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Glasgow Warriors (3) 21 - 17 (6) Leinster Rugby
Firhill
Att: 1,580
Friday, 12 October 2007, 19:30

Leinster traveled to Glasgow with internationals Malcolm O'Kelly and Shane Horgan back in tow and it was Boyne man Horgan who captained the team for the first time. Fionn Carr made his Magners League debut coming in for Luke Fitzgerald who was a late withdrawal.

Sexton struck a penalty after 7 minutes and was in fine kicking form early on with some incisive kicks out of hand.  After 23 minutes Sexton had the opportunity to extend the Leinster lead after a penalty was awarded for infringing on the deck from Glasgow. Sexton made no error and struck the ball over to give Leinster a six point lead.

The first half was a staccato affair with poor ball handling disrupting any attacking moves. Both teams were struggling in the line out too and the play was punctuated by the whistle of Hugh Watkins.

On the half hour Glasgow clawed three points back. The referee awarded a penalty advantage but Pinder didn't wait around striking an excellent drop goal from around 35 metres out. Shortly before half time Gregor had an opportunity to tie the scores when Leinster were penalised for tackling in the air at a lineout, the outhalf struck the outside of the post with his effort.

The half wasn't over yet though and when Glasgow were awarded another penalty deep in first half injury time, Gregor clearly didn't fancy himself to kick the points and opted for the lineout. However as Glasgow brought the ball forward, Shane Jennings was able to turn the ball and Leinster were able to escape to half time without conceding further.

Glasgow emerged for the second half fired up and continued to dominate Leinster. Leinster were having to withstand phase after phase of Glasgow pressure until finally Moray Low squeezed over for a try, awarded via the television match official. Gregor was again inaccurate with the boot.

15 minutes into the second half and the subs were sprung from the bench. It was one of those subs, Malcolm O'Kelly who made a difference for Leinster immediately getting some go forward ball leading to a Leinster penalty. Sexton made no mistake.

O'Kelly almost went from hero to villain just two minutes later giving away a penalty for holding on, but Gregor again let Leinster off the hook leaving his effort short. Leinster responded immediately when excellent work from the pack to maul forward saw the ball back to Sexton for a superb drop goal.

The match was opening up and Leinster again afforded Glasgow a penalty and at last the boot of Gregor obliged at the fourth attempt.

Viewers were then treated to an unusual sight of a prop streaking down the wing. Following excellent hands by Horgan in the centre and then Brian Blaney, Cian Healey found himself in space on the wing. Healy put the afterburners on and with a lovely drop of the shoulder crossed the whitewash. Sexton was unable to convert however and crucially Glasgow were only 6 behind.

Right on cue Glasgow conjured up a try. With play weaving from one side of the pitch to the other, substitute Hefin O'Hare crossed the line to put Glasgow within one point. Gregor had departed the field, and hadn't been having a good night with the boot in any case, but his replacement Scott Barrow couldn't improve on the kicking stats putting the ball wide of the posts.

Leinster were under sever pressure and were withstanding the desperate Glasgow attack and when Heifin O'Hare was tackled into touch with the line at his mercy it appeared that Leinster had held on. Not for the first time that night but most crucially Leinster failed to secure their own lineout and Barrow who had missed the earlier conversion kicked the ball cross field where Stortoni had the easiest of tasks to touch the ball down. Barrow missed the conversion but it didn't matter as it was the last kick of the game and Leinster emerged with merely a bonus point from their travels to Glasgow.

Match Statistics
  Glasgow Warriors vs Leinster Rugby
Tries Lowe
O'Hare
Stortoni
  Healy
Penalties Gregor   Sexton (3)
Drop Goals Pinder   Sexton
 
Teams Bernardo Stortoni 15 Ross McCarron
Max Evans 14 Fionn Carr
Graeme Morrison 13 Shane Horgan
Daryl Gibson 12 Christian Warner
Thom Evans 11 Rob Kearney
Colin Gregor 10 Jonathan Sexton
Sam Pinder 9 Cillian Willis
 
Ed Kalman 1 Stanley Wright
Eric Milligan 2 Bernard Jackman
Moray Low 3 Stephen Knoop
Andy Newman 4 Cameron Jowitt
Alastair Kellock (C) 5 Devin Toner
Stevie Swindall 6 Stephen Keogh
John Barclay 7 Shane Jennings
Johnnie Beattie 8 Kevin McLaughlin
 
Replacements Fergus Thomson (for Milligan, 41) 16 Brian Blaney (for Jackman, 41)
Michael Collins (for Kalman, 66) 17 Cian Healy (for Wright, 50)
Dan Turner (for Newman, 66) 18 Malcolm O'Kelly (for Jowitt, 50)
James Eddie (for Swindall, 66) 19 Sean O'Brien
Chris O'Young (for Pinder, 50) 20 Keith Gleeson (for Jennings, 50)
Scott Barrow (for Gregor, 72) 21 Chris Keane
Hefin O'Hare (for Max Evans, 72) 22 Fergus McFadden
Not Considered
due to Injury
    Ronnie McCormack
Michael Berne
Chris Whitaker
Trevor Hogan
Leo Cullen
Gary Brown
Luke Fitzgerald
Officials Referee: Hugh Watkins (WRU)
Sub Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU)
Touch Judge: Peter Carruthers (SRU)
TMO: Peter Allan (SRU)

by Sarah Lennon, © 2007-10-14

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