Six-try Glasgow run riot against off-key Ulster to cruise into PRO14 decider
Glasgow 50 Ulster 20
Glasgow Warriors secured their place in next weekend's Guinness Pro14 final at Celtic Park with a massive win over Ulster at Scotstoun in a match where just about everything went right for the home team.
Slicker with ball in hand, quick and strong in defence and powerful in the set-piece, Glasgow were simply far too good for an error-prone Ulster side that showed little invention throughout the match.
Glasgow could not have wished for a better start, a try by winger Tommy Seymour and the conversion by Adam Hastings. It was sparked by a break from the kick-off by Kyle Steyn and then patience through some 20 phases before Hastings threw a long pass to Seymour.
The home side did not have long to wait before making their second successful strike. This time it came from a driven lineout, and then a blindside dart to the line by Ali Price, Hastings again adding the conversion points.
Ulster finally got themselves into the game with a penalty kick to the Glasgow 22 that triggered a sequence of close-range surges ending with a second penalty award and another kick to the corner. But this time Ulster made a mess of the lineout.
Glasgow quickly profited from the resultant territorial gain after Ulster were penalised at a scrum leaving Hastings to add to his points tally.
From the restart Glasgow's Rob Harley was penalised for obstruction allowing John Cooney to open the Ulster account but minutes later when Warriors won a penalty under the posts, the home side opted for a scrum. The decision proved to be the correct one for Glasgow after Steyn, Jonny Gray and Scott Cummings softened up the Ulster defence before Rob Harley dived over for his side's third try on their way to a 24-3 interval lead.
Ulster looked more urgent at the start of the second half but a critical tackle by Steyn prevented an almost certain score for the visitors. The defensive contribution by Steyn proved critical in revitalising the Warriors who hit back with a second try by Seymour from slick handling by Johnson and Stuart Hogg.
International Rugby Newsletter
Then when Hastings chipped over the Ulster defence Glasgow profited again as Steyn and replacement Ryan Wilson exchanged passes for Steyn to gallop over for a deserved try. Broken they may have been but Ulster still had fight left in them as they showed from a driven lineout that ended with Marcell Coetzee crashing over in the corner for an unconverted try.
Glasgow quickly reasserted themselves with a try from Pete Horne. With the game gone, Ulster staged a late charge with tries by Rob Herring off a lineout maul and Michael Lowry on either side of a George Horne try.
Glasgow Warriors - S Hogg; T Seymour, K Steyn, S Johnson (P Horne 67), DTH van der Merwe (H Jones 70); A Hastings, A Price (G Horne ); J Bhatti (O Kebble 52), F Brown (G Stewart ), Z Fagerson (D Rae 66 ), S Cummings (R Wilson 61), J Gray, R Harley, C Gibbins (T Gordon 69), M Fagerson.
Ulster - M Lowry; L Ludik , L Marshall, S McCloskey (D Cave 68), J Stockdale (A Kernohan 69); B Burns, J Cooney (D Shanahan 47); E O'Sullivan (A Warwick 32), R Best (R Herring 61 ), R Kane (T O'Toole 50 ), I Henderson, K Treadwell (A O'Connor 52), N Timoney (S Reidy 48), J Murphy, M Coetzee.
Ref - J Lacey (IRFU)