Glasgow's puzzling penalty explained as rarely enforced rule contributes to collapse at Scarlets

Glasgow were left nursing wounds and illness while poring over the rule book as they look to bounce back from Saturday’s heavy defeat at Scarlets ahead of Edinburgh up next.

Ryan Conbeer of Scarlets scores a try in the 35-10 win over Glasgow. (Photo: Ben Evans/Huw Evans/Shutterstock -12835296bc)
Ryan Conbeer of Scarlets scores a try in the 35-10 win over Glasgow. (Photo: Ben Evans/Huw Evans/Shutterstock -12835296bc)

Bad news for Scotland too with the resources at loosehead prop weakened a little further with Oli Kebble going off early with a probable broken nose and concussion. He is almost certainly out of the Italy game and a doubt for the final trip to Dublin.

Better news on centre Sam Johnson who came off with illness, but should be fine once he’s recovered from his bout of something not Covid related.

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A combination of illness, which forced off international trio Jack Dempsey, Johnson and Fraser Brown, and concussion which saw the departures of Kebble and wing Cole Forbes, meant Glasgow were trying not to worry too much about the second half collapse in the 35-10 loss.

And their attention was drawn rather painfully to the Law Application Guideline 9, implemented in 2016, about the transfer of the ball in a lineout maul. A puzzling penalty just before half time meant the scoreline was 10-7 at the break instead of a possible 17-0.

“Long placements are to be avoided as they often lead to obstruction and invite attacking players to join in front of the ball. In the future this will be PENALISED (World Rugby’s capitals).”

So the law exists, though in truth it’s not one you see applied often and certainly see broken many times.

Another penalty at a crucial time for a Ryan Wilson block, which ruled out a Jamie Dobie score, was also pretty pedantic, though it would be wrong to blame the final score on just two decisions.

By the time they face Edinburgh in two weeks, it’s something they will have brushed up according to captain Ryan Wilson.

“It’s not something I have really come across,” he admitted. “I was just baffled about a long place back to the player, haven’t heard that for years.

“Two decisions swung the game, but that was for us to deal with and we should have dealt with the momentum swing, we didn’t do that and we lost.”

It is not something they will panic about ahead of the 1872 clash with their neighbours and top four rivals.

“Look back at the last three games, along with that first half, and we have put some really good rugby together,” Wilson added.

“That second half is just a blip on the radar and we’ll jump back on the horse. We will be good to go come Edinburgh.

“They’ve had a couple of defeats so shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves, but the closer we are, the more exciting it is and we enjoy it, so it should be a good one.”

Coach Danny Wilson is also confident his side do not need to worry too much about events in the second half at Parc y Scarlets, with Covid disrupting the build up and a sickness bug disrupting the squad once in South Wales.

“We have been consistent for five weeks on the trot, we have had five big wins for us to put us third in the league, we have just had a bad second half. Our first half of rugby was good, the second half was diabolical if I’m honest,” he admitted.

A big lead at half-time or going back in front midway through the second half would have dented Scarlets confidence, but in the end they ran rampant. Injury and illness-hit Glasgow have reasons to put it behind them pretty quickly though.

Scorers: Scarlets: Evans, Williams, G Davies, Kalamafoni, Conbeer. Cons – Patchell (3), Evans, Costello.

Glasgow: Try – Matthews. Pen – Weir. Con – Weir.

Scarlets: T Rogers; S Evans, J Williams, S Williams (capt), R Conbeer; R Patchell, G Davies; S Thomas, D Hughes, S Lee, S Lousi, J Price, B Thomson, D Davis, S Kalamafoni.

Reps: M Jones for Thomas 70, K Mathias for Thomas 72, H O’Connor for Lee 72, A Shingler for Price 40, C Tuipulotu for Thomson 65, D Blacker for G Davies 71, S Costelow for Patchell , J Roberts for J Williams 68.

Glasgow: O Smith; J McKay, K Steyn, S Johnson, C Forbes; D Weir, J Dobie; O Kebble, J Matthews, S Berghan, K McDonald, R Harley, R Wilson (capt), A Miller, J Dempsey.

Replacements: F Brown for Matthew 48, M Walker for Kebble 9, E McQuillin for Berghan , R Gray for Harley 48, T Gordon for Dempsey 48, J Lenac for Forbes 71 , R Thompson for Weir 65, S McDowall for Johnson 60, S Johnson for Smith 71.

Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU).

Attendance: 6006.

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