Match Report: Ulster Rugby 13-10 Glasgow Warriors

Craig Gilroy

Craig Gilroy was man of the match as Ulster defeated Glasgow 13-10

Ulster returned to the top of the Guinness PRO12 with a close 13-10 victory over the Glasgow Warriors at the Kingspan Stadium.

The scoreline belies the fact that the home side were by far the better team and dominated possession and territory, however their wastefulness in the opposition 22 cost them dearly and allowed their visitors a losing bonus point from the encounter.

Glasgow led at half-time through an early Lee Jones try while all the home side could muster was a penalty from scrum-half Ruan Pienaar, who later went off injured, despite their first half dominance.

After the break it was much of the same and a try from Callum Black, who was making his 100th appearance for the province, and a further penalty from Paddy Jackson secured all four points for the hosts while a last minute Taqele Naiyaravoro try wrapped up one point for the visitors.

Having dominated the opening exchanges, it looked like Ulster would get off to the perfect start when they were awarded a sixth minute penalty only for Pienaar to hook the simple kick wide of the mark.

And they immediately paid for that miss as Glasgow set up the platform at the opposite end with a strong driving maul and winger Lee Jones was on hand to finish off Sam Johnson’s strong break through the centre.

Rookie fly-half Hunter pushed the difficult touchline conversion wide before Pienaar landed Ulster’s first points of the night midway through the half with his first successful penalty of the game.

Despite Ulster’s dominance, they could not force their way over the line with Glasgow’s breakdown work in the 22 proving to be slightly more effective than the home side’s attack.

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Paul thought he’d grounded the ball – the referee disagreed

 

The hosts also lost the influential Pienaar to a head knock on the half hour mark and his replacement, Paul Marshall, was denied a try five minutes before the interval after the scrum-half’s grounding was ruled insubstantial.

Glasgow hadn’t much territory in the game yet they were still leading the match and but for Hunter pulling his second kick of the night wide, this time a penalty, they could have extended their lead further minutes after the restart.

 

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Centurian drives over to put Ulster into the lead

 

But the hosts’ dominance eventually paid off as the dangerous Craig Gilroy picked his way through the scattered Glasgow defence and worked his way up into the 22, and from there the forwards were able to pick and drive their way over with milestone man Callum Black getting the score.

From there Ulster’s heads picked up and they began to heavily dominate territory and possession and, although they could not get another try, substitute Paddy Jackson was able to put over a penalty to add to his conversion of Black’s try.

With the score now 13-5 it meant Ulster were battling to ensure that they didn’t grant their visitors a losing bonus point to take back to Glasgow and their job was made easier when Warriors captain Ryan Wilson was sin binned for taking Alan O’Connor out a line-out with ten minutes to play.

But Glasgow battled strongly and with the last play of the game substitute winger Taqele Naiyaravoro seized upon a deft kick over the top and sprinted over in the corner to nab a point for the Scottish side.

 

The scorers

For Ulster

Try: Black

Con: Jackson

Pens: Pienaar, Jackson

For Glasgow

Tries: Jones, Naiyaravoro

 

ULSTER RUGBY

(15-9) Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale (Sam Arnold 74), Sam Windsor (Paddy Jackson 40), Ruan Pienaar (Paul Marshall 29); (1-8) Callum Black (Kyle McCall 57), Rob Herring (John Andrew 43), Ricky Lutton (Bronson Ross 76), Alan O’Connor, Franco van der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy (Chris Henry 53), Nick Williams (Roger Wilson 63).

GLASGOW WARRIORS

(15-9) Peter Murchie, Lee Jones (Taqele Naiyaravoro 63), Glenn Bryce, Sam Johnson, Rory Hughes, Gregor Hunter (Peter Horne 53), Ali Price (Grayson Hart 63); (1-8) Ryan Grant (Alex Allan 58), Pat MacArthur (James Malcolm 35), Sila Puafisi (Darcy Rae 68), Greg Peterson, Leone Nakarawa (Josh Strauss 58), Robert Harley, Simone Favaro (Chris Fusaro 39), Ryan Wilson.

Yellow card: Ryan Wilson (70’)

 

Man of the Match: Craig Gilroy (Ulster)

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)