Glasgow Lose Again To Scottish Opposition

The Borders 21, Glasgow 6Going into the New Year, Glasgow lie at the foot of the Bank of Scotland Pro Rugby Cup championship table. After three games in the competition their sole "result" has been a draw with Edinburgh at Hughenden last week. To that can be added two away defeats - first, by Edinburgh and, more recently, by the Borders at chilly Netherdale this afternoon.Unless Glasgow can pick themselves up in their five remaining Pro Cup games they will be heading for Europe's second-rank competition instead of the Heineken Cup. Little evidence was seen today that Glasgow had the assurance to make that their New Year resolution.It was Glasgow second defeat at Netherdale this season. Earlier, the Borders had won the teams" Celtic League game there.As in that October match, it was the manner of Glasgow's defeat was so demoralising. Confidence was missing. So were other requisites such as urgency and vision.Kiwi Searancke, Glasgow's coach, summed it up: "We"re digging a big hole for ourselves. Then we"re trying to climb out." The same could now be said of Glasgow's position in this domestic championship.Yet, man for man, the Borders did not have much of an edge over the match. The difference could be defined simply by two words - Weir and Townsend. Doddie Weir ruled the lineout, even on the opposition throw-in, and Gregor Townsend was the spark that kept the Borders" light burning brighter than it might well have done.Too often - at least when counted by Glasgow minds - Weir poached Glasgow ball in front of Andrew Hall. It was truly a case of the old master teaching a lesson to the young aspirant. Also, as Searancke observed afterwards, the Glasgow lineout ploys were too complicated. Even the referee despaired, when he penalised Glasgow midway in the second half because Opeta Paletoi had jumped too early in what ought to have been an attacking lineout close to the Borders" goal-line.Weir's lineout influence was such that he played little more than half the match. He was sin-binned late in the second half for kicking ball on the ground, and as soon as he returned he made his most vital steal off an opposition throw - five metres from his own goal-line, when Glasgow briefly threatened early in the second half. His job done, he was replaced even before the Borders" stretched their lead to 18-6 with a Townsend try.Townsend was a regular threat, serving two early warnings to Glasgow. First, his inside pass sent Semo Sititi steaming through the middle, and later Townsend himself sliced through to the visitors" 22. He had a hand in the Borders" other good bits and pieces, not least both tries. He and Tanner Vili created the opening for the try with which Stephen Cranston took the Borders to 8-6 after three minutes of added time before the interval, and Townsend's sharpness took him through from close range of his own try after 61 minutes.Neither Calvin Howarth nor his half-time replacement, Tommy Hayes, could spark the Glasgow game from stand-off as Townsend did for the Borders. Hayes, admittedly, had a couple of breaks, but the contest was running away from Glasgow even before Kevin Utterson's third penalty goal after 70 minutes took the Borders more than two major scores clear at 21-6.Glenn Metcalfe tried to lift the Glasgow game, as did Andrew Henderson during his final quarter on the field. At times, Glasgow's persistent was admirable in the eyes of those who count regeneration phases. Weir's sin-binning and Howarth's second penalty goal followed a series of nine recycling points. Yet no one punctured the gain-line often enough until Henderson appeared.Utterson's first penalty goal, after five minutes, was answered by Howarth's two. The second of that Glasgow brace was the only score while the visitors" were short-handed, with Andrew Wilson in the sin-bin. But the Borders did better while Weir was absent - it was then when Cranston scored his try. Though others had made the opening, the young wing still had much to do, beating two tackles on his way up the left touchline.Utterson's second penalty goal followed 11 minutes in the second half, and even then the Borders seemed to believe they had done enough. Not only Weir was replaced but so was Gary Armstrong, their captain and scrum half.Almost as soon as those two had departed, Townsend scored his try. Utterson converted and added a third penalty goal in the final quarter.The Borders - Tanner Vili; Nikki Walker, Jon Stuart, Kevin Utterson, Stephen Cranston; Gregor Townsend, Gary Armstrong (captain); Paul Thomson, Steve Scott, Bruce Douglas, Doddie Weir, Colin Stewart, Andy Rennick, Mark Lee, Semo Sititi. Substitutes - George Graham for Douglas (half-time), Iain Fairley for Armstrong (56 minutes), Scott Macleod for Weir (56), Simon Gunn for Scott (56), Craig Moir for Nikki Walker (65), Douglas for Thomson (65), Tony Walker for Sititi (72), Gareth Morton for Vili (72).Tries, Cranston, Townsend; conversion, Utterson; penalty goals, Utterson (3).Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Stuart Moffat, Joe Naufahu, Alan Bulloch, Roland Reid; Calvin Howarth, Graeme Beveridge; David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch (captain), Andrew Kelly, Opeta Palepoi, Andrew Hall, Andrew Wilson, Donnie Macfadyen, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Tommy Hayes for Howarth (half-time), Nathan Ross for Hall (54), Andrew Henderson for Naufahu (59), Andy Nicol for Beveridge (63), Gordon Simpson for Wilson (63), Scott Lawson for Gordon Bulloch (65).Penalty goals, Howarth (2).Referee - Nigel Owens (Wales).The Borders 21, Glasgow 6Going into the New Year, Glasgow lie at the foot of the Bank of Scotland Pro Rugby Cup championship table. After three games in the competition their sole "result" has been a draw with Edinburgh at Hughenden last week. To that can be added two away defeats - first, by Edinburgh and, more recently, by the Borders at chilly Netherdale this afternoon.Unless Glasgow can pick themselves up in their five remaining Pro Cup games they will be heading for Europe's second-rank competition instead of the Heineken Cup. Little evidence was seen today that Glasgow had the assurance to make that their New Year resolution.It was Glasgow second defeat at Netherdale this season. Earlier, the Borders had won the teams" Celtic League game there.As in that October match, it was the manner of Glasgow's defeat was so demoralising. Confidence was missing. So were other requisites such as urgency and vision.Kiwi Searancke, Glasgow's coach, summed it up: "We"re digging a big hole for ourselves. Then we"re trying to climb out." The same could now be said of Glasgow's position in this domestic championship.Yet, man for man, the Borders did not have much of an edge over the match. The difference could be defined simply by two words - Weir and Townsend. Doddie Weir ruled the lineout, even on the opposition throw-in, and Gregor Townsend was the spark that kept the Borders" light burning brighter than it might well have done.Too often - at least when counted by Glasgow minds - Weir poached Glasgow ball in front of Andrew Hall. It was truly a case of the old master teaching a lesson to the young aspirant. Also, as Searancke observed afterwards, the Glasgow lineout ploys were too complicated. Even the referee despaired, when he penalised Glasgow midway in the second half because Opeta Paletoi had jumped too early in what ought to have been an attacking lineout close to the Borders" goal-line.Weir's lineout influence was such that he played little more than half the match. He was sin-binned late in the second half for kicking ball on the ground, and as soon as he returned he made his most vital steal off an opposition throw - five metres from his own goal-line, when Glasgow briefly threatened early in the second half. His job done, he was replaced even before the Borders" stretched their lead to 18-6 with a Townsend try.Townsend was a regular threat, serving two early warnings to Glasgow. First, his inside pass sent Semo Sititi steaming through the middle, and later Townsend himself sliced through to the visitors" 22. He had a hand in the Borders" other good bits and pieces, not least both tries. He and Tanner Vili created the opening for the try with which Stephen Cranston took the Borders to 8-6 after three minutes of added time before the interval, and Townsend's sharpness took him through from close range of his own try after 61 minutes.Neither Calvin Howarth nor his half-time replacement, Tommy Hayes, could spark the Glasgow game from stand-off as Townsend did for the Borders. Hayes, admittedly, had a couple of breaks, but the contest was running away from Glasgow even before Kevin Utterson's third penalty goal after 70 minutes took the Borders more than two major scores clear at 21-6.Glenn Metcalfe tried to lift the Glasgow game, as did Andrew Henderson during his final quarter on the field. At times, Glasgow's persistent was admirable in the eyes of those who count regeneration phases. Weir's sin-binning and Howarth's second penalty goal followed a series of nine recycling points. Yet no one punctured the gain-line often enough until Henderson appeared.Utterson's first penalty goal, after five minutes, was answered by Howarth's two. The second of that Glasgow brace was the only score while the visitors" were short-handed, with Andrew Wilson in the sin-bin. But the Borders did better while Weir was absent - it was then when Cranston scored his try. Though others had made the opening, the young wing still had much to do, beating two tackles on his way up the left touchline.Utterson's second penalty goal followed 11 minutes in the second half, and even then the Borders seemed to believe they had done enough. Not only Weir was replaced but so was Gary Armstrong, their captain and scrum half.Almost as soon as those two had departed, Townsend scored his try. Utterson converted and added a third penalty goal in the final quarter.The Borders - Tanner Vili; Nikki Walker, Jon Stuart, Kevin Utterson, Stephen Cranston; Gregor Townsend, Gary Armstrong (captain); Paul Thomson, Steve Scott, Bruce Douglas, Doddie Weir, Colin Stewart, Andy Rennick, Mark Lee, Semo Sititi. Substitutes - George Graham for Douglas (half-time), Iain Fairley for Armstrong (56 minutes), Scott Macleod for Weir (56), Simon Gunn for Scott (56), Craig Moir for Nikki Walker (65), Douglas for Thomson (65), Tony Walker for Sititi (72), Gareth Morton for Vili (72).Tries, Cranston, Townsend; conversion, Utterson; penalty goals, Utterson (3).Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Stuart Moffat, Joe Naufahu, Alan Bulloch, Roland Reid; Calvin Howarth, Graeme Beveridge; David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch (captain), Andrew Kelly, Opeta Palepoi, Andrew Hall, Andrew Wilson, Donnie Macfadyen, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Tommy Hayes for Howarth (half-time), Nathan Ross for Hall (54), Andrew Henderson for Naufahu (59), Andy Nicol for Beveridge (63), Gordon Simpson for Wilson (63), Scott Lawson for Gordon Bulloch (65).Penalty goals, Howarth (2).Referee - Nigel Owens (Wales).