Sunday 25 September 2016

Seymour bags four as Leinster defence melts on plastic pitch

Glasgow 33 Leinster 25

Alan Lorimer

Published 11/09/2016 | 02:30

Leinster’s Rob Kearney evades the tackle of Glasgow Warriors’ Ryan Wilson on his way to scoring his side’s first try. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Leinster’s Rob Kearney evades the tackle of Glasgow Warriors’ Ryan Wilson on his way to scoring his side’s first try. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Glasgow Warriors and Leinster celebrated the opening of Scotstoun's new artificial pitch with a match played at a furious pace and which produced an eight-try tally to suggest that the future of rugby is surely plastic.

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Sadly for Leinster, the distribution of these eight tries was not an even split, but a 5-3 advantage for the winners Glasgow Warriors, who adapted better to the quick-pace surface and crucially took their chances - and none less so than their four-try scorer Tommy Seymour.

Dejected Leinster players leave the field following their defeat in the Guinness PRO12 Round 2 match. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Dejected Leinster players leave the field following their defeat in the Guinness PRO12 Round 2 match. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Leinster, after impressing against Treviso in round one, will be disappointed that they handed Glasgow a couple of scores, but the visitors, too, exploited defensive indecision at times in the home ranks that gave Rob Kearney and Josh van der Flier their tries.

After his man-of-the-match performance much was expected of out-half Joey Carbery. In the event the New Zealand-born 10 had a mixed game yesterday at Scotstoun, the out-half showing his talent by prising open the Glasgow defence on several occasions and putting in a wonderful cross-kick for late replacement Zane Kirchner's try.

Elsewhere, Jordi Murphy impressed at number 8, the back row finding kinks in the Glasgow defence and contributing hugely to Kearney's score. Behind the scrum, Carbery apart, Garry Ringrose asked questions of the Glasgow defence, confirming the promise he showed as an Ireland under 20.

It was Glasgow who had the first chance of points only for their co-skipper Henry Pyrgos (a new concept this season at Warriors) to send his penalty kick geographically distant from the posts.

Leinster's Noel Reid in action against Glasgow's Leonardo Sarto and Henry Pyrgos. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Leinster's Noel Reid in action against Glasgow's Leonardo Sarto and Henry Pyrgos. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

But Warriors were soon rewarded for their adventurous play when they converted turnover ball into a score, attacking first on the right flank before transferring the ball, a long pass by centre Sam Johnson putting Seymour in for an unconverted try.

Leinster too showed their ambition by turning down a kickable goal in favour of a line-out in the corner, that all but produced points before the referee, after consultation with the TMO, ruled a no score.

The visitors, however, soon atoned by snapping up the next opportunity, a break by Murphy and then recycled ball that gave Rob Kearney enough room to step through an attempted tackle for a try in the corner, Carbery converting from the touchline.

The fast pitch invited an immediate reply and Glasgow duly delivered, spraying the ball to the right and left before the forwards hammered at the line, eventually producing a try for Tim Swinson, the extras supplied by Pyrgos.

Leinster's Dave Kearney is tackled by Glasgow's Henry Pyrgos. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Leinster's Dave Kearney is tackled by Glasgow's Henry Pyrgos. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Glasgow were reduced to 14 men after wing Leonardo Sarto was binned, but Leinster were initially unable to take advantage before producing a bizarre score when van der Flier spotted space at the breakdown and then took route one to the line, leaving Carbery with the simplest of conversions.

Leinster's 14-12 lead increased further with a score just before the break, this time Carbery was the architect with a sweetly struck low cross-kick that bounced perfectly for Kirchner to gather and race over in the corner to give his side a 19-12 interval advantage.

A Carbery penalty two minutes into the second half gave Leinster a 10-point cushion. But the stuffing was quickly removed as Seymour intercepted a Carbery pass to run in under the posts, presenting Pyrgos with a straightforward goal kick.

It was to be part one of a double-whammy for Leinster as just three minutes later Seymour latched on to turnover ball, before catching a few defenders in the headlights to complete a hat-trick of tries, Pyrgos' conversion giving Glasgow a 26-22 lead.

Carbery again kicked a penalty goal to reduce Warriors' lead to a single point. But it was only temporary respite. Seven minutes from full time Warriors put the squeeze on at a penalty-opted scrum to produce choice ball and again it was that man Seymour who was the beneficiary, the winger coming from the blindside to take an inside pass before touching down for his fourth try, to which Pyrgos again inflated with the extra points to seal an important home win.

Scorers - Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Seymour (4), Swinson, Cons: Pyrgos (4) Leinster: Tries: R Kearney, Van der Flier, Kirchner, Cons: Carbery (2), Pens: Carbery (2)

Glasgow Warriors: S Hogg; L Sarto, A Dunbar, S Johnson, T Seymour; P Horne, H Pyrgos; G Reid (A Allan 68), F Brown (C Flynn 68), S Puafisi (Z Fagerson 48); T Swinson (T Uanivi 76), J Gray; R Harley, S Favaro (L Wynn 68), R Wilson

Leinster: R Kearney (R O'Loughlin 58); Z Kirchner, G Ringrose, N Reid, D Kearney; J Carbery (C Marsh 76), L McGrath (J Gibson-Park 62); C Healy (P Dooley 58), J Tracy (B Byrne 58), M Bent (T Furlong 46); M McCarthy, R Molony (M Kearney 58); D Leavy (D Ryan 70), J van der Flier, J Murphy

Referee: J Lacey

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