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Sloppy Leinster down and out of Rainbow Cup after scrappy Scotstoun defeat to Glasgow

Glasgow Warriors 15 Leinster 12

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Adam Hastings of Glasgow Warriors is tackled by Luke McGrath of Leinster during the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup match at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow. Photo: Ross MacDonald/Sportsfile

Adam Hastings of Glasgow Warriors is tackled by Luke McGrath of Leinster during the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup match at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow. Photo: Ross MacDonald/Sportsfile

Adam Hastings of Glasgow Warriors is tackled by Luke McGrath of Leinster during the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup match at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow. Photo: Ross MacDonald/Sportsfile

FOR once, there will be no final for Leinster to finish with. The return of 1,200 fans to the RDS next Friday for a dead rubber against the Dragons will have to do after they fell to a dispiriting loss in Glasgow.

Their chances of getting to the Rainbow Cup final were slim coming into this clash, but they had lots of chances to win a bad-tempered game and get the bonus point they needed.

Instead, they left with lots of regrets having had two tries chalked off by referee Frank Murphy.

This was a performance that summed up their patchy end to the season. Their good moments were ruined by sloppy inaccuracy, their discipline was poor.

They’ll have a long list of gripes about Murphy’s influence, but Glasgow brought a street-fighter’s attitude to a game that lasted more than two hours and the PRO14 champions couldn’t rise above.

The result keeps the Scots in the final hunt with Benetton and Munster, but Leinster are gone.

After a cagey opening, the home side got the upper hand after 10 minutes as they punished Leinster’s indiscipline as Matt Fagerson crashed over from close range after a quick-tap penalty.

Ross Thompson converted, but the visiting side hit back instantly with a try of huge quality created by Ross Byrne’s precise passing and some excellent carrying from Ross Molony and Caelan Doris before Luke McGrath darted over.

Byrne added the extras and Leinster thought they’d added a second through Hugo Keenan only for ref Murphy and his television match official (TMO) Andrew McMenemy to review a knock-on by Ross Molony and chalk the score off. Still, they trapped the Scots into their own half and when winger Cole Forbes saw yellow for an early tackle on Cian Kelleher they went for the jugular.

It was the right winger who forced his way over after Josh Murphy and Josh van der Flier had carried well in the build-up.

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They had some defending to do but, with Garry Ringrose to the fore, they dealt with what the 14 men threw at them and forced an Adam Hastings knock-on.

However, Keenan coughed up possession as he tried to exit and it cost Leinster dear as Rory O’Loughlin was sin-binned for not releasing before competing for the ball. With the clock in the red, Glasgow couldn’t make it count as Hastings was penalised for crossing and Leinster managed the rest of their time with 14 men so well they thought they’d manufactured a fine try for Keenan.

For the second time he fell foul of the TMO because of an Andrew Porter obstruction that opened the gap. Instead, it was Glasgow who were celebrating at the other end as Thompson found touch and, from the lineout, the home team worked the ball well wide to Kyle Steyn who scored.

Luke McGrath challenged Hastings’ final pass to no avail and when Thompson missed his conversion the sides were level at 12-all.

Ed Byrne survived a nervy few minutes as Murphy and Co reviewed a high tackle and settled on a penalty.

The game became increasingly stop-start and fractious, with Ryan Wilson the third player sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous neck roll on Porter. He was lucky Murphy didn’t reach for red.

Again, Leinster looked to make their advantage count and forced a scrum penalty before kicking to the corner but an illegal maul transfer cost them the chance to strike.

Instead, Thompson kicked his side in front after Porter was harshly penalised at ruck-time. Leinster needed a play and Van der Flier stepped up with a huge tackle but, after the forwards built pressure in the ‘22’, Ross Byrne knocked on cheaply and then they coughed up a penalty to compound the error. That was their chance, that was their season.

GLASGOW WARRIORS A Hastings; K Steyn, N Grigg, S Johnson (S McDowall 23), C Forbes (N Matawalu 64); R Thompson, G Horne; A Seiuli (T Lambert 58), F Brown (G Turner 54), E Pieretto (D Rae 70); R Harley (K McDonald 47), S Cummings; R Wilson, R Darge, M Fagerson (T Gordon 53).

LEINSTER – H Keenan; C Kelleher (J Larmour 66), G Ringrose, R O’Loughlin, J O’Brien; R Byrne, L McGrath (capt); E Byrne (P Dooley 56), R Kelleher (D Sheehan 70), M Bent (A Porter 46); R Molony, J Ryan; J Murphy (R Baird 56), J van der Flier (S Penny 75), C Doris.

Ref – F Murphy (IRFU)


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