Saturday 24 March 2018

Weir sticks boot into gritty Ulster


Ulster failed to make it two wins from two over Glasgow Warriors this season after losing at Firhill last night in a match that lacked the intensity of the Heineken Cup games and which produced only one try in 80 minutes of rugby.

The visitors will reflect with some regret on a match in which they applied the greater pressure, but inaccurate handling and missed kicks at goal were costly for Ulster.

They appeared to be in charge in the opening minutes, but a stray pass intended for Ian Humphreys gave Glasgow easy possession.

Centre Graeme Morrison's kick ahead was taken by Simon Danielli but the Scotland winger was penalised, allowing Duncan Weir to kick the first points for Glasgow.

The visitors then escaped punishment after hooker Andi Kyriacou put in a clumsy, late challenge on the Warriors' wing Federico Aramburu, but Glasgow gained no advantage from the ensuing penalty.

Ulster were presented with a scoring chance when Paul Marshall stole ball before delivering a reverse pass to Andrew Trimble, whose pass to Danielli put the Scotland cap on course for the try line only for Glasgow's scrum-half Henry Pyrgos to track back and put in a saving tackle.

The visitors, however, claimed the points their greater share of possession and territory warranted with a penalty by Humphreys to level the scores. But no sooner had the game restarted than Robbie Diack was penalised for a high tackle giving Weir an easy three points.

Weir had to wait only three minutes for another kick at goal after Ulster were penalised at a line-out and again the Glasgow out-half was on target to give the Warriors a 9-3 advantage. Ulster replied by engineering a scoring position with a penalty kick to touch by Humphreys. But at the ensuing line-out Glasgow won the ball and a precious chance was lost.

Minutes later, another scoring chance was missed when Humphreys hooked a long-range kick at goal, leaving Glasgow ahead by 9-3 at the break.

Glasgow were penalised at the first scrum of the second half and this time Humphreys was on target.

Glasgow's errors continued when they gave away a penalty from a simple rebound that resulted in an offside decision against Graeme Morrison, Humphreys' resultant kick at goal levelling the scores.


Glasgow then gave away another penalty, this time for obstruction, but Humphreys failed to put the ball between the posts. The crowd were desperate to see a try and it was the home side who delivered one.

After Ulster had failed to field a high ball, Glasgow moved the ball left to wing David Lemi whose inside pass to Troy Nathan gave the former Ulster player a try in the corner, Weir's conversion attempt hooking to the left.

With five minutes of play remaining, it was Glasgow who had the momentum with a series of close-range drives in the Ulster '22' that ended with a drop-goal from Weir to make sure of victory.

Glasgow -- Hogg, Lemi, Nathan, Morrison, Aramburu, Weir, Pyrgos (Cusiter 53), Welsh (Grant 40), MacArthur, Cusack (Low 62), Ryder (Gray 62), Kellock, Harley, Barclay, Wilson (Fusaro 62).

Ulster -- D'Arcy, Trimble, Cave, Spence, Danielli (Whitten 57), Humphreys, P Marshall, Court, Kyriacou (Brady 70), Fitzpatrick (Macklin 63), Muller, Tuohy (Barker 70), Diack, Faloon, Wannenburg.

Ref -- S Penne (Italy).

Irish Independent

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