Leicester Tigers 0-43 Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors have secured a place in the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier competition for the first time, after a display that will go down in the record books as one of the most complete performances in club history.
kick-off, there was a sense that this could be an occasion to remember; with
the travelling Warrior Nation in full voice and flags flying high, you could
have been forgiven for thinking that Scotstoun had been transported to the
Midlands for the evening.
pre-match fervour was heightened yet further with just five minutes on the
clock, as the Warriors made what could only be described as the perfect start. Accurately
and clinically the men in white recycled the ball through 27 phases, before a
delayed pop pass from Ali Price sent Tommy Seymour through a hole. The winger
showed precisely why many are tipping him to be on the plane to New Zealand
with the Lions, finishing with aplomb despite the attentions of several
Leicester defenders. Finn Russell made no mistake from in front of the posts,
and the visitors led 7-0.
added a penalty just a few minutes later, by which point the Warriors were already
firmly in command. Another wave of Warriors attack saw Lee Jones’ pursuit of
his own chip ahead halted illegally by Matthew Tait, an infringement punished
with a yellow card by referee Mathieu Reynal.
immediately, the Warriors made their advantage count. A five-metre lineout reeled
in by Rob Harley saw a maul destined for the try-line collapsed by the Tigers, with
a penalty try – converted by Russell – the inevitable outcome. 17-0 up with 22
minutes on the clock, and the Warrior Nation were in dreamland.
was going to plan for the Warriors, exemplified nowhere better than the visitors’
third try of the evening on the half-hour mark. A snipe around the breakdown on
halfway from Price allowed the scrum-half to offload to Gordon Reid, and the
prop burst through the defensive line. His offload in turn found the supporting
Tim Swinson, who linked up well with Russell as the Leicester cover defence
scrambled. When the ball was recycled left, quick hands from Josh Strauss and a
line-straightening dart from Jones allowed Ryan Wilson to put Mark Bennett over
in the corner for a sublime score. Russell converted, giving his side a 24-0
lead as Tait returned to the field.
opening stanza for the Warriors was capped in style just moments later, as the
try bonus-point duly arrived. A slick set-play off a lineout saw Jones dart
through a hole, with Jonny Gray on hand to collect the pass and stroll over
from 15 metres. Once more Russell was deadeye accurate from the tee, sending
his side into the interval 31-0 to the good.
fly-half almost struck first in the second period to boot, yet saw his penalty
attempt from 45 metres fall just short. That was of no concern to the visiting
support, however, their voices remaining the soundtrack to what was becoming a
increased ever further on 47 minutes, as try number five duly arrived from the
visitors. A series of phases that began with Wilson charging through the middle
of a lineout unopposed ended with the back-row man barrelling over the line
from close-range, touching down for his first-ever European try after Zander
Fagerson was stopped inches short. Russell’s fifth conversion of the evening
took the score to 38-0, as the Warriors picked up where they left off.
Even when line
breaks failed to yield points, the Warrior Nation roared on their team as the
attempted to add further gloss to the score-line. Russell, Bennett and Stuart
Hogg were amongst those to create attacking opportunities, whilst the efforts
of Gray and company at the coal-face kept the visitors firmly in control.
seconds after the hour-mark, Glasgow’s attacking adventure was rewarded even
further. A snipe down the blindside and basketball-style pass from replacement
scrum-half Henry Pyrgos sent Pat MacArthur charging towards the line, and
whilst the hooker was stopped short there was to be no denying the powerful
surge of Tim Swinson just one pass later. For the first time in the match the
conversion attempt went astray, leaving the scoreboard reading 43-0 in Glasgow’s
half-century was almost delivered with a flourish on 69 minutes, as a superbly-executed
front peel sent D’arcy Rae on course for the corner. The replacement tight-head’s
elbow was deemed to have brushed the whitewash of the touchline, however, with
the TMO denying the Warriors a seventh score.
Not that the
result was in any doubt, though. With the clock in the red a final Warriors push
for the 50-point mark was denied by Freddie Burns, the Leicester fly-half
reaching for the touchline like a wrestler tapping out to bring the curtain
down on proceedings and confirm Glasgow’s place in the quarter-finals.
It was a performance to savour. It was a night to remember. It was Glasgow’s greatest-ever European night.