Leinster denied top spot in Pro12 as Glasgow show little bit extra

Leo Cullen’s men unable to find cutting edge in dull affair at Scotstoun

Glasgow 12 Leinster 6

Leinster's hopes of moving to the top of the Guinness Pro 12 table were dashed last might at Scotstoun by a Glasgow side that was quick in defence and which showed enough touches of finesse to merit the win.

In truth, this was a largely turgid affair dominated completely by penalty kicks and in which the referee displayed little sympathy.

Leinster were the more muscular side and threatened to overpower Glasgow but overall Leo Cullen’s men lacked sufficient pace to trouble Glasgow.

Attacking flair

In contrast, Glasgow showed much more attacking flair and but for some committed tackling from Leinster the home side might have run in a few tries.

Leinster posted several good performances, notably from lock Hayden Triggs and hooker James Tracy in the forwards and scrumhalf Luke McGrath.

Cullen may be regretting not making better use of his bench and in particular bringing on outhalf Joey Carberry at an earlier stage.

Leinster got off the mark quickly with a penalty goal by Isa Nacewa after only two minutes but Glasgow responded with a series of attacks in their opponent's 22 and their pressure culminated in a penalty by outhalf Rory Clegg, playing in his first match since returning to the Scottish side.

The kicking duel continued. A second penalty by Clegg gave Glasgow an advantage that was soon neutralised by Nacewa’s second success.

Then, after Leinster had threatened with a chip and chase by Dave Kearney, the visitors had a chance to take an interval lead only for Nacewa to slice a relatively simple kick at goal. The sides went in level 6-6 at the break.

Glasgow’s furious pace at the start of the second half put immense pressure on the Leinster defence and inevitably the Warriors’ momentum ended with a penalty award and a third goal for Clegg to give Glasgow a 9-6 advantage.

Leinster looked more purposeful from the restart but were undone by a couple of turnovers that gave Glasgow some respite and the chance to return to attacking rugby.

In keeping with the pattern of the game, Glasgow’s game was rewarded with another penalty and again Clegg delivered the points.

Another reprieve

Minutes later, when Leinster won a penalty, they opted to run the ball but Glasgow were given another reprieve when referee George Clancy judged that the visitors had not released after the tackle.

Leinster, however, were given a further chance to rescue the game from a penalty lineout, but once again the visitors’ attacking efforts were ruined by an untimely turnover.

However, when Isaac Boss, who had replaced scrumhalf McGrath, was tackled high, Leinster were handed another lifeline.

They kicked the penalty to touch, but from the ensuing lineout the visitors transgressed at the breakdown. This allowed Glasgow to kick long for touch leaving Leinster helplessly watching the clock tick down to full time and to defeat.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: P Murchie; L Jones, M Bennett, S Johnson, R Hughes; R Clegg, G Hart ; G Reid, F Brown, S Puafisi, G Peterson, L Nakarawa, J Eddie, S Favaro , A Ashe . Replacements: G Bryce for Hughes (11 mins), N Grigg for Johnson (33 mins), A Price for Murchie (40 mins), T Holmes for Eddie (46 mins), S Cummings for Ashe, Z Fagerson for Puafisi (both 56 mins), J Yanuyanutawa for Reid, J Malcolm for Favaro (both 62 mins).

LEINSTER: Z Kirchner; I Nacewa, G Ringrose, B Te'o, D Kearney; C Mars, L McGrath ; P Dooley, J Tracy, T Furlong , M Kearney, H Triggs, D Ryan, D Leavy, J Murphy. Replacements: R Molony for Triggs (55 mins), P Timmins for M Kearney (65 mins), J Loughman for Dooley, M Bent for Furlong I Boss for McGrath (all 73 mins), N Reid for Ringrose J Carberry for Marsh (both 77 mins).

Referee: G Clancy (IRFU)