Glasgow’s Heineken Cup hopes hurt by Cardiff defeat

Glasgow's Gabriel Ascarate is tackled during the Heineken Cup match. Picture: PA
Glasgow's Gabriel Ascarate is tackled during the Heineken Cup match. Picture: PA
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GLASGOW suffered a major blow to their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup as they slipped to a narrow 29-20 defeat in Cardiff last night.

The defeat left Gregor Townsend’s side bottom of Pool Two with five points after three games, while Cardiff are sitting pretty at the summit with nine points and in pole position to reach the quarter-finals.

In a pulsating encounter at the Arms Park, Glasgow lived up to their reputation for dynamic attacking play, but it was the home side who proved to be the most clinical.

Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Patchell kicked penalties for the Welsh region before the latter’s try and former’s conversion and penalty put the Blues 16-0 up. 
Sean Maitland’s try and Duncan Weir’s kicks then gave Glasgow hope. However, a stunning 75-yard interception try by Alex Cuthbert ended the visitors’ bid, although Fijian replacement Leone Nakarawa scored a late try, improved by Weir to leave Glasgow within a score of a bonus point – however it was no more than a consolation. 
In Pool One, Ospreys crashed to a 15-9 defeat against Castres – their third straight Heineken Cup loss despite a fiercely-competitive performance in the south of France.

The Welsh side went into the clash following consecutive 
losses to Leinster and Northampton and they were once again edged out despite a brave performance.

Dan Biggar slotted three penalties but was out-fired by Rory Kockett and Geoffrey Palis, who booted the French champions to a slender victory.

The defeat leaves the Welsh region all but mathematically out of the competition, while Castres maintained the chase on Pool One pace setters Leinster and Northampton, who meet today