Glasgow Beaten By Last-Kick Penalty

Glasgow Warriors 23, Newport Gwent Dragons 24Like thoroughbred greyhounds, Glasgow Warriors raced away from Newport Gwent Dragons in the first quarter at Hughenden this evening. A lead of 20-0 after 19 minutes should have been far enough ahead for an opening-day win in the Magners League. But in the remaining hour Glasgow allowed themselves to be dragged into a mongrel dogfight, and Ceri Sweeney snatched victory for Dragons with a last-kick penalty.As the game slipped away in the final quarter Glasgow could not take anything from a numeric advantage while Black was in the sin-bin. Instead, during those 10 minutes a Mike Hercus drop goal put Dragons ahead for the first time at 21-20.With only added time left, however, replacement stand-off Colin Gregor put Glasgow ahead again with a penalty. But Warriors could not hold on even though Sweeney missed a penalty from 39 metres. Glasgow gave him another chance with a ball-killing penalty, and he took that one from shorter range.At the end the look on the face of Sean Lineen, Glasgowa?'s head coach, said it all. a??Maybe that brilliant first 20 minutes was bad for us, but I dona?'t believe it was with the players wea?"ve got,a?? he commented. a??It was dumb rugby with silly decisions by guys with the ball in hand which took the wind out of our sails.a??Glasgow struck as early as the first minute. Jon Petrie and Francisco Leonelli swiftly swung the ball into space on the right inside their own half, Thom Evans sprinted down the touchline, and Leonelli provided the link for Sam Pinder to score. When the scrum half touched down between the posts the stopwatch registered only 37 seconds.Dan Parks converted and added a 40-metre penalty goal from Adam Blacka?'s scrummage infringement. Glasgow were 10 points up in only seven minutes, but it was Evans, making his Celtic debut, who was the thorn in the Dragonsa?" flesh. His jinking run set up the position for Parksa?" second penalty goal, this one from the 22-metre line, and from another thrust by the wing Parks fired a crossfield kick to the left. Neither Mike Roberts nor Nathan Brew could gather the ball, and it bounced kindly for Graeme Morrison to run over for a try that Parks converted from well out on the left.Glasgow were so far ahead that thoughts were inevitably turning to a bonus-point win. But they lost their composure and control. Twice Steve Jones exploited loose Glasgow ball. The hookera?'s run set up a Sweeney try, and when Jones hacked through Aled Brew stretched over for another score. Sweeney converted the second one.Sweeney missed a penalty in the first minute of the second half. In fact, Dragons would have had a more comfortable win if his striking rate had been better than 50%.Soon after that Sweeney miss Al Kellock had to save Glasgow by stealing a penalty lineout close his own line. But the visitors allowed nothing to worry them, even the injury loss of their lineout fulcrum, Ian Gough, or Blacka?'s sin-binning. They turned the screws on Glasgow with tight control at close quarters as well as slowing the game down from the Warriorsa?" early effervescence, and the visitors also gave a masterclass in time-wasting after Blacka?'s yellow card.Glasgow simply could not find the means to extract the swift possession they needed to ignite Evans and Leonelli as they had done in the first quarter. Nor could the Glasgow scrummaging satisfy the Irish referee. Yet it seemed that Black was the cause of the troubles in that phase of the game. The applause seemed ironic when the prop was sin-binned for stamping.Dragons were content to work into Glasgowa?'s lead with a couple of Sweeney penalties, and after 53 minutes the margin was only two points. Parks had a chance to stretch the lead when Black was sin-binned, but his penalty was short from long range.By then, it was almost inevitable that Dragons would find a way to edge ahead. Hercus provided it, and even when Glasgow made a rare sortie close to the visitorsa?" goal-line they bungled the penalty lineout. Gregora?'s penalty from a high tackle on Morrison was a relief, but Sweeney ensure at the second attempt that it was short-lived.During Blacka?'s temporary absence Dragons were fielding no fewer than three former Glasgow players a?" Andy Hall, Ben Daly, and Lee Harrison. It was an ironic twist to a tale that ought to have had a better ending in Glasgow eyes!Glasgow Warriors a?" Francisco Leonelli; Thom Evans, Graeme Morrison, Andy Henderson, Mike Roberts; Dan Parks, Sam Pinder; Justin Vaa?"a, Fergus Thomson, Euan Murray, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (captain), John Barclay, Jon Petrie, Donnie Macfadyen. Substitutes a?" Steve Swindall for Macfadyen (51 minutes), Kevin Tkachuk for Vaa?"a (51), Graeme Beveridge for Pinder (61), Dan Turner for Newman (72), Colin Gregor for Parks (77).Tries, Pinder, Morrison; conversions, Parks (2); penalty goals, Parks (2), Gregor. Not used a?" Eric Milligan, Colin Shaw.Newport Gwent Dragons a?" Gareth Wyatt; Nathan Brew, Gareth Maule, Ceri Sweeney, Aled Brew; Craig Warlow (captain), Alex Walker; Adam Black, Steve Jones, Rhys Thomas, Bryn Griffiths, Ian Gough, Joe Bearman, Jamie Ringer, Nic Fitisemanu. Substitutes a?" Mike Hercus for Maule (35), Andy Hall for Gough (43), Colin Charvis for Bearman (48), Ben Daly for Jones (60), Lee Harrison for Fitisemanu (67-74), Gareth Baber for Walker (79). Not used a?" Shane Stewart.Tries, Sweeney, Aled Brew; conversion, Sweeney; penalty goals, Sweeney (3); drop goal, Hercus.Referee a?" Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland).Man of the match a?" Francisco Leonelli.Attendance a?" 1653.Glasgow Warriors 23, Newport Gwent Dragons 24Like thoroughbred greyhounds, Glasgow Warriors raced away from Newport Gwent Dragons in the first quarter at Hughenden this evening. A lead of 20-0 after 19 minutes should have been far enough ahead for an opening-day win in the Magners League. But in the remaining hour Glasgow allowed themselves to be dragged into a mongrel dogfight, and Ceri Sweeney snatched victory for Dragons with a last-kick penalty.As the game slipped away in the final quarter Glasgow could not take anything from a numeric advantage while Black was in the sin-bin. Instead, during those 10 minutes a Mike Hercus drop goal put Dragons ahead for the first time at 21-20.With only added time left, however, replacement stand-off Colin Gregor put Glasgow ahead again with a penalty. But Warriors could not hold on even though Sweeney missed a penalty from 39 metres. Glasgow gave him another chance with a ball-killing penalty, and he took that one from shorter range.At the end the look on the face of Sean Lineen, Glasgowa?'s head coach, said it all. a??Maybe that brilliant first 20 minutes was bad for us, but I dona?'t believe it was with the players wea?"ve got,a?? he commented. a??It was dumb rugby with silly decisions by guys with the ball in hand which took the wind out of our sails.a??Glasgow struck as early as the first minute. Jon Petrie and Francisco Leonelli swiftly swung the ball into space on the right inside their own half, Thom Evans sprinted down the touchline, and Leonelli provided the link for Sam Pinder to score. When the scrum half touched down between the posts the stopwatch registered only 37 seconds.Dan Parks converted and added a 40-metre penalty goal from Adam Blacka?'s scrummage infringement. Glasgow were 10 points up in only seven minutes, but it was Evans, making his Celtic debut, who was the thorn in the Dragonsa?" flesh. His jinking run set up the position for Parksa?" second penalty goal, this one from the 22-metre line, and from another thrust by the wing Parks fired a crossfield kick to the left. Neither Mike Roberts nor Nathan Brew could gather the ball, and it bounced kindly for Graeme Morrison to run over for a try that Parks converted from well out on the left.Glasgow were so far ahead that thoughts were inevitably turning to a bonus-point win. But they lost their composure and control. Twice Steve Jones exploited loose Glasgow ball. The hookera?'s run set up a Sweeney try, and when Jones hacked through Aled Brew stretched over for another score. Sweeney converted the second one.Sweeney missed a penalty in the first minute of the second half. In fact, Dragons would have had a more comfortable win if his striking rate had been better than 50%.Soon after that Sweeney miss Al Kellock had to save Glasgow by stealing a penalty lineout close his own line. But the visitors allowed nothing to worry them, even the injury loss of their lineout fulcrum, Ian Gough, or Blacka?'s sin-binning. They turned the screws on Glasgow with tight control at close quarters as well as slowing the game down from the Warriorsa?" early effervescence, and the visitors also gave a masterclass in time-wasting after Blacka?'s yellow card.Glasgow simply could not find the means to extract the swift possession they needed to ignite Evans and Leonelli as they had done in the first quarter. Nor could the Glasgow scrummaging satisfy the Irish referee. Yet it seemed that Black was the cause of the troubles in that phase of the game. The applause seemed ironic when the prop was sin-binned for stamping.Dragons were content to work into Glasgowa?'s lead with a couple of Sweeney penalties, and after 53 minutes the margin was only two points. Parks had a chance to stretch the lead when Black was sin-binned, but his penalty was short from long range.By then, it was almost inevitable that Dragons would find a way to edge ahead. Hercus provided it, and even when Glasgow made a rare sortie close to the visitorsa?" goal-line they bungled the penalty lineout. Gregora?'s penalty from a high tackle on Morrison was a relief, but Sweeney ensure at the second attempt that it was short-lived.During Blacka?'s temporary absence Dragons were fielding no fewer than three former Glasgow players a?" Andy Hall, Ben Daly, and Lee Harrison. It was an ironic twist to a tale that ought to have had a better ending in Glasgow eyes!Glasgow Warriors a?" Francisco Leonelli; Thom Evans, Graeme Morrison, Andy Henderson, Mike Roberts; Dan Parks, Sam Pinder; Justin Vaa?"a, Fergus Thomson, Euan Murray, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (captain), John Barclay, Jon Petrie, Donnie Macfadyen. Substitutes a?" Steve Swindall for Macfadyen (51 minutes), Kevin Tkachuk for Vaa?"a (51), Graeme Beveridge for Pinder (61), Dan Turner for Newman (72), Colin Gregor for Parks (77).Tries, Pinder, Morrison; conversions, Parks (2); penalty goals, Parks (2), Gregor. Not used a?" Eric Milligan, Colin Shaw.Newport Gwent Dragons a?" Gareth Wyatt; Nathan Brew, Gareth Maule, Ceri Sweeney, Aled Brew; Craig Warlow (captain), Alex Walker; Adam Black, Steve Jones, Rhys Thomas, Bryn Griffiths, Ian Gough, Joe Bearman, Jamie Ringer, Nic Fitisemanu. Substitutes a?" Mike Hercus for Maule (35), Andy Hall for Gough (43), Colin Charvis for Bearman (48), Ben Daly for Jones (60), Lee Harrison for Fitisemanu (67-74), Gareth Baber for Walker (79). Not used a?" Shane Stewart.Tries, Sweeney, Aled Brew; conversion, Sweeney; penalty goals, Sweeney (3); drop goal, Hercus.Referee a?" Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland).Man of the match a?" Francisco Leonelli.Attendance a?" 1653.