Glasgow shock the Ospreys
March 2, 2012
Ruaridh Jackson contributed 16 points to the Warriors' total
© PA Photos
The Glasgow Warriors downed the Ospreys 26-20 to claim their first ever victory at the Liberty Stadium.
First-half tries from prop John Welsh and wing Colin Shaw, plus two conversions and four penalties from fly-half Ruaridh Jackson gave the visitors, for whom centre Alex Dunbar and flanker Chris Fusaro excelled, a deserved win that consolidates their top-four spot. The second-placed Ospreys had grabbed the first try through Hanno Dirksen and Dan Biggar added 10 points with the boot, but a late Kahn Fotuali'i try was not enough to prevent them suffering a first home league defeat since April last year.
After a scrappy opening it was the Ospreys who had launched the first genuine attack. Scrum-half Rhys Webb was alert to take a quick tap on halfway and worked his way down the right flank to feed Dirksen, but the wing was superbly tackled into touch just short of the line by Fusaro.
Glasgow responded by taking the lead through a 13th minute Jackson penalty after strong running from centre Dunbar. The lead lasted barely two minutes as Dirksen made up for his earlier failure to make the line by shrugging off a weak tackle from David Lemi to canter over from halfway, Biggar adding the extras.
But the topsy-turvy opening continued as Glasgow reassumed the lead just a couple of minutes later. Ospreys wing Eli Walker was harshly penalised for his aerial challenge, and the visitors took full advantage with a controlled driving maul from the resulting line-out leading to a try for Welsh which Jackson converted.
The Warriors soon launched another bright attack with Dunbar making more inroads in the Ospreys midfield. The centre's charge led home skipper Tom Smith to concede the penalty for illegally slowing the ball down, earning himself a yellow card as Jackson slotted his second penalty to make it 13-7.
Glasgow were by far the sharper side in attack and made the most of their man advantage by adding their second try six minutes before the break. Dunbar was yet again the man doing the damage, and when the ball was recycled scrum-half Henry Pyrgos was given far too much room to send Shaw to the line for a converted score.
Biggar trimmed the gap to seven points with penalties either side of half-time, but Jackson replied with one of his own shortly after missing from distance. The Scotland international was also off target with a much simpler effort just before the hour as the visitors forced another scrum penalty out of their hosts.
But he soon had a chance to make amends as Wales prop Ryan Bevington saw yellow for driving away Tom Ryder's support lifters at a line-out, this time landing the three points. The Warriors thought they had claimed a third try as full-back Peter Murchie cut through to dot down, but referee Neil Paterson called play back for blocking and dispatched captain Al Kellock to the bin after an off the ball scuffle.
Replacement Johnnie Beattie then joined his skipper on the sidelines with seven minutes to play after he was ruled to have tip-tackled Dirksen. Ospreys used the numerical advantage to set up a tight finish as substitute scrum-half Fotuali'i sniped over, but their late rally came to nothing with Jackson even able to afford to miss with another penalty attempt from the final kick of the contest.
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