Nacewa snatches draw for Leinster
February 25, 2012
Isa Nacewa came out of the sin bin to kick a vital late penalty for Leinster
© Getty Images
Leinster left it late to snatch a 10-10 draw in their RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Glasgow Warriors at a rain-drenched Firhill Stadium.
The visitors turned in a scrappy performance but still stretched their unbeaten run to 19 games in all competitions.
Glasgow were the last team to beat Leinster back in September and they appeared on course to do so again for much of the game, a penalty try converted by Ruaridh Jackson and a Jackson penalty putting them 10-0 in front. A Heinke van der Merwe try, converted by Ian Madigan, got Leinster back in the game, though, and a late penalty from Isa Nacewa completed their comeback.
Leinster were first to pass up an opportunity in what was a very uninspiring first half, fly-half Madigan striking the upright with an early penalty attempt. The hosts opted not to kick at goal from penalty awards on two separate occasions in the opening 10 minutes, and had to wait until the 28-minute mark for another opportunity.
A long punt from fullback Peter Murchie was gathered by Madigan, but under pressure from the onrushing home defence he spilled the ball. The resulting scrum was collapsed by the Leinster front row, handing Jackson the chance to notch the game's first score. He duly obliged, but Madigan was again off target moments later when he skewed another effort wide.
Fijian fullback Nacewa took over the kicking duties from Madigan as the half reached its close, yet a slip in his run-up ensured his penalty did not threaten the scoreboard. Glasgow began the second half with a degree of urgency that had been lacking in the first period, and their increased aggression created the first clear try-scoring opportunity.
Captain Rob Harley secured scrappy lineout ball and beat one defender before slipping the ball to the onrushing Pat MacArthur, who charged toward the corner.
The last-ditch covering tackle of Nacewa appeared to have diverted MacArthur into touch just inches short of the line, only for referee John Lacey to award a penalty try, deeming Nacewa's tackle to have been dangerous play. Jackson gratefully nudged over the conversion from beneath the posts as the Fijian was sent to the sin-bin.
Yet, just as Glasgow appeared to have gained the initiative, Leinster hit back thanks to a try from prop Van der Merwe, who bundled over after a spell of forward pressure, Madigan slotting the conversion.
Having returned from the sin-bin, Nacewa was restored to kicking duties, and it was his calmly-struck penalty effort 10 minutes from time that earned Leinster a share of the spoils.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park