Ulster 18 - 10 Glasgow: Glasgow stall at starting line as Ulster accept gifts
GREGOR Townsend’s first game in charge of Glasgow ended in a defeat against Ulster at Ravenhill.
Scorers: Ulster – Tries: Allen, Gilroy. Con: O’Connor. Pens: O’Connor 2. Glasgow – Try: Seymour. Con: Jackson. Pens: Weir.
Glasgow were masters of their own downfall as Ulster simply fed off their mistakes.
Ulster’s first try came after Glasgow were reduced to 14 men following former Ulster winger Tommy Seymour’s yellow card and they conceded a second five-pointer when Duncan Weir threw an intercept pass on the home side’s ten-metre line.
Although he is missing a number of key players, on this evidence there is a lot of work to be done if Glasgow want to repeat last season’s top-four finish.
No 8 Ryan Wilson was probably the pick of the Glasgow players.
He carried the ball well from the base of the scrum and his link-up play with scrum half Henry Pyrgos was impressive during the first half.
Glasgow started on the front foot following a poor kick out of defence by Luke Marshall. After a sustained period of pressure, Pyrgos tried a chip but Ulster winger Craig Gilroy was able to make a mark.
Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson limped off after ten minutes and replacement Niall O’Connor’s first action was to slot over the opening score with a penalty from 40 metres.
Ulster first try chance came when they ran a penalty with Nick Williams blasting through three tackles but captain Johann Muller was penalised for holding on in the tackle.
Weir’s probing kick nearly caught Michael Allen out but the Ulster winger was able to recover after initially misjudging the bounce of the ball and was able to lead a counter attack out of defence.
Weir levelled the scores on 20 minutes with a penalty in front of the posts after Williams was guilty of not rolling away in the tackle. Ulster nearly got the game’s opening try when, from a line-out, the forwards put on the power with Callum Black and Sean Doyle carrying before Williams lost the ball trying to surge over the line.
O’Connor missed the chance to restore Ulster’s lead when a penalty on the 22 came back off the upright after the Glasgow defence were caught offside following another trademark Williams run.
It wasn’t a happy return to Ravenhill for Seymour as he was sin binned on 33 minutes for pulling an attacking Ulster maul down five metres from the line.
Ulster made their numerical advantage count from the resulting penalty. They elected for a scrum which Glasgow collapsed.
The home side took another scrum, Williams blasted off the back punching a hole in the defence, Lewis Stevenson drove straight up the middle creating more space and, from a quick recycle, full back Jared Payne threw a long looping pass for Michael Allen to go over in the corner on 38 minutes leaving Ulster with an 8-3 lead at the break.
Winger Craig Gilroy who was unlucky to miss Ireland’s tour of New Zealand scored Ulster’s second on 45 minutes. Glasgow were on the attack and when Chris Cusiter fed Weir, the No 10 tried to release his backs but Gilroy picked off the pass and was able to use his pace to go under the posts from 60 metres with O’Connor adding the simple conversion.
Seymour made amends for his yellow card with a try on 68 minutes to get Glasgow back in the game.
It was a slow patient build up from the visitors as the forwards worked the ball through a number of phases. Suddenly, Jackson injected impetus with a quick looping pass to the Seymour, who had too much pace for Marshall and then side-stepped Gilroy to go over with the replacement outside half adding the conversion.
O’Connor’s woes in front of goal continued as he missed another penalty, although it was from a difficult angle. Seymour saved a certain try when O’Connor put a chip kick in behind the with the Glasgow winger winning a foot race with Allen and clearing his lines. Ulster wrapped the game up with an O’Connor penalty two minutes before full time.
After a series of drives in the 22, Glasgow were caught offside and O’Connor finally got his radar working.
Ulster: J Payne; M Allen, C Farrell, L Marshall, C Gilroy; P Jackson, M Heaney; C Black, R Herring, J Afoa, J Muller (cpt), L Stevenson, R Diack, S Doyle, N Williams. Subs: T Court for Black (61 mins), M McComish for Williams (54), P Marshall for Heaney (59), N O’Connor for Jackson (9), D Cave for Farrell (65).
Glasgow: P Murchie; T Seymour, A Dunbar, G Morrison, S Lamont; D Weir, H Pyrgos; G Reid, F Gillies, M Cusack, T Ryder, A Kellock (Captain), R Harley, C Fusaro, R Wilson. Replacements: D Hall for Gillies (61), M Low for Cusack (52), R Grant for Reid (41), J Eddie for Kellock (30), J Barclay for Fusaro (51), C Cusiter for Pyrgos (41), R Jackson for Weir (59), P Horne for Dunbar (76).
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Monday 20 May 2013
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