Tuesday 6 December 2016

Connacht throw away points in comedy of errors

Connacht 13 Glasgow 31

Published 26/04/2015 | 02:30

Robbie Henshaw evades a tackle against Glasgow
Robbie Henshaw evades a tackle against Glasgow
Adam Ashe, Glasgow Warriors, celebrates after scoring his sides fourth and bonus point try. Guinness PRO12, Round 20, Connacht v Glasgow Warriors
Adam Ashe, Glasgow Warriors, goes over for his sides fourth and bonus point try
Henry Pyrgos, Glasgow Warriors, is tackled by Jack Carty, Connacht
Leone Nakarawa, Glasgow Warriors, is tackled by Tom McCartney and John Cooney, Connacht
Robbie Henshaw, Connacht, in dispute with Peter Horne, Glasgow, Warriors during a second half exchange
Finn Russell, Glasgow Warriors, is tackled by Jack Carty, Connacht
Niko Matawalu, Glasgow Warriors running in his sides third try
Niko Matawalu, Glasgow Warriors, 11, is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring his sides third try
Robbie Henshaw, Connacht, is tackled by Chris Fusaro, Glasgow Warriors
Tiernan O’Halloran, Connacht, is tackled by Jonny Gray, Glasgow Warriors
Aly Muldowney, Connacht, is tackled by Jonny Gray, Glasgow Warriors

Defensive errors, missed chances and the concession of sloppy tries cost Connacht as Glasgow punished a generous display from Pat Lam's side to take a bonus-point win away from the Sportsground.

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This five-try victory moves Glasgow back to the top of the Pro12 standings and within one win of securing a coveted home semi-final. However, their next opponents Ospreys will not be as generous as Connacht, who played against 14 men for 20 minutes of the second half, earned three times more penalties than their opponents, but still lost by 18 points.

The crux of the defeat came in the moments before half-time - just like it did against Ulster a fortnight ago. A couple of missed tackles allowed Stuart Hogg in for Glasgow's second try, before Niko Matawalu intercepted Robbie Henshaw's pass to canter in for their third and his second of the half. It was sloppy from the home side.

A pair of Jack Carty penalties had given Connacht a 6-0 lead before Matawalu ran in his first try 26 minutes in, but Carty missed two more penalties as Connacht failed to make the most of their chances. "I suppose the main thing was we need to start well and we did that," said Lam. "But we had about 20 minutes into the game and we had only six points. We missed a few opportunities there. Against a team like this you have to take them.

"We've controlled our destiny all the way from September to now. We've lost that so all we can do now is go to Zebre, get a win and see what happens."

The first-half generosity gave Glasgow a 19-6 lead, but Connacht rallied well in the second half, and after Tommy Seymour finally became the first Glasgow player to be yellow-carded in the 46th minute, Connacht benefited as Aly Muldowney crept over from a few inches.

That try put six points between the sides, but Carty missed the simplest of penalties 22 minutes from time to close the gap to three points. From there on Connacht were deflated and even a second sin-binning for Chris Fusaro couldn't rally their efforts.

And they were punished severely for some more defensive breaches - Tom McCartney and Rodney Ah You both failed to stop Josh Strauss - and Adam Ashe sealed the bonus point 12 minutes from time.

Scorers - Glasgow Warriors: N Matawalu 2, Hogg, Ashe, Seymour try each; Russell 3 cons. Connacht: A Muldowney try; J Carty 2 pens, con.

Glasgow: S Hogg; T Seymour, R Vernon, P Horne, N Matawalu (L Jones 71); F Russell (D Weir 78), H Pyrgos; J Yanuyanutawa (R Grant 40), F Brown (K Bryce 45), E Murray (J Welsh 40); L Nakarawa (T Swinson 55), J Gray (capt); R Harley (J Strauss 55) (P Murchie 73), C Fusaro, A Ashe.

Connacht: T O'Halloran (D Leader 55); D Poolman, R Henshaw, B Aki, M Healy; J Carty (M Nikora 63), K Marmion (J Cooney 51); D Buckley (R Loughney 69), T McCartney (S Delahunt 75), R Ah You ( F Bealham 69); U Dillane (A Browne 53), A Muldowney; J Muldoon (capt), E Masterson (G Naoupu 60, E McKeon.

Referee: M Mitrea (Italy)

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