around Glasgow’s seemingly more pragmatic gameplay, but when they levelled the scores it was a throwback to old.

The off-loads went to hand, rucks were cleared out with ferocity and the buzzing Horneito kept the ball quick.

Leinster were pinged for offside with the Warriors in their 22, but they kept playing and after captain Ryan Wilson carry made two Leinster players bump into each other as they went to tackle, Horneito was there to pick up from the breakdown and saunter over the line.

That Leinster though, they’re not too bad.

Harry Byrne stroked them into the lead after Glasgow’s scrum took a tanking, and soon afterwards Tommy O’Brien’s jinking run had taken Leinster into the Glasgow 22.

There were penalties and pressure aplenty, Glasgow held firm for a while, but when they were penalised from 5m out, Luke McGrath took a quick tap while Glasgow had their backs turned and snuck over.

Around the half-hour mark, Leinster started to threaten again through Cian Kelleher down the right-wing, but some cracking defensive work from little Nico Matawalu and an effective counter-ruck turned the ball over.

Huw Jones – a rare shining light so far in Glasgow’s drab start to the season – went for a cheeky chip and chase, but Rhys Ruddock managed to field the ball, and once they had control of the ball, Leinster do what Leinster do and clinically finished with a pushover maul try for openside Scott Penny.

Glasgow managed to halt another Leinster drive with time in the red, but it left a mountain to climb in the second half against the indomitable champions.

Half-time: Glasgow Warriors 7 – 22 Leinster

At the start of the second half, Warriors reduced the deficit with a helluva pick n go try from Darcy Rae, who was able to drive through Rhys Ruddock’s tackle with a shove from his friends, just to give us Glasgow fans a little hope.

With Leinster almost destined to extend the lead after an infringement by Harley, the big man redeemed himself by holding up the Leinster maul and winning possession back for Glasgow.

Warriors then ground their way towards Leinster’s 22, only for a miscommunication lead to a knock-on, and just to maintain the status quo, once Leinster got on the ball, they got on the scoreboard.

Seymour slipped as Rory O’Loughlin went to breach the Glasgow defensive line, full panic-mode ensued which saw Huw Jones yellow-carded as he infringed at the breakdown. Leinster tapped, went, and burrowed over for the bonus-point try.

Despite conditions being nowhere near as manky as at the Parc Y Scarlets this weekend, Glasgow’s line-out was shocking, regardless of who was throwing in.

George Turner throw a shocker with Warriors only 10m from the Leinster line, and when Rob Harley was extremely harshly judged by Ben Whitehouse to have taken his man out beyond the ruck, Glasgow’s territorial advantage was ended.

A lengthy stoppage for an injury to captain Ryan Wilson held proceedings up as Glasgow waited to hit a penalty to the corner, and although it looked like he was going off, the premier wind-up merchant of the Pro14 stayed on.

And then he saw George Turner miss his jumper again, and Leinster nicked the ball back. They cleared to just inside their 22, and the Glasgow line-out was piss-poor again, so Leinster cleared to half-way this time. George Turner was 0 for 3 since coming on.

A high-tackle on TJ Ioane forced him off for Lokotui, and from the resultant penalty Glasgow actually managed to retain possession from their set-piece.

Huw Jones’ grubber for a haring Matawalu to chase was cleared to the 22, and Glasgow were offered a penalty just a few phases later in the Leinster 22 for offside.

Horneito went for a rapid tap and go, but his pass to Tom Gordon was too rapid and he knocked on just 15m from the Leinster line. 15m from reducing the 15-point deficit with 15mins to go.

More manky line-out work from Glasgow allowed saw Alex Allan shoved into touch, but again the Glasgow defence held firm and they played some very good stuff to eventually score through Tom Gordon. Leinster wing Cian Kelleher was also sent to the bin for a high tackle on the rampaging Huw Jones, but with so little time left on the clock it was merely a consolation.

SRBlog Player of the Match: Huw Jones again looked threatening with all that open space in front of him, and he can actually vary his kicking game, plus Ryan Wilson showed some real carrying grunt which we don’t often see from the big man.

In terms of effort, confusing the opposition with his off-the-cuff ways, and sporadic moments of quality, Nico Matawalu takes the award.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

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Warriors season ticket holder and widely renowned ne'er-do-well, Iain has been watching rugby from a young age, but developed a true passion for the game whilst in the rugby hotbed that is New Zealand. Like Tommy Seymour, his hair-style icon, Iain does not like chickens.
Follow Iain on twitter @iainhay82

23 comments on “Glasgow Warriors 19 – 32 Leinster

  1. Sam Laycock on

    Glasgow playing well, George Horne is awesome, intensity and accuracy but the pack is totally outgunned.

  2. Bass Rock on

    Dreadful night, so wet ,yet Glasgow threw it around and it was a lively game. Turners line out was shocking (We were in it till he got it so wrong), much prefer Stewart. It is getting boring saying just how good it is to see Huw Jones getting back to himself, lovely grubber into their box (2nd half) and it looks like he has developed a good understanding with Johnson and Grigg , a lot more to come IMO. George Horne brought fast service, mesmeric having him and Nico on together, anything can happen , I liked Thomson when he came on , mighty boot, maybe earlier next time. I think that back line , on a dry night will provide some entertaining rugby.

  3. Rab on

    Hands in the ruck for this week, the pro 14 pundits going on about how Leinster are the benchmark and are that everyone should aspire to hit that level as if any of the other clubs have the financial clout to build a similar set up. Don’t see anything stopping Leinster other than a salary cap to make them trim their squad

    • FF on

      To be fair, their squad is amazing because they have possibly the best academy system in the world outside New Zealand.

      Sure they have to pay a lot to keep all their internationals but it is a system built from the ground up.

  4. Fraser on

    G Horne and Johnson looking good again, Jones made a few basic errors that he needs to cut out if he is to have a reasonable chance of more Scotland caps.

    Forwards didn’t give a good enough platform which left the backs chasing the game.

    • TENC on

      I do not think Jones should set himself the goal of playing for Scotland. Just be good enough to get noticed and get an offer away from Glasgow. After that, perhaps Scotland.

  5. john on

    Very good game, I thought Leinster were absolutely superb. However Glasgow were right in the hunt until the 3 line outs within 10 meters of the Leinster line were “cocked up” as the commentator put it. Hugely physical and entertaining Glasgow were chasing the game throughout, Jones looked threatening – 1 bad pass otherwise played well. Sam johnson did well & looks fit. Like said above Thompson & his big boot should’ve been on much earlier.

  6. I Mac on

    Playing Leinster always reminds me of the value of an awesome academy system. Exeter coach was talking about the amazing work on their academy and links with Exeter University recently… Cammy / editor team any chance of an article on Scottish system and University partnerships and plans to improve them?

    • Bass Rock on

      As do clubs like Gloucester. The Academy is fed by the Hartpury College. The feeders are key , but our academys are producing talent as well. It is working , just not as established as other nations.

      • FF on

        The Leinster academy catchment area is something like 2m people and also includes many of the most well established rugby schools in Ireland (like Blackrock College). The Leinster schools competition and national schools competition is ultra competitive.

        The Scottish system does quite well with meagre resources. In Scotland, the fundamental problem is too few players play in competitive environments from a young age. The SRU have tried to get to grips with this but it’s fair to say their reforms have been controversial, managing to undermine club rugby at youth level and failing to overcome self interest from private schools.

  7. Scotty on

    The Huw Jones Enigma

    Huw is clearly a fan favourite and will seemingly be the main talking point of every Scotland squad he is not in.

    Yes he’s found his mojo again but will he get into Scotland at 15? No. Will he start at 13 considering he doesn’t play club level there? No.

    What are his options? Keep playing 15 at glasgow and hope he gets the odd run out there when Hogg is being rested/injured.

    Or, the seemingly more popular option, move club and play 13 regularly and then play 13 for Scotland and everyone is happy.

    The question is, where can he go?

    Let’s look at the prem and their incumbent 13s and if he would start ahead of them:

    Exeter: slade – no
    Wasps/ fekitoa – no
    Bristol/ radradra – no
    Bath: Joseph – no
    Quins: marchant – no
    Gloucester: Harris – we all know how that’s going
    Worcester: Lawrence – no
    Sale: tuilagi – no
    Northampton: dingwall/hutch: maybe
    Leicester: Porter – yes
    London Irish: Williams – yes

    So if he moves to Irish or Leicester and gets beaten every other week will that improve his rugby and Scotland chances? The only other option is to move to France where he could become the forgotten man, ala Dunbar.

    Tricky one for his agent to puzzle out.

    • Neil on

      Scott your saying he would not start at 13 ahead of all those prem options ? I call BS on that.

      Besides Radradra and possibly Tuilagi/Joseph who are 50/50’s i would have an in form Jones way ahead.

      • Scotty on

        Slade has been in very good form so definitely not. Fekitoa is the best defending back in the prem and lethal in attack so definitely not for Wasps either. I will grant the rest are up for debate but my point is he is not getting into a top half prem team which surely hampers his international aspirations?

      • Scotty on

        And to say Radradra is a 50/50 is possibly the most thistle tinted glasses comment I have ever read! I doubt there is any impartial rugby fan in the world that would agree with that statement.

      • Neil on

        First of all Scotty i meant Radradra is the only one clearly ahead of Jones, and that Tuilagi and Joseph are the 50/50s

        Slade may be in good form but Jones is a better 13 wether you like it or not. Im sure Exeter would remove whitten and have Slade at 12 as he is for England rather than leave Huw Jones out.

        Fekitoa is an ex average All black and has alot of areas he can improve on. He has only started performing well recently after about 2 years due to a dominant wasps pack appearing.

      • FF on

        I agree with general point that he might struggle to get into a decent prem team, however at the moment he’s in no man’s land.

        He should look for a move to France – or anywhere else really. Glasgow are struggling and as he is no longer a Scotland test player he doesn’t really benefit from the better welfare management. So what is the advantage of being played out of position at a struggling club?

        It’s not the weather or salary. He’d be better off just about anywhere he was getting regular rugby at 13.

      • Scotty on

        FF that’s my point exactly. If he wants to play 13 for Scotland he needs to move to a club where he’ll be first choice 13. But his options are either bottom half of the prem or France, both of which may hurt his international ambitions further. Plus, wherever he goes he may always be tarred with the tag line of the man who had to leave his club as he couldn’t displace Nick Grigg…

      • BruceP on

        Sale might be an option for Jones, Tuilagi’s contract is up at the end of the 20/21 season (as is H Jones) and given his injury troubles will Sale want to take the risk of sacrificing that much money out of their budget on a player who might only play a handful of times?

    • Big Al on

      If the South Africans come back in to the Pro14 (or whatever the number is just now) then I wouldnt be surprised to see Jones plying his trade there. He’d still be on the radar for Scotland and playing with the sun on his back. Also an outside chance of being a geographic call up for the Lions if the rugby gods fancied it.

      • Bass Rock on

        The S African angle is good. Gloucester change their side a lot , Worcester is a great club setup, very welcoming, Sale has lots of potential , Exeter is not the right club, Bath ? Bristol ? but people move for many reasons and Injury’s kick in. Nothing is forever , Jones moved aside to put his team first, I like that. That is called being a team player ! I will let you reflect on that ! Team first, Team first, there is no I in team. What is more SHC , the forgotten man, the rebel , has had more clubs than my golf bag, has just won a European Cup medal, so what is not to like about looking outwards. I also think Glasgow is a different club now, but he should move, it has never fulfilled for him and it never will.

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