Tommy Seymour’s vision key to Glasgow’s win over Leinster

Glasgow Warriors' Tommy Seymour goes over for the first of his four tries against Leinster. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS
Glasgow Warriors' Tommy Seymour goes over for the first of his four tries against Leinster. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS
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If the final score suggests a regulation victory for Glasgow on their new artificial turf it was anything but. Only after a stern half-time wake-up call from coach Gregor Townsend did his players exert some control on proceedings.

Having scoring three first-half tries, Leinster were held to one penalty early in the second half from the brilliant young stand-off Joey Carbery but that kick gave the Dublin side a ten-point advantage and meant Glasgow had work to do.

To their credit the home team rolled up their sleeves, tightened up their defence and Tommy Seymour did the rest. The international winger had opened his account in the first half with a well-
taken try and he added another three after the break, the first two coming in the space of two minutes, to snuff out Leinster hopes of a losing bonus point. Rather than claim credit, Seymour was modest in his assessment of his recent scoring success.

“Probably a lot of luck,” he said after the match. “We were under the cosh a little bit for large parts of the first half. We did well to get the two tries but they came from very short passages of play. We looked effective and dangerous when we had the ball, but the times we did were so few and far between.

“We spent most of the first half on the back foot, then with the yellow card as well, which was just a compiling of errors, really. We found ourselves in a dangerous position, but luckily half-time came at the right time for us in regards to getting the words that we needed across, and having a hard look at ourselves.

“We weren’t making our tackles, we were being a little bit passive, so we said: ‘Let’s not kid ourselves, we’re playing Leinster. To stand a chance of winning this game we have to vastly improve our tackle count and defensive intensity’. So it was just about holding the ball and, defensively, being a lot tighter and more aggressive, and we could start to turn the tide.”

There probably was an element of luck about the try that sparked Glasgow’s fightback. Leinster were running the ball out of their own 22, Seymour gambled on an interception and it paid a handsome seven-point dividend. Two minutes later, Leinster were again running the ball from deep only this time it was lost in a tackle and fell to the Warriors wing who left three defenders trailing in his wake as he set off for the line.

“Matt Taylor [Glasgow defence coach] will make no secret of the fact that his view on intercepts is if you get it it’s the best thing you could have done, but if you miss it it’s the worst thing you could have done,” said Seymour with a wry smile.

“It was just a little bit of alignment. You can take all day, but there’s a lot of luck in intercepts. I managed to get the read on it and it fell into my hands, but it’s not something you’re going to gamble on that often.”

Seymour’s final try came from the training pitch with the winger popping up in midfield to take an inside pass which split the Dubliners’ defence. It may not quite be the sporting equivalent of Decca turning down the Beatles but the winger has now claimed six tries in the opening two matches after opening his account with a brace against Connacht.

Although born in the USA, he was raised in Ulster and played age-grade rugby for Ireland, who must be wondering why they didn’t fight to keep him back in 2011 when he joined the Warriors.