Glasgow Finish Season With A Win

Glasgow 37, Swansea 20Glasgow bid adieu to the Welsh/Scottish League with victory against Swansea at Hughenden this evening. It completed a home-and-away double, adding to their win at St Helen's back in early September.Coupling those two results created a cameo of a Glasgow season of mixed contrasts. The victory in Swansea was on their road to the semi-finals of the Celtic League whereas the performance tonight projected only reminders of those heady, exciting days in the first half of the season. Glasgow wins since early January have been as rare as defeats had been before then.It was also the occasion for farewells to Richie Dixon and Rob Moffat, both giving up their Glasgow coaching roles. The former, though remaining as team manager, has relinquished his head coach's title to concentrate on coach education from a Murrayfield desk whereas Moffat moves back to his Border homeland to be with the new professional team there.Dixon departed with a pointed message to his players. "In the modern game it's the players who have to drive it. If we keep driving, we will have a consistent team here in Glasgow."He pointed out, too, that victory tonight was achieved without such experienced players such as Andy Nicol, Glenn Metcalfe, Jason White, and Cameron Blades. Metcalfe's chosen deputy at full back, Rory Kerr, also missed the match - a late withdrawal because of a pulled hamstring. Calvin Howarth was promoted to full back and proved his ability as a versatile footballer.As in the past couple of weeks, White's absence provided the scope for Andy Hall to show how he has developed and matured through his first season of professional rugby. Not only was the young lock forward secure on the throws to himself, but he also poached a lot of Swansea's lineout ball. Moreover, he was tireless in open play, sharp enough to win loose ball in helping to create Glasgow's second try.Glasgow's lineout command was matched by their damaging pressure on the Swansea scrummage, which was the direct source of Glasgow's two other tries. The home forwards wrecked their opposite numbers so severely on a Swansea put-in that the free ball was eagerly snaffled by Kenny Sinclair before he scampered over from 40 metres out, and right at the of the game Glasgow had a strong enough shunt to threaten a pushover try before Jon Petrie picked up the scrum base to dive over.That score allowed Glasgow to match Swansea three tries to three. But it ought to have been a more decisive try-count. When Glasgow were on song they looked more like the team from the first half of the season. Tommy Hayes was in the mood, quite apart from kicking 17 points, and Donnie Macfadyen was close to his predatory best.Yet the Glasgow performance had its downside, too, as in the early phases of the contest, when their overall slackness allowed Swansea the position for Matt Taylor to score on the left after only two minutes. Gavin Henson converted, and he missed a penalty and a drop attempt before Glasgow threatened for the first time in 12 minutes with the first of Hayes's five penalty goals.Sinclair added his try five minutes later, Hayes converting, and Glasgow stretched to 15-7 midway in the second half. Roland Reid paved the way with a thrust into the left corner, and Hall secured loose ball there before Gordon McIlwham joined in the linkage for Macfadyen to put Jon Steel over on the right.Henson and Hayes then traded penalty goals, and just before the interval Swansea were reduced to 14 men when Nik Witkowski was sin-binned for a high tackle on Reid. However, from that numerical advantage Glasgow gained only a drop goal by James McLaren three minutes after the interval.Hayes added two penalty goals, the first after Gordon Simpson's charge off Swansea's loose lineout ball, and Glasgow seemed untouchable at 27-10 midway in the second half. But they almost let Swansea back into the game, conceding soft tries to Witkowski and Selilio Martens.Those scores sandwiched a fifth penalty goal by Hayes. It procured much needed insurance for 30-15, and after Swansea had cut the margin down to 10 points Glasgow made safe with Petrie's try and Calvin Howarth's conversion.Glasgow - Calvin Howarth; Jon Steel, James McLaren, Jon Stuart, Roland Reid; Tommy Hayes, Kenny Sinclair; David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch (captain), Gordon McIlwham, Colin Stewart, Andy Hall, Gordon Simpson, Donnie Macfadyen, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Nathan Ross for Stewart (55 minutes), Alan Bulloch for McLaren (57), Gareth Flockhart for Simpson (64), Dougie Hall for Gordon Bulloch (75), Andrew Kelly for McIlwham (79), Chris Cusiter for Sinclair (79).Scorers: Tries, Petrie, Sinclair, Steel; conversions, Hayes, Howarth; penalty goals, Hayes (5); drop goal, McLaren.Swansea - Gareth Swales; Brian Lima, Matt Taylor, Nik Witkowski, Matthew Robinson; Gavin Henson, Rhodri Jones; Andrew Chevalier, Pat Dunkley, Johnney Marsters, Tyrone Maullin, Ben Davies, James Bater, Jonathan Tenconi, Jonathan Thomas. Substitutes - Shaun Payne for Robinson (half-time), Dean Thomas for Davies (half-time), Ben Evans for Chevalier (half-time), Scott Gibbs for Swales (57), Selilio Martens for Jones (66), Craig Hawkins for Dunkley (74).Scorers: Tries, Martens, Taylor, Witkowski; conversion, Henson; penalty goal, Henson.Referee - Andy Ireland (Edinburgh Referees" Society).Glasgow 37, Swansea 20Glasgow bid adieu to the Welsh/Scottish League with victory against Swansea at Hughenden this evening. It completed a home-and-away double, adding to their win at St Helen's back in early September.Coupling those two results created a cameo of a Glasgow season of mixed contrasts. The victory in Swansea was on their road to the semi-finals of the Celtic League whereas the performance tonight projected only reminders of those heady, exciting days in the first half of the season. Glasgow wins since early January have been as rare as defeats had been before then.It was also the occasion for farewells to Richie Dixon and Rob Moffat, both giving up their Glasgow coaching roles. The former, though remaining as team manager, has relinquished his head coach's title to concentrate on coach education from a Murrayfield desk whereas Moffat moves back to his Border homeland to be with the new professional team there.Dixon departed with a pointed message to his players. "In the modern game it's the players who have to drive it. If we keep driving, we will have a consistent team here in Glasgow."He pointed out, too, that victory tonight was achieved without such experienced players such as Andy Nicol, Glenn Metcalfe, Jason White, and Cameron Blades. Metcalfe's chosen deputy at full back, Rory Kerr, also missed the match - a late withdrawal because of a pulled hamstring. Calvin Howarth was promoted to full back and proved his ability as a versatile footballer.As in the past couple of weeks, White's absence provided the scope for Andy Hall to show how he has developed and matured through his first season of professional rugby. Not only was the young lock forward secure on the throws to himself, but he also poached a lot of Swansea's lineout ball. Moreover, he was tireless in open play, sharp enough to win loose ball in helping to create Glasgow's second try.Glasgow's lineout command was matched by their damaging pressure on the Swansea scrummage, which was the direct source of Glasgow's two other tries. The home forwards wrecked their opposite numbers so severely on a Swansea put-in that the free ball was eagerly snaffled by Kenny Sinclair before he scampered over from 40 metres out, and right at the of the game Glasgow had a strong enough shunt to threaten a pushover try before Jon Petrie picked up the scrum base to dive over.That score allowed Glasgow to match Swansea three tries to three. But it ought to have been a more decisive try-count. When Glasgow were on song they looked more like the team from the first half of the season. Tommy Hayes was in the mood, quite apart from kicking 17 points, and Donnie Macfadyen was close to his predatory best.Yet the Glasgow performance had its downside, too, as in the early phases of the contest, when their overall slackness allowed Swansea the position for Matt Taylor to score on the left after only two minutes. Gavin Henson converted, and he missed a penalty and a drop attempt before Glasgow threatened for the first time in 12 minutes with the first of Hayes's five penalty goals.Sinclair added his try five minutes later, Hayes converting, and Glasgow stretched to 15-7 midway in the second half. Roland Reid paved the way with a thrust into the left corner, and Hall secured loose ball there before Gordon McIlwham joined in the linkage for Macfadyen to put Jon Steel over on the right.Henson and Hayes then traded penalty goals, and just before the interval Swansea were reduced to 14 men when Nik Witkowski was sin-binned for a high tackle on Reid. However, from that numerical advantage Glasgow gained only a drop goal by James McLaren three minutes after the interval.Hayes added two penalty goals, the first after Gordon Simpson's charge off Swansea's loose lineout ball, and Glasgow seemed untouchable at 27-10 midway in the second half. But they almost let Swansea back into the game, conceding soft tries to Witkowski and Selilio Martens.Those scores sandwiched a fifth penalty goal by Hayes. It procured much needed insurance for 30-15, and after Swansea had cut the margin down to 10 points Glasgow made safe with Petrie's try and Calvin Howarth's conversion.Glasgow - Calvin Howarth; Jon Steel, James McLaren, Jon Stuart, Roland Reid; Tommy Hayes, Kenny Sinclair; David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch (captain), Gordon McIlwham, Colin Stewart, Andy Hall, Gordon Simpson, Donnie Macfadyen, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Nathan Ross for Stewart (55 minutes), Alan Bulloch for McLaren (57), Gareth Flockhart for Simpson (64), Dougie Hall for Gordon Bulloch (75), Andrew Kelly for McIlwham (79), Chris Cusiter for Sinclair (79).Scorers: Tries, Petrie, Sinclair, Steel; conversions, Hayes, Howarth; penalty goals, Hayes (5); drop goal, McLaren.Swansea - Gareth Swales; Brian Lima, Matt Taylor, Nik Witkowski, Matthew Robinson; Gavin Henson, Rhodri Jones; Andrew Chevalier, Pat Dunkley, Johnney Marsters, Tyrone Maullin, Ben Davies, James Bater, Jonathan Tenconi, Jonathan Thomas. Substitutes - Shaun Payne for Robinson (half-time), Dean Thomas for Davies (half-time), Ben Evans for Chevalier (half-time), Scott Gibbs for Swales (57), Selilio Martens for Jones (66), Craig Hawkins for Dunkley (74).Scorers: Tries, Martens, Taylor, Witkowski; conversion, Henson; penalty goal, Henson.Referee - Andy Ireland (Edinburgh Referees" Society).