Warriors routed by Connacht
February 18, 2011
Fionn Carr was on the scoresheet for Connacht just after the break
© PA Photos
Connacht heaped further woe on Glasgow on Friday night with a riotous 37-8 win at the Sportsground.
Brian Tuohy and Gavin Duffy grabbed tries for Connacht in an entertaining first-half, during which both sides showed an eagerness to attack and put the ball through the hands. Hefin O'Hare also touched down for Glasgow, who trailed 18-8 at half-time with Ruaridh Jackson in the sin-bin.
Connacht crucially added two more tries early in the second half while Jackson was off the pitch, and the icing on the cake was a 62nd-minute penalty try.
Eric Elwood's charges set a brisk early tempo. A good spell of ball retention drew an offside decision against Glasgow and the impressive Ian Keatley converted the resulting penalty. The Connacht out-half missed a more difficult penalty three minutes later, but the hosts continued to press with Mike McCarthy and Michael Swift imposing themselves up front.
In the ninth minute, Connacht showed patience on the attack before Keatley went on the outside and passed for Tuohy to use his strength to crash over. However, Glasgow hit back from their very first attack. Captain Colin Gregor took a quick tap from a midfield penalty, noticing an overlap on the right, and Bernardo Stortoni produced the final pass for O'Hare to finish off.
The try was unconverted and Connacht wasted little time in responding. Keatley used his weaker left boot to grubber through for fullback Duffy to race up and score in the corner. Keatley's successful conversion was cancelled out by Jackson's only penalty of the night midway through the half.
Glasgow threatened the Connacht line once more in the lead-up to the break. A knock on from Gregor saw the Warriors stumble within scoring range and Robert Harley was also hauled down a few metres out. Keatley kicked Connacht 10 points clear after Jackson was yellow-carded for tackling Tuohy without the ball as the winger chased his own kick.
The second-half burst into life with two tries in a four-minute spell. Keatley spotted some space and put Carr away for a well-taken third try. Brimming with confidence, Connacht then claimed a cracking bonus-point score. Prop Brett Wilkinson charged forward on a 20-metre break, passed for Keatley and the fly-half's looping delivery sent Tuohy thundering over for his second try.
Keatley converted one of the tries, leaving Glasgow 30-8 adrift. Although the Scots were camped in the Connacht half for much of the remainder, they could not find a way past the hosts' defence, which was marshalled superbly by skipper Jonny O'Connor.
Connacht's dominance of the set piece was confirmed by the penalty try, with replacement Rodney Ah You performing well in the front-row. With their first ever season's double over Glasgow in the bag, Connacht saw out the final minutes in their own half and down to 14 men following the sin-binning of Shane Monahan.
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