Planet Rugby

Glasgow too strong for Connacht

13th April 2007 20:33

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Glasgow recorded a comfortable 23-40 Magners League bonus point victory over Connacht at the Galway Sportsground on Friday.

Following last week's spirited draw against a strong Cardiff side hopes were high Connacht could finish the season on a positive note.

However, the visitors scored early, built up a 23-8 half-time lead and kept a lid on a second-half revival by the home side to secure their fourth victory in five outings.

Glasgow led as early as the second minute thanks to a brilliant try from flanker John Barclay after some poor tackling from Connacht and good play from hooker Fergus Thompson to make the initial break and number eight John Beattie who supported well. Dan Parks converted a try that illustrated Glasgow's versatility.

Connacht responded well to the early setback and Paul Warwick scored what could well be the try of the season from a Connacht viewpoint.

He marked in his own 22, took a quick tap and beat three tackles before kicking ahead and winning the race against three defenders to score.

Perhaps exhaustion was a factor in his missed touchline conversion but it was a forgivable miss.

Glasgow's response was calm and measured.

They moved the ball through the hands better throughout and their forwards made positive yards consistently, giving the outstanding Parks the room to create and cause Connacht problems.

The number 10 added two penalties before kicking a superb drop-goal under pressure to stretch the lead to 16-5 at the half hour mark.

Things were going from bad to worse for Connacht at this stage and Rory Lamont glided through some non-existent tackles minutes later to stretch the lead to 18 after Parks added the extras.

A late Paul Warwick penalty narrowed the gap slightly at the break but the omens were not good.

Connacht had their best spell of the match just after half-time and wisely chose to kick at goal three minutes in from a penalty on the 22 which narrowed the gap further and built momentum.

Within a minute they had their second try after Lamont fumbled on the 22 and from a Matt Lacey kick through Conor McPhillips scored to leave the score at 23-16.

Glasgow responded well with tries from substitute Hefin O'Hare who finished off a superb break and prop Keith Tkachuk added another try, which secured the bonus as the Connacht defence continued to struggle.

Yellow cards to John Muldoon and Brett Sturgess of Connacht along with Tkachuk and Justin Va'a from Glasgow followed in the closing quarter.

Connacht were awarded a penalty try with 10 minutes remaining and Parks replied with a penalty to seal victory.

That period summed up the game, high on incident, low on quality., as Connacht could not have envisaged a more deflating finish to their home campaign.

The Scorers:

For Connacht:

Tries: Warwick, McPhillips, Penalty

Con: Warwick

Pens: Warwick 2

For Glasgow:

Tries: Barclay, Lamont, O'Hare, Tckachuk

Cons: Parks 4

Pens: Parks 3

Drop Goal: Parks

The Teams:

Connacht: 15 Daniel Riordan, 14 Darren Yapp, 13 Gavin Duffy, 12 John Hearty, 11 Conor McPhillips, 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Chris Keane, 8 Colm Rigney, 7 Ray Ofisa, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Andrew Farley, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Ray Hogan, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson

Replacements: 16 John Fogarty, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 Ryan Strudwick/David Gannon, 19 Matt Lacey, 20 Peter Durcan, 21 Aidan Wynne, 22 David Slemen.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Francisco Leonelli, 14 Rory Lamont, 13 Graeme Morrison, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Thom Evans, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Graeme Beveridge, 8 John Beattie, 7 John Barclay, 6 Steve Swindall, 5 Alastair Kellock (c), 4 Andy Newman, 3 Moray Low, 2 Fergus Thomson, 1 Justin Va'a

Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson,17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 James Eddie, 19 Andrew Wilson, 20 Donnie Macfadyen, 21 Colin Gregor, 22 Hefin O'Hare

Referee: Neil Ballard (Wales)

Touch judges: Dermot Moloney (Ireland), Peter Roche (Ireland)

Assessor: J Sheehan (Ireland)

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