Leinster 24-39 Glasgow Warriors
A record-breaking defensive shift from Glasgow Warriors secured a first victory at the RDS since 2011, with Dave Rennie’s men running in five tries to claim a 39-24 victory over Leinster.
performance from Jonny Gray – including a world-record tally of 43 tackles –
and the boot of Adam Hastings provided the catalyst for a memorable
performance, handing Leinster a first home defeat of the 2018/19 season.
sides chasing a place in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series, the intensity of the
match was at fever-pitch from the first whistle. An errant Ross Byrne pass in
midfield saw Seymour hack the ball downfield, with the Glasgow winger only
denied a try by a cynical off-the-ball tackle from Byrne himself. The Leinster
fly-half was duly dispatched to the sin-bin, as Hastings knocked over the
penalty for a 3-0 lead after just four minutes.
being down a man, it would be the men in blue that struck for the first try of
the afternoon. After phase upon phase of possession in the Glasgow 22, a
looping pass from Jamison Gibson-Park allowed Dave Kearney to step inside Stuart
Hogg and touch down to give the hosts a 5-3 lead with 10 minutes played.
successful penalty from Hasting restored the visitors’ lead as Byrne returned
to the pitch, before a moment of classic Glasgow rugby. Spotting a gap at the edge
of a ruck on his own 22, Ali Price’s speed of thought and acceleration saw him
race through untouched and up to halfway. Chased by a brace of covering
defenders, the scrum-half slipped a sublime offload out of the back door to send
the supporting Sam Johnson en route to the line. A piston of a handoff to the
chest of Byrne from the centre took him over the whitewash, Hastings converting
to add the extras to a wonderful score.
With the RDS
crowd urging their side forward at every opportunity, the men in blue made sure
to make the most of possession when it came their way. After five minutes of
relentless pressure on the Glasgow line, it was eventually Rob Kearney that
found the way through for the try that – combined with Byrne’s conversion –
narrowed the gap to a single point as the half entered the closing stages.
response was immediate. Scott Cummings’ retrieval of Hastings’ kick-off gave Dave
Rennie’s men perfect field position from which to launch an attack, before
making inroads into the Leinster 22. With just seconds left on the clock before
the interval, Hastings had the vision to find Seymour’s arcing run with a
20-metre pass to leave Dave Kearney in no-man’s land and send his winger in for
the score. Whilst the conversion drifted wide, it was Glasgow who headed into
the changing rooms with an 18-12 advantage.
was about to let up in their pursuit of victory, with the second half beginning
at identical intensity to the first. It was Leinster who once again were first
to cross the whitewash; after 30 phases of possession in the Glasgow 22, a
short line from Rob Kearney saw the full-back ride out the tackle of Price to
touch down for his second try of the afternoon. Byrne’s conversion was on
target from out wide, edging Leinster in front by a single point.
was extended as the game hit the hour mark, with the Kearney brothers again
playing prominent roles. Byrne’s pass wide allowed Jordan Larmour to step
around Hogg, before offloading to Rob Kearney. The full-back in turn slipped
the ball to brother Dave, who managed to spin out of the tackle from Niko Matawalu
and over the line. Whilst the conversion attempt sailed wide, the RDS scoreboard
read 24-18 in the home side’s favour.
though, Glasgow answered the questions being asked by their hosts. A penalty
kicked to the corner saw Jonny Gray rise highest to claim the lineout, with the
resulting maul proving unstoppable from close range to the delight of the
travelling Warrior Nation. Matt Fagerson eventually emerged with the ball to
claim the plaudits as try-scorer, Hastings adding the extras to restore Glasgow’s
With the match
in the balance entering the final ten minutes, it was the Warriors who seized
control. Another surging lineout drive was held up just short by the Leinster
defence on this occasion, but there was nothing the home side’s defence could
do to deny Zander Fagerson from following his brother onto the scoresheet. The
tight-head powered over from a matter of inches to emphatically plant the ball
over the try-line, Hastings adding the extras for good measure.
A victory laid
on the foundations of resolute defence was even to have a final flourish with
the clock in the red. With Leinster chasing a losing bonus-point from inside
their own 22 George Horne plucked opposite number Hugh O’Sullivan’s pass out of
the air to sprint over untouched and apply the coup de grace, a final
conversion from Hastings sealing a 39-24 triumph for Rennie’s men.