Connacht 26-27 Glasgow Warriors
It is the third consecutive season that the Warriors have travelled to Connacht in Round One and the scorching sunshine on the West Coast of Ireland was a stark contrast to the horizontal storm Dave Rennie’s men had played in 12 months earlier.
Tommy Seymour’s try after two minutes got Glasgow off to a flying start, the winger racing on to a Stuart Hogg grubber behind the defence to give his side an early lead.
The hosts got themselves on the board after the Warriors brought down an advancing maul and then took the lead, Cian Kelleher collecting a cross field kick after the green shirts had been hammering the try line.
Warriors regained the lead, George Turner showing good game awareness to recognise a gap in the Connacht fringe defence to scuttle over, Peter Horne adding the extras.
The match continued at a frantic pace and the hosts responded almost immediately, Finlay Bealham beating the last defender to score.
Once more the pendulum swung in Glasgow’s favour, Ryan Wilson’s tenacity brought him within five meters of the line before stretching an arm to earn his side another five points.
However, it was the hosts who would finish the opening 40 on top, two late Jack Carty penalties punishing Glasgow indiscipline and a breathtaking first half finished 23-17.
Connacht started the second half with another penalty and soon the free scoring first half seemed a long time ago as both defences knuckled down for a gritty 20-minute exchange.
Adam Hastings was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle however his absence seemed to galvanise his teammates. Adam Ashe scoring from a driving lineout to hack away at the nine point lead the home side had built.
Glasgow smelled blood and advanced into the Connacht half looking dangerous with every carry. With 75 minutes on the clock and the referee playing advantage, the ball was sent to Stuart Hogg who fired over a 30-meter drop goal to edge his side into the lead.
The drama wasn’t finished there. Glasgow defended resiliently for the following few phases of Connacht attack and looked to have won the tie after the ball rolled into touch in their favour with just seconds to go.
However, the home side won the line out against the head and continued to hammer the Warriors defensive wall, looking for a penalty.
Eventually it was given and Craig Ronaldson stepped up to win the game for his side with the clock in the red, but his shot at goal sailed just wide and the Warriors return to Scotsotun with five points.