Saturday 24 August 2019

Ulster humbled in Glasgow as they fail to capitalise on promising start

Luke Marshall of Ulster dejected following the Guinness PRO14 Round 19 match between Glasgow Warriors and Ulster at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ross Parker/Sportsfile
Luke Marshall of Ulster dejected following the Guinness PRO14 Round 19 match between Glasgow Warriors and Ulster at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ross Parker/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ulster were brought back down to earth with a thud as they were humbled 30-7 by the Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium on their return to the Guinness PRO14.

Just six days after pushing defending European champions Leinster all the way in their Champions Cup quarter-final, this was a night to forget for Dan McFarland's side as they fell apart against the Conference A leaders.

Despite scoring first through Rob Herring, the Irish province didn't score again, and instead succumbed to the heavy defeat as Glasgow ran in four unanswered tries for the bonus point win on home soil.

It had all started so well for Ulster as they struck first, playing into a considerable wind, when hooker Herring extended his incredible scoring run by surging over from the back of a trademark driving maul that was going towards the line.

But Glasgow fought back with the wind at their backs and responded in identical fashion through their own hooker, Fraser Brown, who had the easy task of setting the ball down when a Warriors maul thundered over.

Four minutes later and Ulster were behind as some good interplay from Glasgow saw them cross for a second time, centre Kyle Steyn stopped at the last second, only for the space to open up out wide for fly-half Adam Hastings to go through a tackle and in for the score.

It was Hastings who increased the lead, stroking over a penalty for the hosts after seeing his conversion come back off the post, although he was perhaps fortunate not to see a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on on the half hour mark.

Instead, Glasgow forged another score ahead when they worked their way back into the 22 again, and with the momentum, the space again opened up out wide for winger Tommy Seymour to cross for their third try for a hammer blow on the stroke of half-time.

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With the wind at their backs in the second half, it was hoped that Ulster could fight back after the restart, but instead it was Zander Fagerson who went over for the Warriors just three minutes into the second half for their bonus point score.

If that didn't kill the game off, then Luke Marshall dropping the ball over the line when all he had to do was set it down for the try did.

The centre was put through by a brilliant pop pass from, ironically, Jacob Stockdale, but in strikingly similar circumstances to the winger last week, centre Marshall lost control as he went to score under pressure from Seymour.

Ulster tried to force their way back into proceedings, but far too many unforced errors in their play combined with a horrendously misfiring lineout meant every attempt to get on the board fell flat on its face.

When Hastings put over another penalty with 23 minutes remaining - with what proved to be the last score of the game - at that point it was clear that the game was over as a contest.

In the cruelest way possible, Ulster were denied a consolation score when Rob Lyttle scooped up a loose ball and raced all the way up the pitch and over in the corner for a try, only for the TMO to adjudge he grounded the ball millimetres short of the line and then knocked on.

Not a night to remember for Ulster.

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