Glasgow Warriors land home last 16 tie but draw against Bath does not go down well - 'we're going to cop it when we go in the sheds'

It was enough to secure a home tie in the last 16 but Glasgow Warriors were well short of their best as they were held at Scotstoun by Bath in their final group match in the Challenge Cup.

Glasgow Warriors' Sione Tuipulotu tries to barrel through the Bath defence during the 19-19 draw at Scotstoun.
Glasgow Warriors' Sione Tuipulotu tries to barrel through the Bath defence during the 19-19 draw at Scotstoun.

Duncan Weir had a chance to win it with the last kick of the game but his late, late penalty went wide and Bath escaped with a 19-19 draw, bringing to an end Glasgow’s winning run which had extended to seven matches.

The Warriors are now second behind Toulon in Pool A but they could be overhauled by Cardiff and Connacht on Saturday and will likely have to wait until the weekend action is over before they learn who will be visiting Scotstoun in the round of 16.

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Sione Tuipulotu had a bright game but Glasgow never really clicked into gear and the centre didn’t sugarcoat it afterwards. “I'm not too pleased and we're sure we're going to cop it when we go in the sheds,” he said. “It was no good tonight and we didn't deserve to win.”

Bath won an early penalty in front of the posts and opted to take the three points, former Edinburgh stand-off Piers Francis knocking it over, but Glasgow quickly found their feet. An initial surge down the left by Kyle Steyn took them up the field. The ball was switched right and moved inside neatly by Jamie Bhatti to Matt Fagerson who brushed past three lukewarm tackles to run the ball in from the Bath 22. Tom Jordan converted.

Another Francis penalty brought the visitors back within a point but Glasgow were the more adventurous of the two sides and were rewarded for their ambition with a second try. After a period of pressure they executed an excellent lineout maul, Matt Fagerson plucking the ball out the air before the forwards drove over the line for Sione Vailanu to touch down. Jordan was on target again with the extras.

Any notion that Glasgow were in control was quickly quashed as Bath marched them back up the pitch and scored their first try from a five-metre scrum after the home side fumbled behind their own line. Cam Redpath ran a good line but, when he was held up, flanker Chris Cloete picked up and went over for the score, benefiting from a fine clear-out from Ollie Lawrence. Francis’ conversion reduced the Warriors’ lead to a single point, scant reward for their first-half performance.

Bath’s hopes of finding a way back into the game were dented when Francis was sent to the sin-bin after a high tackle on Tuipulotu. The visiting stand-off came off worse and the home crowd felt he should have seen red. They were even more annoyed with referee Luc Ramos when he chalked off a try by Johnny Matthews who lost control of the ball as he tried to touch down after a lineout maul.

The Frenchman’s decision was correct but Glasgow didn’t have too long to wait for the third try, Tuipulotu delaying the pass to perfection to play in Seb Cancelliere in the corner. Jordan was off target with the conversion and Bath brought themselves back within three points with a long-range penalty from Orlando Bailey.

It meant Glasgow’s lead going into the final quarter was a precarious 19-16 and Bath’s tails were up. Glasgow were toiling at the scrum and Ramos lost patience, showing Simon Berghan a yellow card. There were six minutes left as Bath’s replacement Ben Spencer knocked over the subsequent penalty to make it 19-19.

Bath’s numerical advantage was quickly wiped out when Tom Ellis was sent to the sin-bin. Glasgow surged forward and won a last-gasp penalty as Weir won the jackal. The replacement stand-off stepped up but his effort was off target and the game finished all square.

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Glasgow Warriors scorers: Tries: M Fagerson, Vailanu, Cancelliere. Cons: Jordan 2. Bath scorers: Tries: Cloete. Cons: Francis. Pens: Francis 2, Bailey, Spencer.

Glasgow Warriors: J McKay; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu, H Jones, K Steyn; T Jordan (D Weir 67), A Price (G Horne 54); J Bhatti (N McBeth), J Matthews (G Turner 54), L Sordoni (S Berghan 54), A Samuel (L Bean 40), R Gray (JP du Preez 64), E Ferrie, S Vailanu (T Gordon 77), M Fagerson. Yellow cards: Simon Berghan (74min).

Bath: O Bailey; M Ojomoh, O Lawrence, C Redpath (J Joseph 70), J Cokanasiga; P Francis (M Gallagher 52), L Schreuder (B Spencer 61); J Schoeman (V Morozov 52), T Dunn (Niall Annett 63), J Jonker (D Rae 52), W Spencer (T Ellis 65), F Lee-Warner, T Hill, C Cloete, M Reid (R DeCarpentier 76). Yellow cards: Piers Francis (42min), Tom Ellis (76min).

Referee: Luc Ramos (France)

Attendance: 6,965