Glasgow Exit Celtic League

Leinster 35, Glasgow 13Glasgow's Celtic League campaign ended as it began - with a disappointing Dublin defeat by Leinster. Four months ago Glasgow lost the opening league match by 39-11 at Donnybrook, and this evening they fell by only a slightly lesser margin in the semi-final at Lansdowne Road.Two early Leinster tries tonight left Glasgow having to play catch-up rugby for most of the match. The Irish province, undefeated this season, were 12 points up after 13 minutes.Leinster went on to lead 18-3 at the interval, and it was only after the Irishmen had stretched the margin to 19 points early in the second half that Glasgow productively strung together the continuity that they needed to break through the opposition. Forceful, fast rugby and repeated recycling allowed Mike Bartlett the scope to break two tackles and accelerate in for a try 13 minutes into the second half.A conversion by Tommy Hayes pulled Leinster's lead back to 25-13. Glasgow had just the glimmer of hope, but a Denis Hickie try then put the result beyond doubt."We didn't play as well as we needed to in the first half," Richie Dixon, Glasgow's head coach, remarked after the match. "When you play at this level you"ve got to keep your game up."Glasgow, in fact, had the pressure in the first five minutes. But a strike against the head was enough to turn the flow. Victor Costello broke clear from that scrummage at halfway, and Girvan Dempsey was denied only by a saving tackle by Hayes, though that delayed a try by the Irish full back for only a few seconds. Twice more the ball was recycled before Dempsey slipped a tackle to score, and Nathan Spooner converted.Seven minutes later Costello again did the initial damage before a Leinster try. This time he galloped away from his own lineout catch at halfway, and when he was stopped swift passes to the right allow Brian O'driscoll to score. Spooner missed that conversion attempt.Glasgow hinted at what might have been. A long pass by Hayes prompted Jim McLaren on to a typical drive that produced the position for a Hayes penalty goal in 16 minutes, and after Spooner had responded in kind the value of a Hayes break and kick ahead was lost when McLaren was penalised for a late tackle.Most of the threats came in the other direction through Costello, Keith Gleeson, and Dempsey. In addition, the Glasgow scrum was under pressure. Yet in first-half injury time Glasgow had two opportunities to cut the margin. First, a penalty kick by Hayes from 40 metres rebounded out from a post, and, almost immediately, Roland Reid, chasing his own kick ahead, knocked on as he dived on the ball over the goal-line.By then, Andy Henderson was in the sin-bin because he was judged to have blocked tackle clearance in front of the Glasgow posts. Brian O"Meara kicked that goal, and though Hayes responded with a penalty in the minute after the interval, a bizarre Leinster try exploited Henderson's absence. Shane Horgan gathered the ball behind his back inside the Glasgow 22, and, though still sprinting a full pace, he worked the ball round into a conventional grasp as he ran in between the posts to score. Spooner converted.Only then did Bartlett score Glasgow's only try, but soon afterwards the Leinster centres combined to open up the defence for Hickie's try. Spooner converted off the near post, and Leinster lead 32-13. The game was dead, and the only other score was another Spooner penalty goal.Yet Glasgow created chances in the final quarter of an hour without finishing off any. Breaks by Rory Kerr and Henderson were the prelude to Bartlett being denied in the left corner, Jason White's long break deep into the Leinster half made the opening that McLaren could not quite complete, and just before the end Jon Steel was squeezed out in the right corner.Leinster - Girvan Dempsey; Denis Hickie, Brian O'driscoll, Shane Horgan, Gordon D"Arcy; Nathan Spooner, Brian O"Meara; Reg Corrigan (captain), Shane Byrne, Paul Wallace, Leo Cullen, Malcolm O"Kelly, Eric Miller, Keith Gleeson, Victor Costello. Substitutes - Trevor Brennan for Costello (53-57), Robert Casey for Cullen (60), Peter Coyle for Wallace (61), Brennan for Miller (64), Peter McKenna for Dempsey (64), Ben Willis for Spooner (73), Gavin Hickie for Byrne (77), Adam Magro for O'driscoll (77).Scorers: Tries, Dempsey, O'driscoll, Horgan, Denis Hickie; conversions, Spooner (3); penalty goals, Spooner (2), O"Meara.Glasgow - Rory Kerr; Jonathan Steel, James McLaren, Andy Henderson, Michael Bartlett; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); Gordon McIlwham, Gordon Bulloch, Lee Harrison, Nathan Ross, Jason White, Gordon Simpson, Gareth Flockhart, Roland Reid. Substitutes - Barry Irving for Kerr (14-21 and 77), Steve Griffiths for Ross (64), Euan Murray for Harrison (64), Andy Hall for Reid (73), Graeme Beveridge for Nicol (77).Scorers: Try, Bartlett; conversion, Hayes; penalty goals, Hayes (2).Referee - Nigel Williams (Wales).Leinster 35, Glasgow 13Glasgow's Celtic League campaign ended as it began - with a disappointing Dublin defeat by Leinster. Four months ago Glasgow lost the opening league match by 39-11 at Donnybrook, and this evening they fell by only a slightly lesser margin in the semi-final at Lansdowne Road.Two early Leinster tries tonight left Glasgow having to play catch-up rugby for most of the match. The Irish province, undefeated this season, were 12 points up after 13 minutes.Leinster went on to lead 18-3 at the interval, and it was only after the Irishmen had stretched the margin to 19 points early in the second half that Glasgow productively strung together the continuity that they needed to break through the opposition. Forceful, fast rugby and repeated recycling allowed Mike Bartlett the scope to break two tackles and accelerate in for a try 13 minutes into the second half.A conversion by Tommy Hayes pulled Leinster's lead back to 25-13. Glasgow had just the glimmer of hope, but a Denis Hickie try then put the result beyond doubt."We didn't play as well as we needed to in the first half," Richie Dixon, Glasgow's head coach, remarked after the match. "When you play at this level you"ve got to keep your game up."Glasgow, in fact, had the pressure in the first five minutes. But a strike against the head was enough to turn the flow. Victor Costello broke clear from that scrummage at halfway, and Girvan Dempsey was denied only by a saving tackle by Hayes, though that delayed a try by the Irish full back for only a few seconds. Twice more the ball was recycled before Dempsey slipped a tackle to score, and Nathan Spooner converted.Seven minutes later Costello again did the initial damage before a Leinster try. This time he galloped away from his own lineout catch at halfway, and when he was stopped swift passes to the right allow Brian O'driscoll to score. Spooner missed that conversion attempt.Glasgow hinted at what might have been. A long pass by Hayes prompted Jim McLaren on to a typical drive that produced the position for a Hayes penalty goal in 16 minutes, and after Spooner had responded in kind the value of a Hayes break and kick ahead was lost when McLaren was penalised for a late tackle.Most of the threats came in the other direction through Costello, Keith Gleeson, and Dempsey. In addition, the Glasgow scrum was under pressure. Yet in first-half injury time Glasgow had two opportunities to cut the margin. First, a penalty kick by Hayes from 40 metres rebounded out from a post, and, almost immediately, Roland Reid, chasing his own kick ahead, knocked on as he dived on the ball over the goal-line.By then, Andy Henderson was in the sin-bin because he was judged to have blocked tackle clearance in front of the Glasgow posts. Brian O"Meara kicked that goal, and though Hayes responded with a penalty in the minute after the interval, a bizarre Leinster try exploited Henderson's absence. Shane Horgan gathered the ball behind his back inside the Glasgow 22, and, though still sprinting a full pace, he worked the ball round into a conventional grasp as he ran in between the posts to score. Spooner converted.Only then did Bartlett score Glasgow's only try, but soon afterwards the Leinster centres combined to open up the defence for Hickie's try. Spooner converted off the near post, and Leinster lead 32-13. The game was dead, and the only other score was another Spooner penalty goal.Yet Glasgow created chances in the final quarter of an hour without finishing off any. Breaks by Rory Kerr and Henderson were the prelude to Bartlett being denied in the left corner, Jason White's long break deep into the Leinster half made the opening that McLaren could not quite complete, and just before the end Jon Steel was squeezed out in the right corner.Leinster - Girvan Dempsey; Denis Hickie, Brian O'driscoll, Shane Horgan, Gordon D"Arcy; Nathan Spooner, Brian O"Meara; Reg Corrigan (captain), Shane Byrne, Paul Wallace, Leo Cullen, Malcolm O"Kelly, Eric Miller, Keith Gleeson, Victor Costello. Substitutes - Trevor Brennan for Costello (53-57), Robert Casey for Cullen (60), Peter Coyle for Wallace (61), Brennan for Miller (64), Peter McKenna for Dempsey (64), Ben Willis for Spooner (73), Gavin Hickie for Byrne (77), Adam Magro for O'driscoll (77).Scorers: Tries, Dempsey, O'driscoll, Horgan, Denis Hickie; conversions, Spooner (3); penalty goals, Spooner (2), O"Meara.Glasgow - Rory Kerr; Jonathan Steel, James McLaren, Andy Henderson, Michael Bartlett; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); Gordon McIlwham, Gordon Bulloch, Lee Harrison, Nathan Ross, Jason White, Gordon Simpson, Gareth Flockhart, Roland Reid. Substitutes - Barry Irving for Kerr (14-21 and 77), Steve Griffiths for Ross (64), Euan Murray for Harrison (64), Andy Hall for Reid (73), Graeme Beveridge for Nicol (77).Scorers: Try, Bartlett; conversion, Hayes; penalty goals, Hayes (2).Referee - Nigel Williams (Wales).