A Big 'Un That Got Away

Glasgow Warriors 15, Newport Gwent Dragons 21It was a big one that got away tonight. Not a sprat but a shark.That is no exaggeration out of the anglersa?" handbook. Glasgow should have won their opening Celtic League match against Dragons at Hughenden. Their half-time platform ought to have been much greater than merely 7-0. Even that, though, was with a try scored when Dragons were depleted by a yellow card that really should have been of the other colour.Glasgowa?'s territorial dominance of the first half was almost a monopoly. Dragons hardly had a look in even though Glasgow suffered the dual loss of two international captains a?" Kevin Tkachuk of Canada, Jon Petrie of Scotland. Both, ironically, were downed by shoulder injuries a?" Tkachuk after 11 minutes, Petrie 22 minutes later. The lattera?'s dislocated shoulder could well keep him out of the Autumn Test Series in November.Even before Tkachuka?'s departure, Glasgow should have been ahead by six points. Dan Parks twice struck a goalpost with penalty kicks.Stuart Corsar, making his league debut, replaced Tkachuk, and the Scotland under-21 cap of last season may have been expecting a league baptism of fire. But so well did he fit in that Glasgowa?'s set-piece game provided what should have been a secure basis for building a substantial lead. The scrummage remained firm, and the lineout options provided by Petrie (until injured) and Craig Hamilton should have produced more. But the back play did not function as effectively as the forwards did their duties.One Glasgow scrummage, after 33 minutes, was so destructive that Dragons exploded back in anger. Rhys Thomas struck out and seemed to fell Petrie, who was backing off.Petrie was eventually carried off on a stretcher and then taken to hospital. The sight of the home captain departing in such a way prompted touchline thoughts that a red card was deserved. However, after a long discussion between referee George Clancy and touch judge David Changleng the card for Thomas was only yellow.Almost immediately, Glasgow sprung into more decisive action. Paul Dearlove, Petriea?'s replacement, provided lineout ball on the right, and an inside pass by Parks sent Steve Swindall galloping through from more than 20 metres for a try that the stand-off converted.Half-time was simmering with anticipation of more and better to follow. But it was not to be. After Thomasa?'s return from the bin Richard Fussell sliced through far too easily, and Thomas a?" this time in more positive guise a?" was denied in the right corner by Mike Roberts. But from the lineout there Dragons drove over for a Jason Forster try.Craig Warlow converted from well out on the right, and midway in the second half Dragons wet seven points up when promising Glasgow play turned sour. Scott Barrow set up a good position on halfway, but Graeme Beveridgea?'s subsequent pass was intercepted by Gareth Wyatt. Attack suddenly switched to Dragons as Hal Luscombe linked with Wyatt, and the right wing scored on the left for another Warlow conversion.Sam Pinder, replacing Beveridge, quickly made his presence felt with a searing break, with Barrow in support. That procured the position for Parks to kick a penalty goal, cutting the margin to 10-14, and when Parks broke away from an interception in his own half it seemed that Glasgow could not fail to score. The stand-off kicked diagonally infield, Pinder won the initial race to hack ahead, and Roberts sprinted in, seeking to finish off. But he was denied by Fussell.Almost immediately, Dragons responded with Forstera?'s second try after a Parks clearance had been blocked on the 22-metre line. Warlow again converted for 21-10 after 75 minutes.Eleven desperate minutes later, with the contest stretching deep into added time, Rory Lamonta?'s break and kick ahead created a Celtic League debut try for Roberts. Parks missed the conversion. The winga?'s try was enough to salvage a bonus point for Glasgow, but after the mainly one-way flow in the first half it ought to have been a win bonus in a substantial victory.Glasgowa?'s core of committed supporters had a more successful evening. Their petition found plenty of willing signatures for a return to the days when Friday Night is Rugby Night at Hughenden.Glasgow a?" Colin Shaw; Rory Lamont, Andy Craig, Andrew Henderson, Mike Roberts; Dan Parks, Graeme Beveridge; Kevin Tkachuk, Scott Lawson, Lee Harrison, Dan Turner, Craig Hamilton, Steve Swindall, Jon Petrie (captain), Andrew Wilson. Substitutes a?" Stuart Corsar for Tkachuk (11 minutes), Paul Dearlove for Petrie (33), Scott Barrow for Henderson (56), Gregor Hayter for Turner (60), Sam Pinder for Beveridge (62), Calvin Howarth for Shaw (71). Not used a?" Fergus Thomson.Tries, Swindall, Roberts; conversion, Parks; penalty goal, Parks.Dragons a?" Kevin Morgan; Gareth Wyatt, Hal Luscombe, Jonathan Bryant, Richard Fussell; Craig Warlow, Gareth Baber; Adam Black, Kieran Crawford, Rhys Thomas, Ian Gough, Peter Sidoli, Andrew Hall, Richard Bryan, Jason Forster (captain). Substitutes a?" Gethin Robinson for Crawford (14-23), David Maddocks for Hall (36-42), Luke Charteris for Sidoli (52), Jamie Ringer for Hall (52), Ceri Sweeney for Bryant (60), Leigh Hinton for Fussell (75). Not used - Sione Tuipulotu.Tries, Forster (2), Wyatt; conversions, Warlow (3).Referee a?" George Clancy (Ireland).Attendance a?" 2034.Glasgow Warriors 15, Newport Gwent Dragons 21It was a big one that got away tonight. Not a sprat but a shark.That is no exaggeration out of the anglersa?" handbook. Glasgow should have won their opening Celtic League match against Dragons at Hughenden. Their half-time platform ought to have been much greater than merely 7-0. Even that, though, was with a try scored when Dragons were depleted by a yellow card that really should have been of the other colour.Glasgowa?'s territorial dominance of the first half was almost a monopoly. Dragons hardly had a look in even though Glasgow suffered the dual loss of two international captains a?" Kevin Tkachuk of Canada, Jon Petrie of Scotland. Both, ironically, were downed by shoulder injuries a?" Tkachuk after 11 minutes, Petrie 22 minutes later. The lattera?'s dislocated shoulder could well keep him out of the Autumn Test Series in November.Even before Tkachuka?'s departure, Glasgow should have been ahead by six points. Dan Parks twice struck a goalpost with penalty kicks.Stuart Corsar, making his league debut, replaced Tkachuk, and the Scotland under-21 cap of last season may have been expecting a league baptism of fire. But so well did he fit in that Glasgowa?'s set-piece game provided what should have been a secure basis for building a substantial lead. The scrummage remained firm, and the lineout options provided by Petrie (until injured) and Craig Hamilton should have produced more. But the back play did not function as effectively as the forwards did their duties.One Glasgow scrummage, after 33 minutes, was so destructive that Dragons exploded back in anger. Rhys Thomas struck out and seemed to fell Petrie, who was backing off.Petrie was eventually carried off on a stretcher and then taken to hospital. The sight of the home captain departing in such a way prompted touchline thoughts that a red card was deserved. However, after a long discussion between referee George Clancy and touch judge David Changleng the card for Thomas was only yellow.Almost immediately, Glasgow sprung into more decisive action. Paul Dearlove, Petriea?'s replacement, provided lineout ball on the right, and an inside pass by Parks sent Steve Swindall galloping through from more than 20 metres for a try that the stand-off converted.Half-time was simmering with anticipation of more and better to follow. But it was not to be. After Thomasa?'s return from the bin Richard Fussell sliced through far too easily, and Thomas a?" this time in more positive guise a?" was denied in the right corner by Mike Roberts. But from the lineout there Dragons drove over for a Jason Forster try.Craig Warlow converted from well out on the right, and midway in the second half Dragons wet seven points up when promising Glasgow play turned sour. Scott Barrow set up a good position on halfway, but Graeme Beveridgea?'s subsequent pass was intercepted by Gareth Wyatt. Attack suddenly switched to Dragons as Hal Luscombe linked with Wyatt, and the right wing scored on the left for another Warlow conversion.Sam Pinder, replacing Beveridge, quickly made his presence felt with a searing break, with Barrow in support. That procured the position for Parks to kick a penalty goal, cutting the margin to 10-14, and when Parks broke away from an interception in his own half it seemed that Glasgow could not fail to score. The stand-off kicked diagonally infield, Pinder won the initial race to hack ahead, and Roberts sprinted in, seeking to finish off. But he was denied by Fussell.Almost immediately, Dragons responded with Forstera?'s second try after a Parks clearance had been blocked on the 22-metre line. Warlow again converted for 21-10 after 75 minutes.Eleven desperate minutes later, with the contest stretching deep into added time, Rory Lamonta?'s break and kick ahead created a Celtic League debut try for Roberts. Parks missed the conversion. The winga?'s try was enough to salvage a bonus point for Glasgow, but after the mainly one-way flow in the first half it ought to have been a win bonus in a substantial victory.Glasgowa?'s core of committed supporters had a more successful evening. Their petition found plenty of willing signatures for a return to the days when Friday Night is Rugby Night at Hughenden.Glasgow a?" Colin Shaw; Rory Lamont, Andy Craig, Andrew Henderson, Mike Roberts; Dan Parks, Graeme Beveridge; Kevin Tkachuk, Scott Lawson, Lee Harrison, Dan Turner, Craig Hamilton, Steve Swindall, Jon Petrie (captain), Andrew Wilson. Substitutes a?" Stuart Corsar for Tkachuk (11 minutes), Paul Dearlove for Petrie (33), Scott Barrow for Henderson (56), Gregor Hayter for Turner (60), Sam Pinder for Beveridge (62), Calvin Howarth for Shaw (71). Not used a?" Fergus Thomson.Tries, Swindall, Roberts; conversion, Parks; penalty goal, Parks.Dragons a?" Kevin Morgan; Gareth Wyatt, Hal Luscombe, Jonathan Bryant, Richard Fussell; Craig Warlow, Gareth Baber; Adam Black, Kieran Crawford, Rhys Thomas, Ian Gough, Peter Sidoli, Andrew Hall, Richard Bryan, Jason Forster (captain). Substitutes a?" Gethin Robinson for Crawford (14-23), David Maddocks for Hall (36-42), Luke Charteris for Sidoli (52), Jamie Ringer for Hall (52), Ceri Sweeney for Bryant (60), Leigh Hinton for Fussell (75). Not used - Sione Tuipulotu.Tries, Forster (2), Wyatt; conversions, Warlow (3).Referee a?" George Clancy (Ireland).Attendance a?" 2034.