Close Fought Euro Opener Sees Warriors Finish Within One Score

With the rain heaving down at Vicarage Road in a dismal Watford, Glasgow Warriors fought tooth and nail with every ounce of possession they had in their opening European Challenge up match and at one point led Saracens 16-3 but a second half fight back from the home side saw the match end 28-23 at the final whistle with ten of Saracensa?" points coming from penalty tries.Saracens opened the scoring with a penalty after dominating the first five minutes of the game but from the restart, Glasgow had possession and from pretty much the first time they had their hands on the ball, they shipped it out wide for Francisco Leonelli to cross in the corner. The move was against the run of play but had worked beautifully and found the Warriors with ample space to stretch their legs. Dan Parks added the conversion.Sarries hit back hard in attack but Glasgowa?'s pressure defence forced Saracensa?" winger Ratuvou to spill the ball forward and throw it into the hands of Rory Lamont._From the resulting scrum,_Parks cleared with a huge kick up field nearly into the Sarries 22 gaining Glasgow some much needed territory._With the play staying in that area of the field, the Warriorsa?" pressure on Saracens ball eventually paid off at the scrum when Sarries were deemed to have held onto the ball after it had come out of the scrum and that gave Dan Parks another successful shot at goal just inside half way and to the right of their posts taking the visitors 10 points clear.Saracens were up to their old tricks from the restart, boshing their way up midfield a?" and making ground a?" but Glasgow turned them round again and turned pressure in their own 22, in front of the posts, to their own advantage by forcing the knock on and getting the scrum, from which Parks subsequently cleared..Play continued and again the right wing area saw Glasgow with a break from the scrum, but Beveridgea?'s pass to Leonelli was called as forward._Half an hour in and Glasgow had still not had their hands on the ball that often but when they did, they were hungry to take it forward and open up their running as opposed to Saracens who were insistent on keeping it tight in the horrible conditions.It wasna?'t all running backs out wide for Glasgow though as some mix and match play was in order._Captain Alastair Kellock plucked a clean ball from the lineout and the forwards crowded round him to rumble up the field, proving that the Warriors were a match up front too in this case.Soon followed an awesome defensive display from the Warriors as no matter how many times Saracens tried a pick and go, the Warriors repelled them and maintained their territory._When Saracens eventually tried a clearance kick, John Beattie was on hand to stop the ball with his own foot before it took off and the direction of play turned in Glasgowa?'s favour._The Warriors won another penalty and Parks slotted again to take them to 3-16._However with a couple minutes of injury time added onto the first half, Saracens fought back._They worked their way up the field and headed for the Glasgow try line._A chip ahead took them closer to the Glasgow line than theya?'d been all half as the Warriors defence backtracked to try and control the skidding ball._Saracens tried to re-gather but knocked on just a metre out as the wet weather played havoc with the ball handling. The home side had a strong resulting scrum and drove their way over the Glasgow try line for what everyone, apart form the referee, thought was a try._The man in the middle took them back to set the scrum again and this time they made no mistake, driving over the Warriors line and with bodies piling up, the Referee Tim Hayes eventually awarded a penalty try which Glen Jackson converted.The second half started with no ease in the down pour but within three minutes, the Warriors were awarded a penalty out wide within kicking range but unfortunately it skimmed to the left of the posts. In contrast to the first half, Glasgow had the opening territory in their advantage but when Saracens worked their way up the field, they were the ones to get the whistle in their favour and were awarded a penalty in front of the Glasgow posts for the Warriors having come round from the side at the breakdown._Glen Jackson again added three points taking the home side to within three points of the visitors.Prop Justin Vaa?"a was the next Glasgow man to make an impact as he went off on the hoof on a midfield break but fell awkwardly and couldna?'t get the pass away to his support._Saracens cleared from the resulting scrum and Glasgow were right back up into their own half again but keen to keep the ball in hand and run it out of their territory._Saracens had other ideas though and kept the pressure on in Glasgowa?'s 22 and they made that pressure count as another rumbling forward drive took them over the try line, Kevin Yates emerging with the ball.With the restart not going 10 metres, Saracens had the halfway scrum and broke away up the field but Glasgowa?'s John Beattie was on hand to haul them down and Saracens were penalised for not releasing the ball._However, Glasgow were turned over and gave away another penalty in front of their own posts to let Jackson add to his total.Very worrying scenes followed for Glasgow as only moments after hea?'d taken to the field, Donnie Macfadyen he had to leave again limping having looked like hea?'d done the splits in the middle of the pitch._This meant that the only forward left on the subs bench to replace Macfadyen was prop Kevin Tkachuk so he came onto the field and Glasgow played out the remaining 20 minutes of the game with three props in their forward pack.Glasgowa?'s_back threea?'s pace was tested several times as they raced behind their own line to retrace the Saracens kick ahead and going into the last quarter of the game, the home side looked to have caught their second wind and the supporters were in full voice.With Saracens piling on the pressure with a scrum on Glasgowa?'s try line, Glasgow looked to have turned the possession over and Pinder snaffled the ball away for Parks to clear, but the referee ran between the posts with his hand in the air, claiming that Glasgow had handled the ball out o the scrum illegally._Hence, another penalty try was awarded and Jackson added the conversion.Rather than let their heads drop, Glasgow got right back up to the Saracens end of the ground and worked it through the hands at pace._However their final passes just werena?'t going to hand._When Glasgowa?" attack looked like frustration was getting the better of them, they kept their patience and worked across to the other wing._After some great drives by Justin Vaa?"a and Andy Henderson, Hefin Oa?"Hare finally sneaked over the line, curling himself under the defender and around the corner flag to touch down.With the pressure on the visitors in the dying minutes of the game and the rain back on, the Warriors fought tooth and nail to attack with every ounce of possession they had but the last minute effort to close the gap was too little too late and the game finished 28-23.SCORING SEQUENCE:3-0: Glen Jackson pen (5mins)3-7: Francisco Leonelli try (Dan Parks Conv) (7mins)3-10: Dan Parks pen (13mins)3-13: Dan Parks pen (20mins)3-16: Dan Parks pen (38mins)10-16: Saracens penalty try (Glen Jackson converts) (40+)HALF TIME13-16: Glen Jackson pen (47 mins)18-16: Kevin Yates try (57 mins)21-16: Glen Jackson pen (61mins)28-16: Saracens pentaly try (Jackson converts)(70 mins)28-23: Hefin O'Hare try (Parks converts) (72 mins)Saracens: Dan Scarbrough; Richard Haughton, Kevin Sorrell, Ben Johnston, Kameli Ratuvou; Glen Jackson, Neil de Kock; Kevin Yates, Matt Cairns, Cobus Visagie, Iain Fullarton, Simon Raiwalui, Hugh Vyvyan, Ben Skirving, David Seymour. Subs: Shane Byrne (for Mat Cairns 70 mins), Aaron Liffchak, Kris Chesney, Paul Gustard, Alan Dickens, Andy Farrell, Rodd Penney. Glasgow Warriors: Francisco Leonelli; Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Andy Henderson, Thom Evans; Dan Parks, Graeme Beveridge; Justin Va'a, Fergus Thomson, Euan Murray, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (capt), Andrew Wilson, John Beattie, John Barclay. Subs: Scott Lawson (for Thomson 55mins), Kevin Tkachuk (for Macfadyen 65mins), Dan Turner (for Newman 55mins), Donnie Macfadyen (for Wilson 60mins), Sam Pinder (for Beveridge 51mins), Ruaridh Jackson, Hefin O'Hare (for Evans 40mins).With the rain heaving down at Vicarage Road in a dismal Watford, Glasgow Warriors fought tooth and nail with every ounce of possession they had in their opening European Challenge up match and at one point led Saracens 16-3 but a second half fight back from the home side saw the match end 28-23 at the final whistle with ten of Saracensa?" points coming from penalty tries.Saracens opened the scoring with a penalty after dominating the first five minutes of the game but from the restart, Glasgow had possession and from pretty much the first time they had their hands on the ball, they shipped it out wide for Francisco Leonelli to cross in the corner. The move was against the run of play but had worked beautifully and found the Warriors with ample space to stretch their legs. Dan Parks added the conversion.Sarries hit back hard in attack but Glasgowa?'s pressure defence forced Saracensa?" winger Ratuvou to spill the ball forward and throw it into the hands of Rory Lamont._From the resulting scrum,_Parks cleared with a huge kick up field nearly into the Sarries 22 gaining Glasgow some much needed territory._With the play staying in that area of the field, the Warriorsa?" pressure on Saracens ball eventually paid off at the scrum when Sarries were deemed to have held onto the ball after it had come out of the scrum and that gave Dan Parks another successful shot at goal just inside half way and to the right of their posts taking the visitors 10 points clear.Saracens were up to their old tricks from the restart, boshing their way up midfield a?" and making ground a?" but Glasgow turned them round again and turned pressure in their own 22, in front of the posts, to their own advantage by forcing the knock on and getting the scrum, from which Parks subsequently cleared..Play continued and again the right wing area saw Glasgow with a break from the scrum, but Beveridgea?'s pass to Leonelli was called as forward._Half an hour in and Glasgow had still not had their hands on the ball that often but when they did, they were hungry to take it forward and open up their running as opposed to Saracens who were insistent on keeping it tight in the horrible conditions.It wasna?'t all running backs out wide for Glasgow though as some mix and match play was in order._Captain Alastair Kellock plucked a clean ball from the lineout and the forwards crowded round him to rumble up the field, proving that the Warriors were a match up front too in this case.Soon followed an awesome defensive display from the Warriors as no matter how many times Saracens tried a pick and go, the Warriors repelled them and maintained their territory._When Saracens eventually tried a clearance kick, John Beattie was on hand to stop the ball with his own foot before it took off and the direction of play turned in Glasgowa?'s favour._The Warriors won another penalty and Parks slotted again to take them to 3-16._However with a couple minutes of injury time added onto the first half, Saracens fought back._They worked their way up the field and headed for the Glasgow try line._A chip ahead took them closer to the Glasgow line than theya?'d been all half as the Warriors defence backtracked to try and control the skidding ball._Saracens tried to re-gather but knocked on just a metre out as the wet weather played havoc with the ball handling. The home side had a strong resulting scrum and drove their way over the Glasgow try line for what everyone, apart form the referee, thought was a try._The man in the middle took them back to set the scrum again and this time they made no mistake, driving over the Warriors line and with bodies piling up, the Referee Tim Hayes eventually awarded a penalty try which Glen Jackson converted.The second half started with no ease in the down pour but within three minutes, the Warriors were awarded a penalty out wide within kicking range but unfortunately it skimmed to the left of the posts. In contrast to the first half, Glasgow had the opening territory in their advantage but when Saracens worked their way up the field, they were the ones to get the whistle in their favour and were awarded a penalty in front of the Glasgow posts for the Warriors having come round from the side at the breakdown._Glen Jackson again added three points taking the home side to within three points of the visitors.Prop Justin Vaa?"a was the next Glasgow man to make an impact as he went off on the hoof on a midfield break but fell awkwardly and couldna?'t get the pass away to his support._Saracens cleared from the resulting scrum and Glasgow were right back up into their own half again but keen to keep the ball in hand and run it out of their territory._Saracens had other ideas though and kept the pressure on in Glasgowa?'s 22 and they made that pressure count as another rumbling forward drive took them over the try line, Kevin Yates emerging with the ball.With the restart not going 10 metres, Saracens had the halfway scrum and broke away up the field but Glasgowa?'s John Beattie was on hand to haul them down and Saracens were penalised for not releasing the ball._However, Glasgow were turned over and gave away another penalty in front of their own posts to let Jackson add to his total.Very worrying scenes followed for Glasgow as only moments after hea?'d taken to the field, Donnie Macfadyen he had to leave again limping having looked like hea?'d done the splits in the middle of the pitch._This meant that the only forward left on the subs bench to replace Macfadyen was prop Kevin Tkachuk so he came onto the field and Glasgow played out the remaining 20 minutes of the game with three props in their forward pack.Glasgowa?'s_back threea?'s pace was tested several times as they raced behind their own line to retrace the Saracens kick ahead and going into the last quarter of the game, the home side looked to have caught their second wind and the supporters were in full voice.With Saracens piling on the pressure with a scrum on Glasgowa?'s try line, Glasgow looked to have turned the possession over and Pinder snaffled the ball away for Parks to clear, but the referee ran between the posts with his hand in the air, claiming that Glasgow had handled the ball out o the scrum illegally._Hence, another penalty try was awarded and Jackson added the conversion.Rather than let their heads drop, Glasgow got right back up to the Saracens end of the ground and worked it through the hands at pace._However their final passes just werena?'t going to hand._When Glasgowa?" attack looked like frustration was getting the better of them, they kept their patience and worked across to the other wing._After some great drives by Justin Vaa?"a and Andy Henderson, Hefin Oa?"Hare finally sneaked over the line, curling himself under the defender and around the corner flag to touch down.With the pressure on the visitors in the dying minutes of the game and the rain back on, the Warriors fought tooth and nail to attack with every ounce of possession they had but the last minute effort to close the gap was too little too late and the game finished 28-23.SCORING SEQUENCE:3-0: Glen Jackson pen (5mins)3-7: Francisco Leonelli try (Dan Parks Conv) (7mins)3-10: Dan Parks pen (13mins)3-13: Dan Parks pen (20mins)3-16: Dan Parks pen (38mins)10-16: Saracens penalty try (Glen Jackson converts) (40+)HALF TIME13-16: Glen Jackson pen (47 mins)18-16: Kevin Yates try (57 mins)21-16: Glen Jackson pen (61mins)28-16: Saracens pentaly try (Jackson converts)(70 mins)28-23: Hefin O'Hare try (Parks converts) (72 mins)Saracens: Dan Scarbrough; Richard Haughton, Kevin Sorrell, Ben Johnston, Kameli Ratuvou; Glen Jackson, Neil de Kock; Kevin Yates, Matt Cairns, Cobus Visagie, Iain Fullarton, Simon Raiwalui, Hugh Vyvyan, Ben Skirving, David Seymour. Subs: Shane Byrne (for Mat Cairns 70 mins), Aaron Liffchak, Kris Chesney, Paul Gustard, Alan Dickens, Andy Farrell, Rodd Penney. Glasgow Warriors: Francisco Leonelli; Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Andy Henderson, Thom Evans; Dan Parks, Graeme Beveridge; Justin Va'a, Fergus Thomson, Euan Murray, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (capt), Andrew Wilson, John Beattie, John Barclay. Subs: Scott Lawson (for Thomson 55mins), Kevin Tkachuk (for Macfadyen 65mins), Dan Turner (for Newman 55mins), Donnie Macfadyen (for Wilson 60mins), Sam Pinder (for Beveridge 51mins), Ruaridh Jackson, Hefin O'Hare (for Evans 40mins).