Ospreys v Glasgow: Warriors’ away-day woes continue

Late tries by Kebble and Gordon add veneer of respectability to painful defeat

Glasgow flanker Tom Gordon drives for the line. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Tom Gordon was one of Glasgow's two try-scorers in their loss to the Ospreys. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Ospreys 32

Glasgow Warriors 17

PLENTY of promising approach work but next to no execution. That was the principal problem for Glasgow at the Swansea.com Stadium as they fell to another away defeat in the URC.

There was certainly a greater sense of purpose to the Warriors’ performance than had been in evidence at Benetton in round one, but the fact remains that they have now lost both away games this season by more than 30 points, adding to the poor record they had on the road last time round.

In mitigation, Glasgow were up against an Ospreys defence that denied them time after time, with replacement hooker George Turner being repulsed either on the line or just shy of it on several occasions in the second half. On the other hand, they were actually beaten a lot more thoroughly than the final score suggests, as Oli Kebble scored their first try with just 20 seconds left on the clock and Tom Jordan got their second a couple of minutes into time added on.


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Domingo Miotti‘s conversions made the final margin of defeat a more respectable-looking 15 points, but the truth is that, after getting the try-bonus point in the bag, the Ospreys slackened off a little.

“We’re obviously very disappointed with the loss,” winger Rufus McLean said. “We had a lot of entries into their 22 but unfortunately we couldn’t convert them. We’ll review it and go again next week.”

The Bulls are up at Scotstoun next week, and Glasgow may well bounce back. That is what they did in round two at home to Cardiff a week after losing in Treviso. But getting a result in one match out of two cannot be said to constitute progress.

After a muted beginning to proceedings which saw Jack Dempsey depart with a rib knock, the latter stages of the first half gave us a glimpse of the old-style running rugby from the Warriors, but unfortunately for them it came in a move which ended in a try being chalked off. A brilliant counter-attack from Cole Forbes ended with Sam Johnson touching down unopposed, but the score was denied because of an earlier knock-on by Scott Cummings.

A conversion at that point would have made the score 7-7, Keelan Giles – who had also had a ‘try’ ruled out – having opened the scoring for the home side. But instead Gareth Anscombe, who had converted the winger’s try from the touchline,  added a penalty to extend his team’s lead to double figures. Glasgow hit back, however, in the closing minute of the half, and got off the mark thanks to a Jordan penalty after Adam Beard had offended. 

 

The Warriors  began the second half on the offensive too, and Cole Forbes got within five metres before he was stopped. The move went on, but the forwards were held up and the Ospreys cleared from the scrum. 

Then another Warriors attack looked promising, but when Jordan was stripped of the ball, Rhys Webb cleared forward and Giles won the chase to touch down. Jack Walsh, on for the injured Anscombe, added the two points.

Interviewed on the touchline around that point in proceedings, assistant coach Pete Horne made it clear what had gone wrong, and what needed to change if Glasgow were to get back into the contest. “We built a bit of little pressure and were down in their 22 for a sustained period,” he said on Premier Sports. “It was just a combination of little errors, be it indiscipline or mistakes around our maul, dropped balls and things – it has just taken the sting out of our attack a little bit and played into the Ospreys’ hands.

“Don’t get me wrong – they’ve done a good job. They’ve tried to slow us down and they’ve made a mess of the breakdown a lot. But if we can just tie up our accuracy a little bit I still think there’s some life left in this game.”

There was indeed some life left in the game, but it was the Ospreys who were by far the livelier of the two teams when it mattered. They could have been in a spot of difficulty when Dan Lydiate was sent to the sin bin for going off his feet, but instead they made  sure of the win with tries from George North and Reuben Morgan-Williams, both scored against a tiring defence. 

Walsh missed the first conversion attempt but made no mistake from Morgan-Williams’ bonus-point try. After a draw against the Scarlets and then a one-point loss to the Lions in their first two games, the Welsh side had the morale-boosting win that they hope will kick-start their season.

“We were unlucky not to come away with the win last week, and I’m just grateful for the win this week,” man of the match Giles said. “It was a good performance from the boys. Coming close against Scarlets and close against the Lions last week, it was very important for the home fans to get that win today.”

 

Teams –

Ospreys: M Nagy; G North, O Watkin, M Collins, K Giles (L Morgan 74); G Anscombe (J Walsh 48), R Webb (captain, R Morgan-Williams 69); N Smith (R Henry 74), S Baldwin (D Lake 56), T Francis (T Botha 60), A Beard, AW Jones, D Lydiate, J Morgan, E Roots (W Griffiths 9, R Davies 74). 

Glasgow: C Forbes; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu, S Johnson, R McLean; T Jordan (D Miotti 66), A Price (captain, S Kennedy 66); J Bhatti (O Kebble 46), F Brown (G Turner 46), Z Fagerson (S Berghan 46), S Cummings, R Gray (JP du Preez 56),  G Brown (S Manjezi 76), T Gordon, J Dempsey (R Wilson 12). 

Referee: J Peyper (South Africa). 

 

Scorers –

Ospreys: Tries: Giles 2, North, Morgan-Williams. Cons: Anscombe, Walsh 2. Pens: Anscombe, Walsh. 

Glasgow: Tries: Kebble, Gordon. Cons: Miotti 2. Pen: Jordan.

Scoring sequence (Ospreys first): 5-0; 7-0; 10-0; 10-3 (h-t) 15-3; 17-3; 20-3; 25-3; 30-3; 32-3; 32-8; 32-10; 32-15.

 

Yellow card –

Ospreys: Lydiate 63.

 

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About Stuart Bathgate 1182 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

10 Comments

  1. I was so hoping the (rightly) disallowed try would turn things around, as much to shut up the Chairman of the Ospreys Appreciation Society in the commentary box as kickstarting Glasgow’s game.
    Was it just me, or was the refereeing of the scrum reduced to a guessing game? I’m not necessarily saying it favoured either side, it just seemed very inconsistent.

  2. Bulls, Sharks and Lions to come. Unfortunately I predict a very likely played 6 won 1 start to the season that will be over before it’s started. Got pelters on here for predicting that we wouldn’t win another game after we won against Zebre on 1st April last year and was proved correct. Munster will improve, Zebre are showing promise for once, and the Dragons have improved. We are on par with Scarlets and Connacht and only demonstrably better than Cardiff.
    One thing in our favour is that we are not playing the South Africans later in the season when they get their test players back, other mid to lower placed teams will get humped and we might jump a few towards the end of the season to finish 10th or 11th. Another is that we will only be loosing 6 or 7 to the Scotland match day 23 during international windows.
    Overall a bleak picture with some wins over predictably weak opposition in the league and European diddy cup. We will struggle against any of the eventual top 8 (I’m fearful of what Leinster will do to us again) and will have to sit back and admire Edinburgh’s run to the semi’s.

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  3. Top 7 places in the league are pretty much as expected, possibly a different order at the end of the season. Question is can we be the best of the remaining 9 teams? Doubtful especially if Munster improve.

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    • You must have some crystal ball if you honestly expected Benetton and Lions to be in the top 7. There is a long way to go and whilst the top 5 currently will no doubt make the play offs I think there will be many options regards who gets the other 3 play off places. Cant see Scarlets and Munster not being in the hunt so yes it will be tough for Glasgow and Edinburgh. Seems to be a more evenly balanced set of teams in lower half than last year.

  4. Thought our disallowed try was on it’s way to being try of the day, it was the Glasgow of old end to end , great support running , offloading and a try at the end. That was the turning point of the game along with their 2nd try which was a yard off side. That aside we seemed unable to convert our pressure into tries. The mess up with Turner was typical first penalized and then held up. I hope Dempsey is OK but he was clearly in trouble holding his ribs for quite a while before he was removed , he should have been removed much quicker for so called player well fare and to minimise any further damage. All in all to much same old same old and not enough clinical efficiency. Finally why would you play Jordan over Miotti you have to go with the guy with experience start with Miotti and blood Jordan I’m mystified.

  5. What can you say – woeful, lacking flair, not sure what the new coaching set up are doing but this team looks like they will find it impossible to make the play-offs. As a season ticket holder I’m prepared for another very poor season with the team continuing to head in one direction – backwards..
    If Ospreys make us look poor I hate to think what will happen when they meet the Stormers, Bulls, Leinster and Ulster.

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  6. Well they didn’t back up last weeks energy or accuracy against an average Ospreys team. Long way to go…

  7. New Zealand player horribly out of his depth at ten whilst Scottish players like Smith n Thompson sent down to stagnate in s6….hard to see how Scottish rugby is going backwards so quickly….!! Team in as high as 3rd tier of Scottish rugby have already failed to put out a xv to fulfill fixtures….yet there are folk think all is well….first way to solve a problem is admitting it exists…

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    • Ross Thompson and Ollie Smith are returning from injury, so playing in the S6 until gully recovered would seen to be sensible.
      However Jordan did make a couple of errors, but he’s only playing in his 4th pro game.

      I feared the worst after Dempsey went off and the disallowed try was the catalyst for thing to go wrong.

      Didn’t stop the Welsh annoying me!!!!!!

      Personally I thought Rhys Webb was the main difference

  8. Just watched the last 30 min but a thoroughly bad performance. How can Glasgow go from great to shocking every time they play away from Scotstoun. Why does this happen. Back to the old comedy of errors with basic errors all round the team. Where next.

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