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Glasgow clip Ospreys' wings

24th October 2010 18:15

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Richie Vernon glasgow

Richie Vernon: Warriors' try-scorer gets the ball away for Glasgow

Glasgow got their Magners League campaign back on track with a shock 31-23 victory over the Ospreys at Firhill on Sunday.

The Warriors gained revenge for last season's Celtic semi-final defeat and ended a four-match losing streak as a strong second-half performance saw them defeat the star-studded Welsh club.

The visitors led 16-11 at half-time after two tries from Scotland wing Nikki Walker and two penalties from Dan Biggar. Richie Gray crossed for the hosts with Ruaridh Jackson adding two penalties.

But the Warriors stepped it up after the break as Richie Vernon and Kevin Tkachuk claimed tries to give them breathing space, before Walker completed his hat-trick late on as the Ospreys missed out on a losing bonus point.

It looked as though Glasgow were going to be on the wrong end of a serious hammering in the early stages as nothing went right for the home side from woeful handling to non-existent tackling.

Biggar had the Ospreys on the board after only three minutes after a Glasgow handling move had gone askew, and three minutes later came a try which was nothing short of embarrassing as Jerry Collins and Lee Byrne put Walker away but even the wing could not have expected such a powder puff tackle from Rob Dewey as he bolted over the line.

The Ospreys were on top in every department and when Biggar missed a long-range penalty it seemed only a matter of time before they increased their lead, although the visitors were dealt a blow when full-back Byrne departed with a hand injury that puts his involvement in Wales' autumn internationals in doubt.

On the quarter-hour mark, Jackson slotted a penalty for Glasgow which brought them to life.

Biggar landed his second penalty but by now the home side were contesting the breakdown and were giving as good as they got.

Their first try arrived when Colin Gregor popped the ball up to lock Gray who took off over the 22 and sold an outrageous dummy to score.

Just when it looked as though Glasgow were going to take control, the simplest of defensive errors saw Tommy Bowe find Biggar on a run around which baffled the home defence and the efforts of Gregor and Jackson could not prevent Walker claiming his second try.

With three minutes of the half left, Dougie Hall was pulled down inches short and Gray and Moray Low were held up before Ryan Jones collected a yellow card for a professional foul.

Jackson duly kicked the resulting penalty and Glasgow went in 16-11 adrift ruing some very basic errors.

Into the second half it was the Ospreys who looked uncomfortable and Glasgow's confidence grew after a sparkling handling move which almost saw Alastair Muldowney over in the corner, but Jackson landed another penalty to reduce the margin to two points.

Biggar had the chance to stretch the Ospreys lead but his missed kick was one of the few mistakes the young fly-half made as he controlled a game in which more experienced heads around him were in panic.

Jackson missed the chance to give Glasgow the lead after a great run by Vernon but a couple of minutes later his replacement Duncan Weir banged over the kick which took the home side ahead for the first time.

It was all Glasgow now with the Ospreys defence looking increasingly vulnerable and when Barclay pinched the ball from the base of a creaking Ospreys scrum he almost made the line, and nothing was going to stop Vernon crashing over off Gregor's pass.

Weir converted, Glasgow kept a stranglehold on the last 10 minutes and when replacement Ed Kalman combined with Tkachuk for his fellow prop to score it slammed the door on the Ospreys, although Walker did go over for his hat-trick try in injury time.

The scorers:

For Glasgow:
Tries: Gray, Tkachuk, Vernon
Cons: Weir 2
Pens: Jackson 3, Weir

For Ospreys:
Tries: Walker 3Con: Biggar
Pens: Biggar 3

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Max Evans, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Rob Dewey, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Colin Gregor, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 John Barclay (c), 6 Robert Harley, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Moray Low, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Jon Welsh.
Replacements: 16 Fergus Thomson, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Calum Forrester, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Peter Horne

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Tommy Bowe, 12 James Hook, 11 Richard Fussell, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Jerry Collins (C), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 James Goode, 20 Marty Holah, 21 Jamie Nutbrown, 22 Gareth Owen, 23 Sonny Parker.

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)

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