Glasgow upset high-flying Ospreys
October 28, 2011
Glasgow Warriors lock Richie Gray storms forward during the game at Firhill
© PA Photos
Glasgow continued their ascent towards the upper reaches of the RaboDirect PRO12 league table with a hard-fought 28-17 victory over the previously undefeated Ospreys at Firhill.
A try from towering lock Richie Gray and 23 points from the boot of fly-half Duncan Weir proved sufficient to earn the hosts the win and inflict the visitors' first loss of the season, all their points coming from stand-off Matthew Morgan.
The first half was a relatively drab affair, with neither side truly clicking behind the scrum. A distinct lack of enterprise rendered the game a kicking duel between Weir and his opposite number Morgan. Weir got his side on the scoreboard in the opening minute, confidently nudging a penalty effort between the uprights.
Morgan had also brought his A-game, and within minutes the scores were level, an infringement at the scrum handing him the opportunity to draw his side level. He duly obliged before notching three further successful penalties, the last of which was a mammoth strike from deep inside the Ospreys' half.
With the final kick of the half, Weir reduced the deficit, holding his nerve to convert a straightforward penalty effort, despite having seen a similar attempt moments earlier come crashing back off the post.
The opening exchanges of the second period showcased more attacking play than had been witnessed in the entire first half, the key instigator being home winger Tommy Seymour.
It was the former Ulster flyer's break that created Glasgow's first try-scoring opportunity but stoic Ospreys defence ensured they had to settle for a three-pointer from the boot of Weir, the visitors penalised for straying offside at the breakdown. Weir then knocked over another successful penalty to bring the scores level with the game entering the final quarter.
The game's turning point arrived in the 60th minute, sparked by a break from the ubiquitous Stuart Hogg. Having broken through one tackle, Hogg was unceremoniously strangled to the floor by Ospreys replacement Richard Hibbard, the prop being ordered to spend a 10-minute spell in the sin-bin as a result.
And Glasgow succeeded in exploiting their one-man advantage, talismanic Scotland second-rower Gray sliding over to touch down in the corner for a converted score following a period of heavy pressure in the Ospreys' 22.
The try knocked the wind out of the visitors and Glasgow, spurred on by a vocal home crowd, looked to reaffirm their advantage. Weir slotted a further two penalties before the reintroduction of Hibbard stemmed the flow slightly.
There was no doubting the Glasgow were in the ascendancy, though, and replacement James Eddie came close to adding a second try only to be bundled into touch just short of the line.
A seventh penalty from Weir in the closing minutes put the result beyond any doubt, before Morgan crossed for a consolation try right at the death.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland