Glasgow Warriors dominance reflected in 42-20 win over Connacht

Glasgow Warriors coach Danny Wilson was pleased with the way his men took Connacht apart with an accomplished display in good conditions at the Sportsground as they deservedly carved out an impressive six tries to two victory.

Glasgow's Johnny Matthews scores a try in the win over Connacht. Photo by Bryan Keane/INPHO/Shutterstock (12781108bo)
Glasgow's Johnny Matthews scores a try in the win over Connacht. Photo by Bryan Keane/INPHO/Shutterstock (12781108bo)

Connacht, despite a creaking lineout, drew level early in the second-half but were then blown away as Warriors, with former Connacht backs coach Nigel Carolan now on board, took control.

“I know they were missing a few internationals but we were missing seven,” said Wilson. “I thought we controlled the game well. We attacked well, our set-piece was good and we put a lot of pressure on their lineout.

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‘We knew it was going to be tough coming here and it was pretty stalemate for quite a long time but I thought we controlled the game in terms of what the boys executed tactically.”

Warriors led 17-10 at the break as they made Connacht pay for a malfunctioning lineout and while Andy Friend’s men got back on level terms shortly after the restart, the visitors took over from there and ran out convincing winners.

Connacht were on the back foot from the early stages, falling behind inside three minutes when Glasgow winger Rufus McClean got the first of his two tries after they worked a penalty to the right corner across the pitch.

Connacht hit back with a try from Sammy Arnold when Richie Gray was in the bin for a tip tackle on Eoghan Masterson, after being set up by debutant out-half Cathal Forde, who added the extras to lead for the only time in the game.

Another penalty to the corner yielded the first of a brace for centre Kyle Steyn, with hooker Fraser Brown getting their third try four minutes form the break.

Forde pulled back a penalty to leave it 17-10 at the interval and Connacht got back on level terms four minutes after the restart when Paul Boyle got over after his skipper Jarrad Butler had been stopped just short. Forde converted to make it 17-17 and then exchanged penalties with Duncan Weir but then Warriors took complete control.

They continued to attack the Connacht lineout and also got an edge in the scrum and it didn’t take long for the dominance to be reflected on the scoreboard.

Boyle was binned as Connacht coughed up penalties. Warriors opted not to kick in front of the posts and while Connacht defended that drive, they turned the screw and scored 12 points with the extra man.

Both McClean and Steyn got their second tries to lead 32-20 after 63 minutes as their strong running, led by the superb Sione Tuipulotu, cut the home cover to shreds with some magnificent rugby.

Connacht were unable to rally and after Weir put three scores between them with a penalty, they completed the rout when replacement hooker Jonny Matthews scored in the final play as they again executed a lineout move superbly to chalk up their sixth win in nine and keep the pressure on Edinburgh at the top of the United Rugby Championship table.

Connacht: T O’Halloran; A Wootton, T Farrell, S Arnold, D Kilgallen; C Forde, K Marmion; J Duggan, D Heffernan, G McGrath; U Dillane, L Fifita; E Masterson, J Butler, P Boyle.

Replacements: S Bolton (for Farrell 24), O Dowling (for L Fifita 41), D Buckley (for Duggan 51), O McNulty (for Kilgallen 59), T Tuimauga (for McGrath 59), S Delahunt (for Heffernan 60), S Masterson (for Dillane 64), C Reilly (for Marmion 69).

Scorers: Connacht: Tries: Arnold, Boyle. Cons: Forde (2). Pens: Forde (2).

Yellow cards: Paul Boyle 54

Glasgow Warriors: O Smith; S Cancelliere, K Steyn, S Tuipulotu, R McClean; D Weir, G Horne; O Kebble, F Brown, E Pieretto; K McDonald, R Gray; R Wilson, T Gordon, J Dempsey.

Replacements: A Miller (for Dempsey 44), J Bhatti (for Kebble 50), S Berghan (for Pieretto 50), J Dobie (for Horne 60), J Matthews (for Brown 60), L Bean (for Wilson 70), S McDowall (for Cacelliere 74).

Glasgow Warriors: Tries: McClean (2), Steyn (2), Brown, Matthews. Cons: Weir (3). Pens: Weir (2).

Yellow cards: Richie Gray 8

Referee: Nic Berry (ARU)

Attendance: 4,527.

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