Celtic Challenge: Wolfhounds too strong for Glasgow Warriors

Third successive loss for Chris Laidlaw's side

Glasgow Warriors lost their third successive game in the Celtic Challenge against Wolfhounds at Scotstoun on Saturday afternoon. Image: SNS/Scottish Rugby
Glasgow Warriors lost their third successive game in the Celtic Challenge against Wolfhounds at Scotstoun on Saturday afternoon. Image: SNS/Scottish Rugby

Glasgow Warriors 12

Wolfhounds 40

GARY HEATLY @ Scotstoun Stadium

GLASGOW WARRIORS scored two tries on their first ever Scotstoun outing, but the Wolfhounds scored six to win comfortably 40-12 and the Scottish side are learning some tough lessons at this level at the moment.

This result means that the Warriors have lost three from three so far in the Celtic Challenge competition while the Irish side have a polar opposite record of three wins from three and are top of the table ahead of Sunday afternoon’s matches.

Just like in their opening two outings, Glasgow showed good promise in patches, but tries either side of half-time here – to make it 28-5 after 42 minutes – killed them off while they desperately need to find more fluidity in attack. They also need to realise how quickly mistakes can be punished at this level.


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Chris Laidlaw, the Glasgow head coach, said:  “There was a big momentum shift either side of half-time that made it really tricky for us.

“Heading into the break we had got a try and were attacking as well as we have all competition, but the Wolfhounds scored a third converted try.

“That was a blow, as was the seven-pointer just after the interval and a 14-point swing made it hard to come back.

“When opposition teams get momentum like that we have to learn how to wrestle it back, but a lot of the players are learning at this level and it takes time.

“There have definitely been green shoots of positivity so far in the first three games.

“There have been lots of learnings and improvements made by individuals – now we have to learn to put all facets of our game together for 80 minutes going forward.”

In front of a crowd of 905, Glasgow got off to a positive start and put a number of attacking phases together with the likes of back-row Louise McMillan and winger Phaedra Snailham carrying well.

The pressure earned Glasgow a penalty and when full-back Carla McDonald kicked it to touch they had a good attacking platform in the Wolfhounds 22. But the line-out was overthrown and the chance lost, then, a couple of minutes later, the Irish side were right down the other end of the pitch.

From five metres, out scrum-half Katie Whelan tried to set up centre Leah Tarpey, but a good double tackle by Snailham and back-row Lucy Winter forced her to knock the ball on.

In the 10th minute the Warriors defence again had to be on point as the Wolfhounds looked set to go in for a try under the posts, but three home players somehow combined to hold the ball up with centre Claudia McDonald the last player off the ground.

The first try of the day did come three minutes later when, from a textbook line-out drive, hooker Sarah Delaney went over as she had done versus Edinburgh seven days before. Dannah O’Brien, the stand-off, converted to make it 7-0.

Warriors could not get out of their own half as things moved towards the end of the first quarter and, in the 19th minute, Irish international loose-head Linda Djougang went over from close range. O’Brien’s conversion made it 14-0.

Almost straight away, Warriors did get on the front foot after the Wolfhounds failed to deal with the restart. Loose-head Ailie Tucker, who scored three tries in the first two games, co-captain Emma Turner and centre Lucy MacRae were amongst those who carried with a bit of purpose.

In the 26th minute, stand-off Ceitidh Ainsworth weaved her way through the Wolfhounds defence and into the 22, the teenager showing good footwork. Glasgow tried to recycle the ball after she was brought down against a stretched defence, but a knock on continued the theme of unforced errors hurting Warriors in this competition.

A move on the half hour mark had much more clarity, though, and after Scotland cap McMillan had gone close on the left, Snailham showed good awareness to pick up the ball and dive over in the corner. MacRae could not convert from out wide leaving the scoreline at 14-5.

The try clearly gave the hosts confidence, but the Wolfhounds managed to get back down the other end and score a crucial third try just when it looked like the tide was starting to turn.

With the clock heading into the red at the end of the first period, a neat tip on put tight-head Sophie Barrett through a gap and she made the most of it to power over. Nikki Caughey, the replacement 10 on for the injured O’Brien, converted to make it 21-5 at the interval.

 

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A bonus-point fourth try for the Wolfhounds came two minutes after the break, Whelan bursting away and then beating the last line of defence in the shape of Carla McDonald to go over. Caughey converted.

Just before the 50-minute mark, Glasgow got their second try of the game when experienced Scotland cap McMillan of Saracens showed great strength with two players trying to tackle her to go over with the help of half-time sub Holland Bogan. MacRae converted and it was 28-12.

With 25 minutes to go, the Wolfhounds bagged their fifth try through an unconverted effort out wide from winger Katie Corrigan.

And with eight minutes left on the clock, No 8 Brittany Hogan controlled the ball well at the back of a forward-moving scrum and dotted down. Caughey converted for 40-12.

Snailham’s solid debut was then marred slightly as she was yellow-carded with six minutes to go and, in the end, the Irish side won by 28 points.

 

Teams –

Glasgow Warriors: C McDonald; S Phimister, C McLaren, L MacRae, P Snailham; C Ainsworth, M McDonald; A Tucker, N Simpson, E Fleming, E Turner©, E Williamson, L McMillan, L Winter, A Love. Subs: K Craig, K Fraser, C Brown, S Anderson, I Hannay, H Bogan, R Clarke©, G Chicot.

Wolfhounds: E Durkan; K Corrigan, A Dalton, L Tarpey, N Marley; D O’Brien, K Whelan; L Djougang, S Delaney, S Barrett, K Brady, H O’Connor, E Murtagh, M Boyne©, B Hogan. Subs: M Clenaghan, A Moore, C Haney, C Boles, J Gaffney, K McCormill, N Caughey, A Ryder.

Referee: Sam O’Neil.

 

Scorers –

Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Snailham, McMillan; Con: MacRae.

Wolfhounds: Tries: Delaney, Djougang, Barrett, Whelan, Corrigan, Hogan; Cons: O’Brien 2, Caughey 3.

Scoring sequence (Glasgow Warriors first): 0-5; 0-7; 0-12; 0-14; 5-14; 5-19; 5-21 (h-t) 5-26; 5-28; 10-28; 12-28; 12-33; 12-38; 12-40.

 

Yellow card –

Glasgow Warriors: Snailham (74 mins).

 

Attendance: 905.


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About Gary Heatly 441 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.

1 Comment

  1. Great to see Chris Laidlaw back young players to develop. Paid off with a great performance from Ceitidh Ainsworth at 10, who distributed well and had the confidence to spot a break. Warriors need faster ball to make the most of their all court approach. Wolfhounds more experienced but v limited game plan. Louise McMillan showed her experience and Holland Brogan continues to shown huge potential

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