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Glasgow 0 Leinster 6: Error-strewn display puts an end to Glasgow's winning run

A rare shut-out ended the Warriors' bid to register a club-record seventh successive league victory last night, as Leinster claimed their first league win in Glasgow since 2006 at Scotstoun Stadium.

Ofa Fainga'anuku tries to hold off Leinster's Brendan Macken and Andrew Goodman.  Picture: Graham Stuart
Ofa Fainga'anuku tries to hold off Leinster's Brendan Macken and Andrew Goodman. Picture: Graham Stuart

Only Glasgow and ultimate champions Ospreys avoided defeat to the Irishmen in the RaboDirect Pro12 as Leinster topped the table on their way to last season's grand final. But for all the vast additional investment injected into the Scottish side this term, they never looked like winning this match.

Kicking and handling errors repeatedly punctuated their efforts as they blundered their way to a dismal defeat in front of 3970 spectators.

Yet Gregor Townsend, the former Scotland attack coach, praised his players for their work-rate before admitting they had contributed to their own downfall.

The head coach said: "Our effort throughout the match was fantastic and to keep them just to 3-0 at the interval when they had so much possession in the first half was great, but we didn't convert our opportunities in the second half.

"We had a few penalties against us and we also lost four set-pieces in their 22. That isn't good enough against a team like Leinster."

For all that Glasgow have had something of a propping crisis, a string of injuries having been exacerbated by Gordon Reid's call-up to the Scotland squad, they should have had a vital edge in the set-piece with Leinster – who are supplying five of Ireland's six front-row forwards today – fielding a deeply inexperienced combination in that department.

The first indications were encouraging on that front as Tom Ryder stole an early lineout and the pressure exerted resulted in Aaron Dundon throwing the ball in squint at the next.

In contrast, the first scrummage offered some cause for concern as the Glasgow front row were deemed to have been squeezed into standing up, conceding the penalty that allowed Ian Madigan to open the scoring with just three minutes gone.

Leinster dominated the opening quarter territorially thereafter and Glasgow did well to survive a lengthy, close-quarter siege, conceding only a penalty.

Leo Cullen, Leinster's captain, opted to kick to touch, sensing they could get a Glasgow player sin-binned, or force a try, or both, home captain Chris Fusaro having been issued with what was clearly a warning.

Instead, Fusaro claimed the turnover at a ruck and, while his side was kept pinned down a little longer, the danger was properly cleared after Josh Strauss ripped the ball from the hands of Fionn Carr as the little Leinster winger tried to dance his way into the 22.

Glasgow had some good fortune, too, in preventing the visitors from extending their lead, Andrew Goodman failing to find his support after a clean break deep in home territory.

A miscued Ruaridh Jackson chip then fell into enemy hands and almost resulted in Isa Nacewa finding a route to the line down the left flank.

Warriors suffered a setback when Tom Ryder was sin-binned for blatantly handling the ball at a ruck and there was another fright when Nacewa collected a suspiciously forward looking pass and burst clear but could not get the ball to the supporting Kevin McLaughlin 10 metres from the line.

Leinster doubled their lead early in the second half after another telling intervention from Nacewa. From a scrum inside the Glasgow 22, the full-back found the perfect angle to explode on to the ball once again.

He was stopped just short and this time Fusaro pushed his luck too far in seeking to thwart the early release of the ball. He was sin-binned and moments later Madigan added his second penalty.

In Fusaro's absence, Peter Horne finally got his chance to kick for goal but from long range his first penalty attempt slid wide. Soon afterwards his second went horribly wrong when he slipped as he struck it from wide on the left and the ball scooted under the bar.

Scott Wight, who had replaced Jackson, took over the goal-kicking duties when the next penalty opportunity arose, but while better struck, his attempt from the same sort of spot as Horne's second also went wide.

Glasgow then threw away two chances to set up attacks in promising positions when, both times, they had the ball stolen from them on their throw-ins to lineouts on the Leinster 22.

They were given one final chance when, six seconds into injury time, Leinster were reduced to 14 men when Madigan was sin-binned for handling in a ruck. However, the move they attempted after opting to scrummage from the resultant penalty inevitably broke down.

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