Leinster 76-14 Glasgow: Humiliation for Warriors as wheels fall off in URC quarter-final
There is no doubt Leinster are a top-quality side, even when a raft of their front-liners are not involved as was the case here, but the way the wheels came off in this match is totally unacceptable. Heads roll in professional sport after performances like this.
Warriors actually took an early lead when Zander Fagerson burrowed over several phases later for the opening try on four minutes, with Ross Thompson converting, and they defended well enough for the next 10 minutes as Leinster dominated possession but struggled to click as an attacking entity.
Then disaster struck for the visitors when Richie Gray was sin-binned after his shoulder made contact with Jamison Gibson-Park’s jaw as he cleared out a ruck.
Leinster scored three converted tries during the next 10 minutes, the first coming straight away when Dan Sheehan finished off a powerful line-out drive, the second after Thompson sent the restart straight out and Jordan Larmour ran it in from the scrum back on halfway, and the third just before Gray returned to the fray when Joe McCarthy finished off a typically forceful home attack against some fairly passive Glasgow defending. Ross Byrne converted all three to make it 21-7 with just 23 minutes played.
It was already looking ominous for Warriors at this point, but they dug deep and enjoyed a period on the front foot, with Gregor Brown peeling off a line-out and battling his way over the line, but Larmour managed to snaffle possession before the ball was grounded.
That was the last time Glasgow were really in the contest, and when Sheehan blasted his way to his second and his team’s fourth try with two minutes of the half remaining, it was game over.
Leinster were in no mood for mercy, and they claimed try number five through No 8 Caelan Doris with just four minutes of the second half played.
Then Ollie Smith was yellow-carded and was lucky not to concede a penalty try for a deliberate knock-on as Leinster lined up on the left to finish off try number six.
The hosts kept their foot on Glasgow’s throat with Michael Ala’alatoa next on the scoresheet. That score was achieved through forward grunt, while the next one was a demonstration of craft in the backline with slick hands sending Gibson-Park home, and we only had to wait 30 seconds for the next try which brought up the half century with Garry Ringrose finishing off another sweeping attack. There was still 23 minutes to play.
There was a brief respite when Leinster cleared their bench and Glasgow capitalised on a dip in focus with Sione Tuipulotu and Rufus McLean making good ground before George Horne finished off a try under the posts, but normal service was resumed when the magnificent Larmour scored his second try of the match to make it 57-14.
If the wheels weren’t off before, they were now. Ciaran Frawley picked off a slack Smith pass on halfway and cantered home, and Luke McGrath’s try a minute later was almost as easy. Jimmy O’Brien piled the last dollop of misery on top of Glasgow when he claimed number 12 with four minutes to play.
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