Glasgow comeback puts major dent in Ulster play-off aim
Glasgow 27 Ulster 17
Published 26/03/2016 | 02:30
Ulster's hopes of consolidating their position in the top four of the Guinness Pro12 were dashed last night at Scotstoun by a Glasgow Warriors side that started slowly before coming to life in the second half with a winning performance.
The visitors were also denied the satisfaction of gaining a losers' bonus point by an 80th-minute monster kick from the Six Nations Player of the Championship, Stuart Hogg.
Ulster made a crisp start to the game with a try by flanker Iain Henderson from a perfectly-delivered inside pass by full-back Stuart Olding and the conversion by out-half Paddy Jackson.
The score had followed initial pressure from Ulster and a clean break by centre Stuart McCloskey resulting in a scrum close to the Glasgow line and a yellow card for Hogg after he interfered with the clearance of the ball.
However, Hogg's absence acted as a spur to Glasgow and after two penalty goals from out-half Finn Russell, the home side were within a point of Ulster.
Russell and Jackson then added a penalty apiece to leave Ulster going into the half-time break with a 10-9 advantage.
As they had done in the first half, Ulster produced a score at the start of the second period.
Pienaar found touch with a penalty kick and, instead of waiting for the line-out to form, the ball was thrown in quickly to McCloskey who romped over unopposed, Jackson converting for a 17-9 lead.
A try by Hogg, following up his own kick ahead, seemed to changed the game and when Tommy Seymour collected a cross-field kick from Russell, Glasgow had their second try, Russell converting for a 21-17 lead.
Ulster responded with furious attacking rugby, using their big forwards to make the initial dents before spreading the ball wide and testing Glasgow's defence to the limit.
Having resisted Ulster's pressure, Glasgow then returned to attacking rugby, to add a further penalty goal to their tally.
Then, with three and half minutes of the game remaining, Ulster were penalised but this time Russell was off target.
With the game showing full-time, Hogg kicked a massive goal from inside his own half to deny Ulster a valuable bonus point.
Glasgow - S Hogg; T Seymour, M Bennett, A Dunbar, S Lamont; F Russell, H Pyrgos (G Hart 67); G Reid (J Yanuyanutawa 69 ), F Brown (J Malcolm 69), S Puafisi (Z Fagerson 69); J Gray, L Nakarawa; R Harley, C Fusaro (R Wilson 23) J Strauss (T Swinson 63).
Ulster - S Olding; C Gilroy, L Marshall, S McCloskey, R Scholes (D Cave 77); P Jackson, R Pienaar (P Marshall 75); C Black (K McCall 63 ), R Herring (J Andrew ), R Lutton (A Warwick 75); A O'Connor (R Diack 27), F van der Merwe; I Henderson, C Henry, N Williams (S Reidy 40).
Referee -J Lacey (Ireland).