Glasgow Warriors: The Nigel Carolan impact spelled out after win on old stomping ground

Warriors head coach Danny Wilson said that Nigel Carolan has been a huge addition to the management team since he arrived in Glasgow last summer and he was thrilled for him that his first return journey to Galway worked out so well.

Glasgow Warriors assistant coach Nigel Carolan has made a big impression.
Glasgow Warriors assistant coach Nigel Carolan has made a big impression.

Carolan spent 26 years with his native Connacht as player, academy manager and coach, and his first trip back to the Sportsground in Galway as Warriors attack and backs coach could hardly have gone better as they carved out a 42-20 victory in a game where they dominated the set-piece and were full of running.

“He’s made a big impact, he’s a very well-liked coach in the group, he’s a very level-headed controlling coach. He’s been excellent and I think some of what he’s been coaching has come out today,” said Wilson after their impressive win.

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“He said that in the changing room after the game, when you come back to your home whether you’re a player or part of the staff it’s a big day for all of us. We said that about Nigel to come back here after making the decision to come to us, we’re really pleased with that and recruitment for us.:

Glasgow led 17-10 at the break thanks to tries from Rufus McClean, Kyle Steyn and hooker Fraser Brown, all of which were worked off lineout moves.

Connacht hit back when Richie Gray was binned for a tip tackle on Eoghan Masterson with Sammy Arnold getting in to score. Debutant out-half Cathal Forde converted to edge them in front for the only time in the game at 7-5, but Glasgow hit back.

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 Forde converted to make it 17-17 and then exchanged penalties with Duncan Weir but Glasgow controlled the game after that and scored 12 points when Boyle was binned for not rolling away as McClean and Steyn both got their second tries.

Warriors completed the rout when replacement hooker Jonny Matthews scored in the final play.

“It’s a tough, tough place to come here, it’s a side that's been going well and playing well,” added Wilson. “Playing into the wind is tough and it was a strong enough wind, so we had to play a bit more.

“In the second half the wind dropped which we knew it would, so we ended up playing pretty much the same rugby. I thought our attack was good, we defended well, we set-pieced well, scoring a couple of driving lineouts with a lot of pressure on their lineouts so overall to come here and do that I think was one of the best performances we’ve had.”

Connacht centre Sammy Arnold said Warriors just did not let them get a foothold in the game.

“I think we were lucky to be close enough at half-time; it felt like we could not get a foothold into the game, their lineout defence was pretty good, so we struggled to get clean ball there. And then physically they just dominated us all around the pitch.

“Glasgow won all the collisions and played off that fast ball and scored. We can make it complicated if we want but if we are not going to win collisions, we are not going to win,” said Arnold.

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