PRO12 champions Connact made a disastrous start to the season when they suffered a 41-5 loss to Glasgow Warriors in Galway on Saturday.
The first-half got off to a tight start with two of the Pro 12’s best sides each enjoying good spells.
However, Tommy Seymour’s two tries cancelled out Niyi Adeolokun’s effort to establish an eight-point lead at the break. The hosts were relentless in their pursuit of their 2015-16 crown, however, this intensity was absent from their second-half performance as they conceded four tries from Stuart Hogg, Tim Swinson, Sila Puafisi and Sean Lamont.
The score could have been even higher were it not for the notorious Sportsground wind affecting the Glasgow kickers. The resounding 5-41 score line putting down a convincing marker for a Warriors’ title challenge.
2015 champions Glasgow got off to perfect start in the match when, in the 10th minute, some fantastic build-up play found its way to Seymour on the wing. The Scotland international found a burst of pace before touching down in the corner.
Henry Pyrgos missed a difficult conversion attempt leaving the score set at 5-0. However, the Warriors’ scrum-half found his kicking boots with a successful effort at the posts in the 24th minute which extended the visitors’ lead to eight points.
Ryan Wilson was sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle in the 28th minute reducing Glasgow to 10 men. This yellow proved to be pivotal as Connacht preceded to pile on the pressure on the visitors, this dominance paid dividends on 33 minutes as Eoin Griffin found Adeolokun on the overlap. The winger beat the defender before crossing in the corner to cut the score to 5-8 after Jack Carty’s conversion attempt was carried wide by the swirling wind.
However, the hosts’ resurgence was stopped in its tracks three minutes later when Seymour scored his second try of the match, evading the attentions of the Connacht defence for another try out wide. Pyrgos’s attempt to add the extras was once more thwarted by the wind to make the half-time score 5-13.
The Warriors started the second half in a similar manner, winning a scrum five metres out before working the ball across to Hogg. The 24-year-old showed great power in shrugging off the hosts’ defensive efforts before touching down after just 90 seconds of the second period had been played. Pyrgos converted to make the score 5-20 to the Scottish side.
Glasgow secured a bonus point after Swinson touched down for the visitors before Pyrgos added the extras to make the score 5-27, placing his side in a commanding position.
Replacement prop Sila Puafisi added a fifth score for the visitors after 58 minutes, burrowing under the tacklers to continue his side’s rout of the defending champions.
In the 70th minute, the rout was completed as Sean Lamont marked his 100th Glasgow appearance with a sniping try from close range. Rory Clegg’s conversion attempt was good and took the score to 5-41 and this was how it finished, a comprehensive bonus point victory.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Seymour 2, Hogg, Swinson, Puafisi, Lamont
Cons: Pyrgos 3, Clegg
Connacht: 15 Cian Kelleher, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Nepia Fox-Matamua, 6 Eoin McKeon, 5 Danny Qualter, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 James Connolly, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Shane O’Leary, 23 Peter Robb
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Peter Horne, 9 Henry Pyrgos (cc), 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray (cc), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Tjiuee Uanivi, 20 Lewis Wynne, 21 Ali Price, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Sean Lamont
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell (Wales), Eddie Hagan-O’Connell (Ireland)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)