Super Series Sprint: Stirling Wolves withstand late Glasgow Warriors A rally

Marcus Holden claims 19 points including two tries in home win

Adam Wood on the charge for Stirling Wolves versus Glasgow Warriors A at Bridgehaugh. Image: Bryan Robertson
Adam Wood on the charge for Stirling Wolves versus Glasgow Warriors A at Bridgehaugh. Image: Bryan Robertson

Stirling Wolves 34

Glasgow Warriors A 31

GAVIN HARPER @ Bridgehaugh

STIRLING WOLVES centre Marcus Holden helped himself to 19 points as his team held off a late Glasgow Warriors fightback to secure their second successive home win of the Super Series Sprint.

The home side appeared to have victory wrapped up as they took a 34-19 lead into the final quarter, but three Glasgow tries in 10 minutes – including two from replacement hooker Angus Fraser –  set up a grandstand finale.

However, the home side held on, much to the delight of head coach Eddie Pollock. “In that first hour we played some great rugby –  some of it was right out the top drawer and I can’t fault the players,” he said. “We had all our subs on with 20 minutes to go. We’ve been working hard on our fitness, but we need to work harder because in the last 10 minutes we were out on our feet. But, we found a way to win.”


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Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors A head coach Pete Horne brushed off the defeat to stress that playing in the first three rounds of the Super Series Sprint had provided a useful opportunity for the professional side.  “We were really proud of the second half performance,” he said. “A lot of young fellas played really well.

“First half we coughed up too much ball, made some mistakes and turned the ball over. There was some decent stuff in the first half, but we created a lot.

“It’s been great just to give boys game-time. We’ve had young boys coming in like Amino Bogidrau who’s in our junior academy and he’s played a fair bit. It’s given us a chance to look at other guys too.”

The home side took the lead inside the first couple of minutes. Glasgow were penalised for holding on when trying to run out from deep, leaving Holden the straightforward task of opening the scoring.

The visitors enjoyed a spell in the Wolves 22 but the home defence remained resolute, and Wolves capitalised when No 8 Benedict Grant burst from a line-out. Several attempts later, there was space for Holden to cross.

The home side threatened again when a loose box-kick from Finlay Burgess allowed Korie Winters time to pick off the Warriors defence and chip ahead. Only the pace of Glasgow’s Argentinean full-back Facundo Cordero denied the Wolves winger.

Another chance fell the home team’s way when Stevie Hamilton gathered his own kick, but the winger went on his own when there were team-mates available and a try would surely have followed, and Warriors made him pay with a stunning score from Tom Gordon, whose power took him through the home defence before he chipped and backed his pace to score a terrific 80 metre try.

The visitors again had plenty of the ball, but couldn’t find a way through the Wolves defence and they were punished when, following a Holden turnover and a stunning break from Winters, former Scotland under-20 scrum-half Kyle McGhie went over in the corner.

Glasgow were again caught overplaying in their own 22 and when they shipped another breakdown penalty, the rampant Wolves made them pay as Holden powered through Bogidrau for his second try, which gave the hosts a 17-point lead at the break.

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Stirling began the second half as they’d ended the first, and McGhie nearly got away for their bonus point score, only for Euan Ferrie‘s turnover to deny the former Musselburgh man.

The visitors struck back from the resulting penalty as McKnight broke up the touchline before a huge gap in the Wolves defence was capitalised upon by Gregor Hiddleston.

Winters threatened again, only to be denied once more by Cordero, but the home side’s fourth try wasn’t long in coming either, as Reyner Kennedy was driven over from a five-metre line-out to restore their cushion.

There was then a lengthy delay as medics attended to Winters, who was in considerable pain after injuring his leg in a tackle and left the field on a stretcher.

Indecision in the Glasgow backfield handed Wolves another chance as they failed to deal with Craig Jackson’s chip from a quickly taken line-out, and the stand-off dribbled the ball up the touchline to score in the corner.

Then the visitors launched their comeback as first Fraser snuck over from a maul before McKnight showed the home defence a clean pair of heels to go over. Christian Townsend‘s conversion cut the gap to just eight.

A turnover penalty won by Grant pinned Glasgow into their own 22 as the clock ticked into the red, but the hosts shipped a pair of penalties and allowed the Warriors territory and another ate try for Fraser. The professional outfit threatened to steal it, but Wolves held on to secure a victory they thought was in the bag with an hour gone.

 

Teams –

Stirling Wolves: G Bryce; S Hamilton (F Callaghan 40), R Southern (C Jardine 29), M Holden, K Winters (E Davey 57); C Jackson, K McGhie; L Quarm (G Breese 50), R Kennedy © (S Rainey 60), M Tomasaitis (A Wood 60), H Ferguson, R Hart (J  Pow 53), J Spurway (S MacDonald 50), C Gordon, B Grant.

Glasgow Warriors A: F Cordero; L Jarvie, B Salmon, A Bogidrau (E Ferrie 40) (H McLeod 78), R McKnight; C Townsend, F Burgess (S Kennedy 50); J Drummond, G Hiddleston, M Walker, M Williamson, A Samuel (A Smeaton72), A Miller ©, T Gordon, G Brown (A Fraser 45). Subs not used: M Ashdown, L Alessandri

Referee: D Sutherland

 

Scorers –

Stirling Wolves: Tries: Holden 2, McGhie, Kennedy, Jackson; Cons: Holden 3; Pen: Holden.

Glasgow Warriors A: Tries: Gordon, Hiddleston, Fraser 2, McKnight; Cons: Townsend 3.

Scoring sequence (Stirling Wolves first): 3-0; 8-0; 10-0; 10-5; 10-7; 15-7; 17-7; 22-7; 24-7 (h-t) 24-12; 24-14; 29-14; 34-14; 34-19; 34-24; 34-26.

 

Man-of-the-Match: Korie Winters was such a threat with ball in hand, while Benedict Grant and Connor Gordon were again at the heart of a terrific Wolves pack effort, but Marcus Holden pips them with his 19-point haul.

Talking point: Tom Gordon scored a stunning solo score, showing power to break the tackle before displaying great pace to finish. However, the Wolves’ effort finished by Kyle McGhie was every bit as good and was the beginning of the game getting away from the visitors.


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About Gavin Harper 10 Articles
Gavin is a freelance journalist and former Editor of SCRUM Magazine. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier University, during which time he won a Scottish Student Journalism Award for 'Best Sport Story', he began his career as a Senior news and sports reporter at the East Lothian Courier. After an 18-month spell as Editor of SCRUM Magazine, he now provides rugby content to a number of newspapers, magazines and websites. Twitter: @Gav_S_Harper

14 Comments

  1. There are some perceptions around about the super series that aren’t accurate.
    Firstly, the two ‘A’ teams are only playing in the first half of the sprint, and not in the championship later in the year. That is their involvement finished for now.
    Secondly, a ‘development’ side – mainly players eligible for Under 20 next season – will play in the championship. Presumably a of next years Academy players will be in that team rather than in the six franchised teams. (I would expect that team may lose quite a lot of games because it will all about ‘potential’ rather than ‘accomplished’ ability. If there is benefit from them playing all together, it will come in next year’s national Under 20 team performances (effectively the team will have had 12 games together before the tournament starts)
    Thirdly, the super six sides largely see the sprint series as an opportunity to try out different players and build experience. It is fair to say the games can be a bit like academy games. The championship is taken far more seriously and the teams tend to pick their best players, week in, week out.

  2. Gotta say splendid effort from Stirling, their boys looked fit and aggressive throughout, I’d also say whoever their S&C trainer is they obviously have them on the weights a lot. Well played, Glasgow A’s seem as far away from Edinburgh A’s as Edingburgh 1’s are from Glasgow 1’s 😳👍

  3. If this is the bestGlasgow back up team available .
    bloody hell id be worried .
    They should be head and shoulders above a semi pro side .
    .
    Does Horne get judged on results like other coaches in Scotland ?

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    • Agree Daffy. Have watched two Glasgow A games and I’m convinced several sides in the Premiership are considerably stronger, particularly in the backs, where it isn’t even close.

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      • Have you watched any Premiership rugby, especially the backs! That was so superior to anything in the Premiership. I know there is a large anti Super 6 audience on The Offside line but do yourselves a favour and at least make your comments credible.

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    • Daffy it’s not a pro squad. As Peter Horne says they have a player who’s currently in the junior academy which means he hasn’t even got a contract with an S6 squad. Most of the squad is a mish mash of players borrowed from various S6 teams plus a handful of full timers. The Super Series is not a proper competition but rather a set of academy style fixtures. A million miles away from what was initially envisaged.

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      • Completely agree with your comment. Though both Glasgow and Edinburgh academies should play more competitive games. I thought the idea behind S6 was to have a mish mash of young emerging talent and old pros they can learn from. Also isn’t there supposed to a development team picked from the best performing U20s to play in the S6 competition. If so where are they especially front rowers not many getting game time.

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      • Townsend has had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus in the past few months .
        Doesn’t offer much though to be in this position

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      • Ditto Mouse .
        It’s like the Red Sea opens for some and never opens for others with more ability.
        Why is that ?

  4. Korie Winters’ injury occurred right in front of me and sadly it looked very serious. All the best to him in his recovery.

    • Very entertaining, it’s a shame there wont be a regular pro A sides in the competition, the semi-pro teams seem to raise their game for it.

      Surprisingly i thought this game was better than the Ulster-Edinburgh display.

      • Thought Stirling were outstanding and well worth their win. Glasgow looked disjointed (no great surprise, as they haven’t played much together) and their skill set didn’t look great when under pressure. A couple of outstanding individual tries flattered them a bit. Good exercise though, and I imagine both sides will benefit from it.

    • A very enjoyable game of rugby. Watched in on TV but having watched the three Glasgow A games it looked a really good spring night out with beer and rugby for the fans. Hope this continues and is developed.

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