Warriors' Enigma Continues

Glasgow Warriors 8, Border Reivers 20The enigma known as Glasgow Warriors continued tonight with a Celtic League defeat by the Border Reivers at Firhill.Two weeks ago, on their previous outing, Glasgow set the league contest alight with victory against the competition leaders away from home in Limerick. This evening the only fires that Warriors ignited were in the ire of their support who saw Reivers score their first Celtic League double against either of their Scottish rivals: tonighta?'s win for the Borders added to their Hogmanay win against Glasgow at Netherdale.Defeat for Glasgow may well mean that they will be playing in European rugbya?'s second-tier competition instead of the Heineken Cup. That will be their fate unless they turn on more of the rugby that plundered victory last month at Thomond Park, where Munster lose so rarely that such results, whatever the competition, almost merit registration in the Guinness Book of Records.It is the contradictions in Glasgowa?'s performances that their support cannot understand. This chilling evening a French crowd would have been booing and hissing: the Glasgow folk were more pointed in their sharp condemnation. a??Come on, Glasgow: youa?"re playing like Englanda?? was the mildest of the complaints.Reivers, unlike Warriors, played as if they had their eyes firmly fixed on a Heineken slot next season. They had more hunger in their game even though they were upset after only two minutes because of the loss of Ross Ford, who was injured in a tackle by Graeme Morrison. Play was held up for fully three minutes while the young Scotland hooker was being attended on the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher. His fellow cap, Steve Scott, took over, and the later news on Ford was that ligaments in his right knee were damaged.Twice thereafter Morrison took the game to the opposition. Nothing came of the centrea?'s surges. Instead, Calum MacRae put Reivers ahead with a penalty goal in 14 minutes. He went on to kick four goals out of four shots whereas Colin Gregor had only one from four for Glasgow.Gregor had his first miss soon after MacRaea?'s success, and Glasgow almost fell quickly further behind when Chris Cusiter broke down the blind side from a lineout to cross the Glasgow line. The scrum half was recalled because of a knock-on in the lineout.But the pendulum was swinging the Border way when Scott Lawson essayed a break from his own 22. The hooker was recalled because of a forward pass, and from the ensuing scrummage Cusiter broke almost to the goal-line before sending Simon Danielli over. MacRae converted from close on the right touchline for 10-0 after 29 minutes.Another Gregor miss preceded a second MacRae penalty goal, and the first half ended with each team going close. Sam Pinder and Steve Swindall combined to create a chance for Jon Petrie in the left corner, but the captain was held only centimetres short of the line. Then Andy Miller sprinted into the Glasgow 22, where Gregor Townsend was wide with a drop at goal, and the first half ended with Reivers leading 13-0.Swindall went close to cutting back the margin four minutes in the second half when he blocked Cusitera?'s attempted goal-line clearance. The ball bounced the wrong way for the Glasgow flanker, and when Warriors were penalised at the ensuing scrum the visitors cleared that danger.Reivers added more comfort to their lead when Stuart Moffat broke into the home 22, and though Ben MacDougalla?'s link produced a loose pass Townsend kept assault going for Miller to go over on the left. Again MacRae kicked a touchline conversion.It was only then, with Reivers leading 20-0 after 53 minutes, that Glasgow broke their duck with a Gregor penalty goal, and they reduced the margin even more when Pinder scored from his own tapped penalty 15 metres out in 73 minutes, the scrum half nipping over from quick recycling after his initial thrust had been held.Calvin Howarth, replacing Gregor, then retuned to rugby after five monthsa?" injury absence, and Glasgow finished strongly, though with nothing to show for it.Reivers ended with a win they deserved. Their forward effort was epitomised close to the end when Scott MacLeod stole a Glasgow throw at a penalty lineout in Reiversa?" right corner, and the visitors backline played with enterprise (notably by Cusiter) and a willingness to move the ball wide, especially in the first half.Glasgow Warriors a?" Graydon Staniforth; Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Spencer Davey, Mike Roberts; Colin Gregor, Sam Pinder; Kevin Tkachuk, Scott Lawson, Euan Murray, Dan Turner, Craig Hamilton, Steve Swindall, Gregor Hayter, Jon Petrie (captain). Substitutes a?" Hefin Oa?"Hare for Roberts (44 minutes), John Beattie for Hayter (51), Fergus Thomson for Lawson (64), Lee Harrison for Murray (71), Calvin Howarth for Gregor (76). Not used a?" James Eddie, Alasdhair McFarlane.Try, Pinder; penalty goal, Gregor.Border Reivers a?" Stuart Moffat; Simon Danielli, Ben MacDougall, Calum MacRae, Nikki Walker; Gregor Townsend, Chris Cusiter; Paul Thomson (captain), Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Scott MacLeod, Opeta Palepoi, Kelly Brown, Semo Sititi, Andy Miller. Substitutes a?" Stephen Scott for Ford (2), Scott Gray for Miller (56), Charlie Hore for Townsend (59), Tommy McGee for Cross (64), John Dalziel for Sititi (64). Not used a?" Brendan McKerchar, James King.Tries, Danielli, Miller; conversions, MacRae (2); penalty goals, MacRae (2).Referee a?" Rob Dickson (SRU).Attendance a?" 1406.Glasgow Warriors 8, Border Reivers 20The enigma known as Glasgow Warriors continued tonight with a Celtic League defeat by the Border Reivers at Firhill.Two weeks ago, on their previous outing, Glasgow set the league contest alight with victory against the competition leaders away from home in Limerick. This evening the only fires that Warriors ignited were in the ire of their support who saw Reivers score their first Celtic League double against either of their Scottish rivals: tonighta?'s win for the Borders added to their Hogmanay win against Glasgow at Netherdale.Defeat for Glasgow may well mean that they will be playing in European rugbya?'s second-tier competition instead of the Heineken Cup. That will be their fate unless they turn on more of the rugby that plundered victory last month at Thomond Park, where Munster lose so rarely that such results, whatever the competition, almost merit registration in the Guinness Book of Records.It is the contradictions in Glasgowa?'s performances that their support cannot understand. This chilling evening a French crowd would have been booing and hissing: the Glasgow folk were more pointed in their sharp condemnation. a??Come on, Glasgow: youa?"re playing like Englanda?? was the mildest of the complaints.Reivers, unlike Warriors, played as if they had their eyes firmly fixed on a Heineken slot next season. They had more hunger in their game even though they were upset after only two minutes because of the loss of Ross Ford, who was injured in a tackle by Graeme Morrison. Play was held up for fully three minutes while the young Scotland hooker was being attended on the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher. His fellow cap, Steve Scott, took over, and the later news on Ford was that ligaments in his right knee were damaged.Twice thereafter Morrison took the game to the opposition. Nothing came of the centrea?'s surges. Instead, Calum MacRae put Reivers ahead with a penalty goal in 14 minutes. He went on to kick four goals out of four shots whereas Colin Gregor had only one from four for Glasgow.Gregor had his first miss soon after MacRaea?'s success, and Glasgow almost fell quickly further behind when Chris Cusiter broke down the blind side from a lineout to cross the Glasgow line. The scrum half was recalled because of a knock-on in the lineout.But the pendulum was swinging the Border way when Scott Lawson essayed a break from his own 22. The hooker was recalled because of a forward pass, and from the ensuing scrummage Cusiter broke almost to the goal-line before sending Simon Danielli over. MacRae converted from close on the right touchline for 10-0 after 29 minutes.Another Gregor miss preceded a second MacRae penalty goal, and the first half ended with each team going close. Sam Pinder and Steve Swindall combined to create a chance for Jon Petrie in the left corner, but the captain was held only centimetres short of the line. Then Andy Miller sprinted into the Glasgow 22, where Gregor Townsend was wide with a drop at goal, and the first half ended with Reivers leading 13-0.Swindall went close to cutting back the margin four minutes in the second half when he blocked Cusitera?'s attempted goal-line clearance. The ball bounced the wrong way for the Glasgow flanker, and when Warriors were penalised at the ensuing scrum the visitors cleared that danger.Reivers added more comfort to their lead when Stuart Moffat broke into the home 22, and though Ben MacDougalla?'s link produced a loose pass Townsend kept assault going for Miller to go over on the left. Again MacRae kicked a touchline conversion.It was only then, with Reivers leading 20-0 after 53 minutes, that Glasgow broke their duck with a Gregor penalty goal, and they reduced the margin even more when Pinder scored from his own tapped penalty 15 metres out in 73 minutes, the scrum half nipping over from quick recycling after his initial thrust had been held.Calvin Howarth, replacing Gregor, then retuned to rugby after five monthsa?" injury absence, and Glasgow finished strongly, though with nothing to show for it.Reivers ended with a win they deserved. Their forward effort was epitomised close to the end when Scott MacLeod stole a Glasgow throw at a penalty lineout in Reiversa?" right corner, and the visitors backline played with enterprise (notably by Cusiter) and a willingness to move the ball wide, especially in the first half.Glasgow Warriors a?" Graydon Staniforth; Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Spencer Davey, Mike Roberts; Colin Gregor, Sam Pinder; Kevin Tkachuk, Scott Lawson, Euan Murray, Dan Turner, Craig Hamilton, Steve Swindall, Gregor Hayter, Jon Petrie (captain). Substitutes a?" Hefin Oa?"Hare for Roberts (44 minutes), John Beattie for Hayter (51), Fergus Thomson for Lawson (64), Lee Harrison for Murray (71), Calvin Howarth for Gregor (76). Not used a?" James Eddie, Alasdhair McFarlane.Try, Pinder; penalty goal, Gregor.Border Reivers a?" Stuart Moffat; Simon Danielli, Ben MacDougall, Calum MacRae, Nikki Walker; Gregor Townsend, Chris Cusiter; Paul Thomson (captain), Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Scott MacLeod, Opeta Palepoi, Kelly Brown, Semo Sititi, Andy Miller. Substitutes a?" Stephen Scott for Ford (2), Scott Gray for Miller (56), Charlie Hore for Townsend (59), Tommy McGee for Cross (64), John Dalziel for Sititi (64). Not used a?" Brendan McKerchar, James King.Tries, Danielli, Miller; conversions, MacRae (2); penalty goals, MacRae (2).Referee a?" Rob Dickson (SRU).Attendance a?" 1406.