Glasgow Fall In France

Montferrand 44, Glasgow 13Glasgow's quest for European rugby's holy grail ended in the foothills of the French Central Massif this afternoon. Defeat at the hands of Montferrand left Scottish rugby still seeking the true road to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.Montferrand won with a substantial try-count of 6-1. Yet defeat for Glasgow was not without honour. They had at least come to the last day of the tournament's league stage still with a knock-out place within their grasp, and despite the margin they had their moments.Indeed, Glasgow almost opened the scoring with little more than a minute gone from the kick-off as Tommy Hayes was not far wide with a drop kick at goal. It was a statement of intent that was fulfilled soon afterwards, albeit with a penalty try while Montferrand were a man short, with Marco Caputo in the sin-bin after a hefty shoulder charge on Roland Reid off the ball.Jason White provided the source of the score with a lineout take that sparked a demanding drive and maul as the prelude to a thrust by James McLaren. Andy Henderson carried on almost to the posts. Glasgow were denied there, but from the ensuing scrummage Andy Nicol hassled Alessandro Troncon into a missed kick behind the home goal-line, and an offside Montferrand player pounced on the loose ball to deny Glasgow. The referee had no option but to award a penalty try. Hayes converted - 7-0 to Glasgow after eight minutes.It could have been even more of a lead. But James McLaren was denied by a tapped tackle after a furious phase of rugby - an attack promoted by Hayes, a swift counter by the French, and an eager riposte initiated by Glenn Metcalfe deep inside his own half.Hayes then missed a penalty from halfway. If chances had been taken Glasgow could have been 20 points up in just 18 minutes.But the Heineken Cup is a hard school. Montferrand responded with two tries in three minutes. Defensive commitment, notably tackles by Hayes and Rory Kerr, denied Tony Marsh and Caputo before the former found enough space in the left corner to score in 25 minutes as he looped outside Jimmy Marlu, and Raphael Chanal struck soon afterwards after Glenn Metcalfe had been caught under a high ball.Gerald Merceron converted both for 14-7 after 28 minutes. Montferrand led even though they had hardly been in the game in that time. The difference was that they took the chances on offer.Hayes and Merceron exchanged penalty goals before half-time. Each also missed one.However, Montferrand, previously worried by Glasgow's early threats, found composure in being ahead. Their game was taking shape. Their forwards typified their togetherness with their fearsome rolling mauls powered by their ability to arrive in numbers. They were also secure on their own lineout, stifling White's penchant for stealing opposition throws, a welcome source for Glasgow in many a game, and the home centre duo, Marsh and Chanal, already with tries to their names, were in the mood for more.Glasgow, though down 10-17 at half-time, were still in contact. They needed another score early in the second half. However, they conceded one only two minutes after the interval as Marsh escaped to send Marlu through on the right for 22-10.Hayes and Merceron had another exchange of penalty goals, and the margin could have been cut again to nine points if Glasgow had gone for another penalty in front of the posts. Instead, Gordon Bulloch opted to run the ball, looking for more than three points. Nothing came of it.Instead, Montferrand increased their lead to 32-13 when Merceron ran through open prairie on the blind side of a shortened lineout to score on the left. Sebastien Viars converted.By then, the game was out of Glasgow's reach. Yet the introduction of fresh legs, with five substitutes utilised, helped them to thwart Montferrand's mounting confidence, and in those circumstances two home tries in the last six minutes were cruel stabs.David McHugh, the Irish referee, awarded his second penalty try of the match, apparently because of Henderson's obstruction on Marsh. Yet the fault seemed to be in equal measure. Xavier Sadourny converted, and, finally, Aurelien Rougerie pounced on to loose ball after a seemingly obvious French knock-on.Montferrand now go on to a quarter-final in Castres in two weeks" time. The other ties are Bath v Llanelli, Stade Francais v Munster, and Leicester v Leinster.Glasgow can only ponder what might have been - and wait another year to find that elusive road into the Heineken quarter-finals.Montferrand - Jimmy Marlu; Sebastien Viars, Raphael Chanal, Tony Marsh, David Bory; Gerald Merceron, Alessandro Troncon; Alessio Galasso, Marco Caputo, Laurent Gomez, David Barrier (captain), Troy Jaques, Alexandre Audbert, Shelborne Boome, Jan Machacek. Substitutes - Alexandre Castola for Audbert (7-14 minutes), Elvis Vermeulen for Machacek (52), Eric Lecomte for Barrier (59), Abraham Tolofua for Galasso (64), Castola for Caputo (64), Xavier Sadourny for Merceron (69), Aurelien Rougerie for Marlu (71), Kevin Dalzell for Troncon (75).Scorers: Chanal, Marlu, Marsh, Merceron, Rougerie, penalty try; conversions, Merceron (2), Sadourny, Viars; penalty goals, Merceron (2).Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Rory Kerr, James McLaren, Andrew Henderson, Michael Bartlett; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch, Gordon McIlwham, Steve Griffiths, Jason White, Roland Reid, Gareth Flockhart, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Nathan Ross for Griffiths (62), Lee Harrison for Hilton (62), Barry Irving for Hayes (63), Andy Hall for Flockhart (69), Graeme Beveridge for Nicol (69).Scorers: Penalty try; conversion, Hayes; penalty goals, Hayes (2).Referee - David McHugh (Ireland).Montferrand 44, Glasgow 13Glasgow's quest for European rugby's holy grail ended in the foothills of the French Central Massif this afternoon. Defeat at the hands of Montferrand left Scottish rugby still seeking the true road to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.Montferrand won with a substantial try-count of 6-1. Yet defeat for Glasgow was not without honour. They had at least come to the last day of the tournament's league stage still with a knock-out place within their grasp, and despite the margin they had their moments.Indeed, Glasgow almost opened the scoring with little more than a minute gone from the kick-off as Tommy Hayes was not far wide with a drop kick at goal. It was a statement of intent that was fulfilled soon afterwards, albeit with a penalty try while Montferrand were a man short, with Marco Caputo in the sin-bin after a hefty shoulder charge on Roland Reid off the ball.Jason White provided the source of the score with a lineout take that sparked a demanding drive and maul as the prelude to a thrust by James McLaren. Andy Henderson carried on almost to the posts. Glasgow were denied there, but from the ensuing scrummage Andy Nicol hassled Alessandro Troncon into a missed kick behind the home goal-line, and an offside Montferrand player pounced on the loose ball to deny Glasgow. The referee had no option but to award a penalty try. Hayes converted - 7-0 to Glasgow after eight minutes.It could have been even more of a lead. But James McLaren was denied by a tapped tackle after a furious phase of rugby - an attack promoted by Hayes, a swift counter by the French, and an eager riposte initiated by Glenn Metcalfe deep inside his own half.Hayes then missed a penalty from halfway. If chances had been taken Glasgow could have been 20 points up in just 18 minutes.But the Heineken Cup is a hard school. Montferrand responded with two tries in three minutes. Defensive commitment, notably tackles by Hayes and Rory Kerr, denied Tony Marsh and Caputo before the former found enough space in the left corner to score in 25 minutes as he looped outside Jimmy Marlu, and Raphael Chanal struck soon afterwards after Glenn Metcalfe had been caught under a high ball.Gerald Merceron converted both for 14-7 after 28 minutes. Montferrand led even though they had hardly been in the game in that time. The difference was that they took the chances on offer.Hayes and Merceron exchanged penalty goals before half-time. Each also missed one.However, Montferrand, previously worried by Glasgow's early threats, found composure in being ahead. Their game was taking shape. Their forwards typified their togetherness with their fearsome rolling mauls powered by their ability to arrive in numbers. They were also secure on their own lineout, stifling White's penchant for stealing opposition throws, a welcome source for Glasgow in many a game, and the home centre duo, Marsh and Chanal, already with tries to their names, were in the mood for more.Glasgow, though down 10-17 at half-time, were still in contact. They needed another score early in the second half. However, they conceded one only two minutes after the interval as Marsh escaped to send Marlu through on the right for 22-10.Hayes and Merceron had another exchange of penalty goals, and the margin could have been cut again to nine points if Glasgow had gone for another penalty in front of the posts. Instead, Gordon Bulloch opted to run the ball, looking for more than three points. Nothing came of it.Instead, Montferrand increased their lead to 32-13 when Merceron ran through open prairie on the blind side of a shortened lineout to score on the left. Sebastien Viars converted.By then, the game was out of Glasgow's reach. Yet the introduction of fresh legs, with five substitutes utilised, helped them to thwart Montferrand's mounting confidence, and in those circumstances two home tries in the last six minutes were cruel stabs.David McHugh, the Irish referee, awarded his second penalty try of the match, apparently because of Henderson's obstruction on Marsh. Yet the fault seemed to be in equal measure. Xavier Sadourny converted, and, finally, Aurelien Rougerie pounced on to loose ball after a seemingly obvious French knock-on.Montferrand now go on to a quarter-final in Castres in two weeks" time. The other ties are Bath v Llanelli, Stade Francais v Munster, and Leicester v Leinster.Glasgow can only ponder what might have been - and wait another year to find that elusive road into the Heineken quarter-finals.Montferrand - Jimmy Marlu; Sebastien Viars, Raphael Chanal, Tony Marsh, David Bory; Gerald Merceron, Alessandro Troncon; Alessio Galasso, Marco Caputo, Laurent Gomez, David Barrier (captain), Troy Jaques, Alexandre Audbert, Shelborne Boome, Jan Machacek. Substitutes - Alexandre Castola for Audbert (7-14 minutes), Elvis Vermeulen for Machacek (52), Eric Lecomte for Barrier (59), Abraham Tolofua for Galasso (64), Castola for Caputo (64), Xavier Sadourny for Merceron (69), Aurelien Rougerie for Marlu (71), Kevin Dalzell for Troncon (75).Scorers: Chanal, Marlu, Marsh, Merceron, Rougerie, penalty try; conversions, Merceron (2), Sadourny, Viars; penalty goals, Merceron (2).Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Rory Kerr, James McLaren, Andrew Henderson, Michael Bartlett; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch, Gordon McIlwham, Steve Griffiths, Jason White, Roland Reid, Gareth Flockhart, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Nathan Ross for Griffiths (62), Lee Harrison for Hilton (62), Barry Irving for Hayes (63), Andy Hall for Flockhart (69), Graeme Beveridge for Nicol (69).Scorers: Penalty try; conversion, Hayes; penalty goals, Hayes (2).Referee - David McHugh (Ireland).