Glasgow Warriors 24-19 Aironi, RaboDirect PRO12, October 7
Weir inspires Warriors to victory
October 7, 2011
Glasgow Warriors's Tom Ryder (centre) with Tommy Seymour (left) celebrate their win over the Newport Gwent Dragons
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A virtuoso kicking display from fly-half Duncan Weir saw Glasgow break their winning duck at home this term.
Weir's eight successful penalty attempts accounted for all his side's points, and in the process he equalled the RaboDirect Pro12 record for the most penalty goals in one game. In response, Dragons number 10 Matthew Jones scored 11 points with the boot, their solitary try coming from Martyn Thomas, while replacement Jason Tovey landed a late penalty attempt.
Weir struck early with his first penalty, but the Glasgow lead was overturned moments later among a flurry of early activity.
Quick lineout ball was shifted inside allowing winger Mike Poole to bludgeon his way through the hosts' rearguard. His floated pass was gathered by the onrushing Thomas, who cantered in to score. Fly-half Jones converted before adding a penalty, struck sweetly from well within his own half.
A second penalty from Weir reduced the lead as the Glasgow backs finally began to click, Stuart Hogg and Colin Gregor looking particularly lively.
Hogg was heavily involved in the best move of the half, resulting in home captain Rob Harley careering up the touchline in the visiting 22. The move ground to a halt after six phases of flowing rugby, only to be called back for a penalty awarded after a body check on Hogg moments earlier. Weir maintained his 100% record with the boot to draw his side within a point.
The Dragons were effective at the breakdown and solid in the backs, without ever reproducing the cutting edge they displayed for their first score, yet it was the visitors who went into the half-time break in control of the scoreboard.
Indiscipline among the Glasgow ranks at the breakdown handed Jones three more penalty attempts, two of which he converted with ease, the other passing narrowly wide of the uprights.
Weir responded with his fourth penalty on the stroke of half-time to reduce the gap to four points.
Firhill can provide an intimidating atmosphere at times, and as the vociferous home support got behind their side, the pendulum began to swing in Glasgow's favour.
Within 10 minutes they had regained the lead, Weir's deadly accurate right boot landing two further penalties, the second of which was reward for a spell of pressure in the Dragons' 22. Colin Shaw thought he had squeezed over for a try, only to be penalised for failing to release the ball having been tackled, but Weir's strike ensured they did not come away empty-handed.
Glasgow's pack came into the reckoning as the match wore on and it was a matter of time until the Dragons' front row was penalised. When the penalty arrived, Weir nonchalantly knocked his effort between the uprights, displaying a confidence that has been lacking so far this season.
Entering the closing stage of the game, the Dragons brought the gap to within a single score, replacement stand-off Tovey slotting a penalty to remind their hosts of the danger the Welsh counter-attack posed.
Weir maintained his imperious form with the boot to slot an eighth straight penalty only moments later to secure Glasgow's first home win of the season.
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