Ulster edge out Glasgow in close encounter
August 31, 2012
Craig Gilroy scored Ulster's second try as the Irish province began the new season with a win over Glasgow
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Ulster beat Glasgow 18-10 in their opening match of the new RaboDirect Pro12 season, despite the Scottish side fighting back in the closing stages.
Mike Allen and Craig Gilroy scored a try apiece and Niall O'Connor kicked a conversion and a penalty to put Ulster 15-3 ahead with 12 minutes to play. However, Tommy Seymour scored a try in the 68th minute that Ruaridh Jackson converted to give Glasgow hope, but a second O'Connor penalty in the final minute ended their hopes of a comeback.
Ulster were always the hungrier side and big performances from Nick Williams and John Afoa along with youngsters Allen and Luke Marshall helped bag them the four points, though their winning margin would have been greater had O'Connor been more accurate from the tee.
After an opening 10 minutes in which neither side made much impression, Ulster opened their account when O'Connor hit a penalty with his first touch after he had replaced the injured Paddy Jackson.
Glasgow evened matters up 10 minutes later with a Weir penalty after Williams was penalised at the breakdown. Ulster then came close when Williams lost the ball over the line before O'Connor hit an upright with a 27th-minute penalty. The fly-half then missed again with a similar chance on the half-hour but Ulster again responded through their pack and one driving maul for the Warriors' line resulted in Glasgow winger - and former Ulster player - Seymour being sin-binned for dragging the maul down.
From the penalty Ulster had a series of scrums near Glasgow's line and ultimately Williams drove off the base, linked with Lewis Stevenson and Jared Payne to put Allen in to score. The half ended with Weir attempting a drop goal which sailed left of the posts and Ulster went in leading 8-3.
Ulster started the second half in perfect fashion when Gilroy intercepted Weir's pass and ran all the way in under the posts from just outside his own 22. O'Connor made no mistake with the extras to put Ulster 15-3 ahead.
On a rare attack, Jackson worked Seymour clear and the winger rounded two defenders to score before Jackson then added the conversion to narrow Ulster's lead to 15-10. O'Connor was again wide with a 72nd-minute penalty attempt but he landed one in the last minute to secure the win.
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