Leinster toppled despite valiant effort to stop ruthless Warriors
Glasgow 31 Leinster 21
Leinster to failed to stop Glasgow Warriors' uninterrupted run of victories in the Pro 14 after losing out to the home side by five tries to three in a match that was lit up by Glasgow's flamboyant first half play.
Both sides were hugely understrength but Leinster much moreso, with two players, Conor O'Brien and Josh Murphy, making their debut. In the circumstances they did well to stay in contention against a Glasgow side intent on showing their running skills on the plastic pitch at Scotstoun.
Leinster were quick out of the blocks scoring a blistering try in the opening minutes after full back Jordan Larmour cut the Glasgow defence to shreds with a penetrating run that ended with Jamieson Gibson Park darting over from close range and Ross Byrne converting.
No sooner had the players gathered breath than Glasgow replied in kind as Fijian international Niko Matawalu set up a try for George Horne, converted by elder brother Peter to level the scores.
Those looking for action respite were disappointed as Leinster again showed their danger in the outside channels, attacking on the left flank before moving the ball to the other touchline for Rory O'Loughlin to claim the second try, Byrne again converting.
The breakneck pace set by both teams continued with another lightening break by Matawalu who again had the younger Horne brother in support. The Warriors' scrum half was caught but when the ball was recycled centre Nick Grigg was on hand to bag the try, Peter Horne's conversion again levelling the scores.
Leinster were dealt a blow when Jordi Murphy was carded for preventing Glasgow taking a tap penalty. The one-man advantage soon told as Warriors used their forwards close to the line to set up a second try for George Horne, comfortably converted by his brother.
Then with just 26 minutes of the game played Glasgow achieved their bonus point score with an outrageously audacious score made by a length-of-the- pitch run by Matawalu and the finish by Grigg. Horne added the extras before adding a penalty.
Leinster tried desperately to narrow the lead from two penalty-created line-outs in the corner, but to no avail, as Glasgow led 31-14 at half-time.
Glasgow were reduced to fourteen men when lock Scott Cummings was carded early in the second half allowing Leinster to apply forward pressure and ultimately a try in the corner for wing Adam Byrne, expertly converted by Ross Byrne.
No sooner was Cummings back on the field than Glasgow lost replacement Alex Dunbar to the bin for slowing down the ball as Leinster went for the kill.
Leinster were now looking the stronger side but the visitors failed to capitalise when they squandered a four-on-two attack albeit there was a territorial dividend.
With rain arriving the accuracy of the earlier passing denied the likes of Matawalu, named as man of the match, from working further magic. With the game going into its final minutes the contest became more of a forward slog but the battle between the heavyweights yielded no further points leaving Glasgow winners and able to celebrate continued success in the Pro 14.
Glasgow Warriors: R Jackson; L Masaga (L Sarto 70), N Grigg, S Johnson (A Dunbar 56), N Matawalu; P Horne, G Horne (H Pyrgos 55); J Bhatti (A Allan 58), G Turner (P MacArthur 58), D Rae (A Nicol 69), T Swinson, S Cummings, R Harley, C Gibbins (L Wynne 73), M Fagerson (M Smith 63)
Leinster: J Lamour; A Byrne, R O'Loughlin, C O'Brien (H Keenan 73), D Kearney; R Byrne (C Marsh 73), J Gibson-Park (N McCarthy 51); E Byrne (P Dooley 51), S Cronin (R Strauss 58), M Bent (A Porter 51), R Molony, M Kearney, S Fardy (D Leavy 40), J Murphy (Josh Murphy 69), M Deegan
Ref - S Berry (SARU)