Wednesday 26 September 2018

Connacht misery continues as Glasgow seal home semi-final

Glasgow 35 Connacht 22

Connacht's Jack Carty kicks a penalty during the match against Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Paul Devlin/Sportsfile
Connacht's Jack Carty kicks a penalty during the match against Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Paul Devlin/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Connacht's miserable season continued at Scotstoun where a rejuvenated Glasgow rediscovered their attacking style to achieve a bonus-point victory and secure a home semi-final in the Guinness PRO14 play-offs.

It took Connacht barely a minute to strike, a driving maul from a lineout creating a try for prop Finlay Bealham.

Glasgow's response was immediate. From the set-piece Warriors wing DTH van der Merwe broke through midfield to create a run-in for Stuart Hogg, out- half Peter Horne adding the conversion.

When Jarrad Butler was penalised for over-vigorous play, Horne added a further three points for a 10-5 lead.

Connacht's Bundee Aki is tackled by Glasgow's Rob Harley. Photo: Paul Devlin/Sportsfile
Connacht's Bundee Aki is tackled by Glasgow's Rob Harley. Photo: Paul Devlin/Sportsfile

The out-half, selected ahead of Finn Russell, confirmed his kicking form with two further penalty goals to stretch his side's advantage to 11 points.

A penalty by Jack Carty pulled three points back for Connacht but again Glasgow's response was swift as Horne put Alex Dunbar on a try-scoring run, before providing the extras.

Glasgow were rewarded for the final time in the first half with a close-range try by hooker Fraser Brown, the score converted by Horne to give Warriors a 30-8 interval lead.

Warriors delighted their fans further at the start of the second half with a spectacular score started in their own 22 area and ending with a Henry Pyros score to claim the bonus.

Connacht came close to scoring from a driven lineout only for the ball to be held up over the line.

A series of five-metre scrums followed ending with Warriors' loosehead Alex Allan being sent to the sin-bin after a series of collapses. But from the ensuing lineout Connacht turned over possession and an opportunity was lost.

A dejected John Muldoon of Connacht leaves the pitch in Glasgow. Photo: Paul Devlin/Sportsfile
A dejected John Muldoon of Connacht leaves the pitch in Glasgow. Photo: Paul Devlin/Sportsfile

Connacht finally got their due reward but it came not from driving forward play but by putting the ball wide to replacement Stacey Ili whose searing break created a try for substitute Caolin Blade, Carty converting.

The visitors' late surge took its toll on Glasgow as Warriors collected a second yellow card, this time shown to Rob Harley and from the ensuing scrum a Connacht penalty try completed the scoring.

Glasgow Warriors - S Hogg; T Seymour, A Dunbar, S Johnson, D van der Merwe (N Matawalu 37); P Horne (F Russell 64), H Pyrgos (A Price 64); A Allan (J Bhattie), F Brown (G Stewart 56), Z Fagerson (S Halanukonuka 59 ); S Cummings (K McDonald 19), J Gray (C Fusaro 41); R Harley, C Gibbins (capt), M Fagerson.

Connacht  - D Leader; N Adeolokun, B Aki, P Robb (T Farrell 46), M Healy (S Ili 29); J Carty, K Marmion (C Blade 60); D Buckley (P McCabe 50), T McCartney (S Delahunt 52), F Bealham (C Carey 64); U Dillane (G Thornbury 64), Q Roux, E Masterson, J Butler (capt) (J Muldoon 64), E McKeon.

REF - Frank Murphy (IRFU).

Irish Independent

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