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.
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.”
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).
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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