Glasgow stun Leinster for top spot
MATCH REPORT: Glasgow Warriors moved top of the PRO14 Rainbow Cup table with a 15-12 victory over Leinster at Scotstoun.
Leinster looked to be heading towards the win until Adam Hastings’ silky offload put Kyle Steyn in for Warriors’ second try.
That levelled the points at 12-12 after the Dubliners had countered Matt Fagerson’s opener with touchdowns from Luke McGrath and Cian Kelleher.
Ross Thompson then nailed a late kick to seal victory after a fiery encounter.
Glasgow go top of the PRO14 Rainbow Cup standings but, having missed out on a bonus point, they remain underdogs to reach the final.
Hastings – playing his last game for Glasgow – has previous with Leinster having been sent off at the RDS earlier this season.
He found himself getting up their noses more than once this time and it was no surprise to see tempers flare between the teams again with an early bout of handbags just eight minutes in.
It was Warriors who landed the first telling blow of the night 12 minutes in, however.
Sam Johnson was held up an inch shy of the line but the visitors were increasingly having to resort to desperate measures to keep out the hosts.
Fagerson, though, eventually found the smallest of gaps to sneak through from close range and open the scoring.
Leinster had spent the opening quarter of an hour on the back foot but, having fallen behind, they exploded into life.
Bursting at them from all angles, Glasgow did not know where to look and were eventually beaten all ends up by McGrath’s dummy as the scrum-half darted through to score under the posts.
Hugo Keenan was denied a breath-taking score after some patient grunt work from the forwards was spoiled by Ross Molony’s knock-on.
But Glasgow were struggling to stem the tide, with Cole Forbes sin-binned for a cynical off-the-ball tug on Kelleher on 27 minutes.
It took just two more for the Leinster to ruthlessly exploit the space Forbes had vacated, with Kelleher dancing off his wing to score as Thompson, Fraser Brown and Hastings fell at his feet.
The visitors finished the half a man down after Rory O’Loughlin also saw yellow, while Keenan saw a second score chalked off after Andrew Porter illegally blocked off Rob Harley.
And having survived that scare Glasgow brilliantly hit back on 48 minutes as Hastings’ out-the-back-door offload put Steyn in to to level the scores.
Warriors skipper Ryan Wilson was next to take a 10-minute rest after being cautioned for a neck roll on Porter as things got heated again.
But it was Leinster who found themselves on the wrong side of referee Frank Murphy with 15 minutes left as Thompson fired a meaty kick to clinch victory.
For Glasgow Warriors
Tries: M Fagerson, Steyn
Tries: McGrath, C Kelleher
Con: R Byrne
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Adam Hastings, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Cole Forbes, 10 Ross Thompson, 9 George Horne, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Rob Harley, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Aki Seiuli.
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Tom Lambert, 18 D’arcy Rae, 19 Kiran McDonald, 20 Thomas Gordon, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Stafford McDowall, 23 Niko Matawalu.
Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Tommy O’Brien, 13 Garry Ringrose 12 Rory O’Loughlin, 11 Jimmy O’Brien, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Luke McGrath (captain), 8 Calean Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Josh Murphy, 5 James Ryan, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Rónan Kelleher, 1 Ed Byrne.
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ryan Baird, 20 Scott Penny, 21 Rowan Osborne, 22 Jordan Larmour, 23 Cian Kelleher.
Referee: Frank Murphy
Assistant referees: Fin Brown, Graeme Ormiston
TMO: Andrew McMenemy