Match report: Glasgow stun Leinster
April 6, 2007
Glasgow sealed one of their greatest ever victories to keep alive their quest to claim a top-five finish in the Magners League.
The success at Hughenden was the first against the title-chasing Dubliners for five years and it also preserved their bid to pip Edinburgh in the battle to become Scotland's highest rated professional team.
Warriors raced off to an impressive start, but with mixed rewards. Playmaker Dan Parks had an early opportunity to break the deadlock, however his penalty was narrowly off target.
The Scots kept up the early pressure and fully deserved to surge ahead with a fine touchdown by Hefin O'Hare.
Thom Evans inflicted the initial damage with a dash into the danger zone to set up a ruck.
The ball was recycled for Parks to create the time and space for O'Hare with a perfectly weighted long and looping pass.
Argentinian Felipe Contepomi eased the Leinster jitters as he slotted a penalty at the other end, but Parks replied in identical fashion midway through the half to restore his side's advantage.
And the home fans were roaring their approval as they watched the Warriors carve out another try - albeit with a heap of help from the province.
Shane Horgan was the chief culprit when he sent a careless loose pass infield from the touchline. Contepomi then failed to mop up a deft chip from Parks, allowing Rory Lamont to pounce.
Leinster raised the pace in the build-up to the interval with Horgan attempting to make amends for his error.
He galloped 30 metres into enemy territory, but could not get the crucial final pass to Denis Hickie, who was steaming up on his left shoulder.
The visitors maintained the momentum and the Glasgow defence had to pull out the stops to keep their line intact.
There was also a significant setback for the Warriors when international back-row man Johnnie Beattie was forced off after taking a knock.
They suffered an even bigger blow deep in stoppage time as Leinster were awarded a highly dubious touchdown.
Jamie Heaslip's floated pass to Gordon D'Arcy looked at least a metre forward, but Welsh referee Tim Hayes waved play on and he was left with an unopposed cruise under the crossbar, giving Contepomi a simple kick.
The score acted as a confidence boost to the visitors and they had a straightforward chance to level the contest three minutes after the restart - however Contepomi pushed his 35-metre effort wide of the far post.
D'Arcy completed his quickfire double, taking full advantage of some woeful tackling by the Glasgow back ranks. Contepomi added the important goal.
Parks narrowed the gap to a single point with a well struck penalty and repeated the feat to snatch back the lead and set up a tense finale.
Hughenden erupted in the 62nd minute when Evans glided in for Glasgow's third touchdown.
He broke out of his own 22 before hoofing the ball ahead. Horgan lost his footing in the race, leaving Evans to outpace Hickie for a great solo score. Parks added the extras to give his side a nine-point cushion.
The drama intensified as Contepomi clawed back a penalty from point-blank range, but the Warriors staved off the late rally.
Glasgow (13) 26.
Leinster (10) 20.
Glasgow: Lamont, O'Hare, Morrison, Barrow, Evans, Parks, Beveridge, Va'a, Thomson, Murray, Newman, Kellock, Swindall, Barclay, Beattie.
Replacements: Lawson, Tckachuk, Turner, Wilson, MacFadyen, Gregor, Shaw.
Leinster: Dempsey, Horgan, D'Arcy, Warner, Hickie, Contepomi, Whitaker, Wright, Blaney, Green, Hogan, O'Kelly, Jowitt, Gleeson, Heaslip.
Replacements: Corrigan, Vermaas, Finegan, McLaughlin, Easterby, Fitzgerald, Kearney.
Referee: T Hayes (Wales)
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