Glasgow Top Celtic League Section

Glasgow 29, Connacht 7Glasgow churned out the victory they needed this evening. Scoring three tries to Connacht's one was satisfactory on a Hughenden night of_almost constant rain.Victory was enough to hoist Glasgow back to the top of the Celtic League Pool B. It may also be enough to earn them a home quarter-final at the end of next month. Whether it is or not will depend on the result of the Pontypridd v Cardiff match at Sardis Road tomorrow.In such conditions it was never going to be a contest of flowing rugby. It was a hard slog dictated by the weather, a game when kicking for pressure was more favoured than building phases through patient recycling, and Glasgow responded to the noisy support. The hundreds of promotional "clackers" made such a steady clatter that they drowned out the patter of the rain. On such a night it was a credit to Glasgow's rugby following that as many as 3247 turned up.Nor was it a comfortable victory, though Glasgow made it hard for themselves in the first half-hour, when Calvin Howarth kicked only two goals from five attempts. In that time, too, the Glasgow lineout failed to gel. However, that facet of the Glasgow game improved, with lineout the direct source of the third and final try, and Howarth went on to contribute 19 points with a conversion and four penalties as well as a try.After 22 minutes Glasgow's only rewards were two Howarth penalty goals, the second after Eric Elwood had been sin-binned for killing the ball close to his own goal-line. Yet, even short-handed, Connacht found the means to overturn Glasgow's lead, when the ball popped out of a close-range lineout maul for Dan McFarland to pounce for the try that Mark McHugh converted.Before Elwood's return, however, Glasgow responded with a try inspired by Andrew Henderson. Nothing seemed on before he broke clear from the visitors" 10-metre line, and he then struck a perfectly weighted low kick for Stuart Moffat to chase through to skid over.Henderson continued to worry the opposition. So did Glenn Metcalfe, never backward at going forward, as well as the eager Andrew Hall and Jason White, captain and the latest addition to Glasgow's centurions, those who have played 100 games for the side.Howarth missed the conversion from the full back's try. At least, Glasgow were ahead again, even though Connacht had a 7-5 edge in points scored while Elwood was in the sin-bin.Just before Elwood resumed Glasgow lost Jon Petrie to the sin-bin. It was the Glasgow forward's third yellow card of the tournament, and, as a consequence, he will automatically miss the quarter-final unless reason and means are found for a successful appeal.During Petrie's 10 minutes in the "bin" neither side scored a point, though Elwood missed two penalties, the first certainly from well within his range. As soon as Glasgow were back to full strength, however, Metcalfe and Alan Bulloch, chasing a Graeme Beveridge kick into the left corner, forced Connacht to concede a penalty from which Howarth kicked the goal.That was 14-7 at the interval, and when Glasgow turned the screws from the restart the lead stretched to 14 points only two minutes into the second half. Metcalfe and Howarth were held up on the line before the latter dived over on the blind side of a five-metre scrum.Howarth added the conversion and kicked another penalty goal 10 minutes later, but Glasgow then lost their impetus and urgency for nearly half an hour. It may have been coincidental that around that time Eric Peters, the former Scotland captain, joined the contest as the visitors" No.8. Connacht threats, though, were denied by "first up" defence, and when Glasgow eventually raised the siege they finished off with a try ignited by White's lineout take. Immediately, however, the apex was switched for the pack to drive over, Donnie Macfadyen scoring under the heap.Howarth missed the conversion from out on the right, and no time wasleft for Glasgow even to think about a fourth try and a bonus point.Glasgow head coach Kiwi Searancke reflected later on his pride at his team's response to three successive defeats on the road - two home wins. "We've certainly got stuck into them (the players) as coaches._Glasgow might not have been quite as good as some of the early season wins might have suggested but the important thing for me was that tonight they guys toughed out at win._The guys were gutsy and that's a good sign for Glasgow rugby and for Scottish rugby."Glasgow - Stuart Moffat; Michael Bartlett, Alan Bulloch, Andrew Henderson, Glenn Metcalfe; Calvin Howarth, Graeme Beveridge; Cameron Blades, Gordon Bulloch, Lee Harrison, Andrew Hall, Jason White (captain), Gordon Simpson, Donnie Macfadyen, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Andy Nicol for Beveridge (51 minutes), David Hilton for Blades (52), Nathan Ross for Hall (30).Scorers: Tries, Howarth, Macfadyen, Moffat; conversion, Howarth; penalty goals, Howarth (4). Yellow card - Petrie.Connacht - Gavin Duffy; James Norton, Darren Yapp, Mark McHugh, Wayne Munn; Eric Elwood, Chris Keane; Dan McFarland, Jerry Flannery, Peter Bracken, Warwick Waugh, Rowan Frost, Colm Rigney, Johnny O"Connor, John O'sullivan. Substitutes - Damien Browne for Waugh (half-time), Ted Robinson for Norton (half-time), Eric Peters for O'sullivan (48), Ronan McCormack for McFarland (52), Marnus Uijs for Flannery (52), Michael Walls for Keane (52).Scorers: Try, McFarland; conversion, McHugh. Yellow card - Elwood.Referee - Hugh Watkins (Wales).Glasgow 29, Connacht 7Glasgow churned out the victory they needed this evening. Scoring three tries to Connacht's one was satisfactory on a Hughenden night of_almost constant rain.Victory was enough to hoist Glasgow back to the top of the Celtic League Pool B. It may also be enough to earn them a home quarter-final at the end of next month. Whether it is or not will depend on the result of the Pontypridd v Cardiff match at Sardis Road tomorrow.In such conditions it was never going to be a contest of flowing rugby. It was a hard slog dictated by the weather, a game when kicking for pressure was more favoured than building phases through patient recycling, and Glasgow responded to the noisy support. The hundreds of promotional "clackers" made such a steady clatter that they drowned out the patter of the rain. On such a night it was a credit to Glasgow's rugby following that as many as 3247 turned up.Nor was it a comfortable victory, though Glasgow made it hard for themselves in the first half-hour, when Calvin Howarth kicked only two goals from five attempts. In that time, too, the Glasgow lineout failed to gel. However, that facet of the Glasgow game improved, with lineout the direct source of the third and final try, and Howarth went on to contribute 19 points with a conversion and four penalties as well as a try.After 22 minutes Glasgow's only rewards were two Howarth penalty goals, the second after Eric Elwood had been sin-binned for killing the ball close to his own goal-line. Yet, even short-handed, Connacht found the means to overturn Glasgow's lead, when the ball popped out of a close-range lineout maul for Dan McFarland to pounce for the try that Mark McHugh converted.Before Elwood's return, however, Glasgow responded with a try inspired by Andrew Henderson. Nothing seemed on before he broke clear from the visitors" 10-metre line, and he then struck a perfectly weighted low kick for Stuart Moffat to chase through to skid over.Henderson continued to worry the opposition. So did Glenn Metcalfe, never backward at going forward, as well as the eager Andrew Hall and Jason White, captain and the latest addition to Glasgow's centurions, those who have played 100 games for the side.Howarth missed the conversion from the full back's try. At least, Glasgow were ahead again, even though Connacht had a 7-5 edge in points scored while Elwood was in the sin-bin.Just before Elwood resumed Glasgow lost Jon Petrie to the sin-bin. It was the Glasgow forward's third yellow card of the tournament, and, as a consequence, he will automatically miss the quarter-final unless reason and means are found for a successful appeal.During Petrie's 10 minutes in the "bin" neither side scored a point, though Elwood missed two penalties, the first certainly from well within his range. As soon as Glasgow were back to full strength, however, Metcalfe and Alan Bulloch, chasing a Graeme Beveridge kick into the left corner, forced Connacht to concede a penalty from which Howarth kicked the goal.That was 14-7 at the interval, and when Glasgow turned the screws from the restart the lead stretched to 14 points only two minutes into the second half. Metcalfe and Howarth were held up on the line before the latter dived over on the blind side of a five-metre scrum.Howarth added the conversion and kicked another penalty goal 10 minutes later, but Glasgow then lost their impetus and urgency for nearly half an hour. It may have been coincidental that around that time Eric Peters, the former Scotland captain, joined the contest as the visitors" No.8. Connacht threats, though, were denied by "first up" defence, and when Glasgow eventually raised the siege they finished off with a try ignited by White's lineout take. Immediately, however, the apex was switched for the pack to drive over, Donnie Macfadyen scoring under the heap.Howarth missed the conversion from out on the right, and no time wasleft for Glasgow even to think about a fourth try and a bonus point.Glasgow head coach Kiwi Searancke reflected later on his pride at his team's response to three successive defeats on the road - two home wins. "We've certainly got stuck into them (the players) as coaches._Glasgow might not have been quite as good as some of the early season wins might have suggested but the important thing for me was that tonight they guys toughed out at win._The guys were gutsy and that's a good sign for Glasgow rugby and for Scottish rugby."Glasgow - Stuart Moffat; Michael Bartlett, Alan Bulloch, Andrew Henderson, Glenn Metcalfe; Calvin Howarth, Graeme Beveridge; Cameron Blades, Gordon Bulloch, Lee Harrison, Andrew Hall, Jason White (captain), Gordon Simpson, Donnie Macfadyen, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Andy Nicol for Beveridge (51 minutes), David Hilton for Blades (52), Nathan Ross for Hall (30).Scorers: Tries, Howarth, Macfadyen, Moffat; conversion, Howarth; penalty goals, Howarth (4). Yellow card - Petrie.Connacht - Gavin Duffy; James Norton, Darren Yapp, Mark McHugh, Wayne Munn; Eric Elwood, Chris Keane; Dan McFarland, Jerry Flannery, Peter Bracken, Warwick Waugh, Rowan Frost, Colm Rigney, Johnny O"Connor, John O'sullivan. Substitutes - Damien Browne for Waugh (half-time), Ted Robinson for Norton (half-time), Eric Peters for O'sullivan (48), Ronan McCormack for McFarland (52), Marnus Uijs for Flannery (52), Michael Walls for Keane (52).Scorers: Try, McFarland; conversion, McHugh. Yellow card - Elwood.Referee - Hugh Watkins (Wales).