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Glasgow fail to grab souvenir from latest trip abroad

Glasgow Warriors have travelled light this season.

Ventures into the Heineken Cup have proven to be unrewarding, with a trip to face Castres yesterday leaving Gregor Townsend's side with another defeat. They have taken just two points from the competition this season.

That paltry total might have been supplemented had Ruaridh Jackson not struck a post with his kick in the final moments of the match. Supporters have become inured to such disappointments this term but it was made all the more acute given that Glasgow had played with a rare verve, John Barclay scoring a try during a dominant first-half performance.

The flanker will be unlikely to reprise his role as scorer when Glasgow contest a derby with Edinburgh on Friday, though, as he suffered a hamstring injury in the process of going over against Castres. He had been acting captain in the absence of the injured Al Kellock.

That news exasperated Townsend yesterday, as did the indiscipline that ultimately did for his side in France. "The guys showed fantastic ambition and I am proud of them for that," said the Glasgow head coach. "But when you have two boys sent to the sin bin at almost the same time, it will always be costly.

"We now have to set our sights on facing Edinburgh in two very important PRO12 games, starting on Friday at Scotstoun."

The guilty pair were Tom Ryder and Byron McGuigan; both men sin-binned needlessly within five minutes of each other late in the second half. Jackson may well have envied their seats away from the spotlight after his late miss, mind you.

It had all started with such promise, too; Glasgow had picked an all-out attacking line-up and made their intentions clear from the outset as they pinned back the hosts in their own half. Their efforts were rewarded when Peter Horne edged the Scots in front from close range after Castres were guilty of handling on the deck.

That score sparked the home side into action and Romain Teulet evened the tally with a confident strike from 25 metres. There was further frustration for Glasgow when Horne sent his next attempt wide.

Neither side seemed willing to relent, but nor could they find an advantage amid the tumult; Tuelet missing with another penalty for Castres after Niko Matawalu was penalised for dissent.

A superbly weighted chip by Jackson also set up a series of raids for the Warriors and only a fingertip interception by Marcel Garvey prevented Sean Lamont's flat pass from sending Dan van der Merwe over in the corner. Gordon Reid was then blocked just short of the line following a Matawalu tap penalty.

For all that Glasgow were overstaying their welcome in the hosts' half, they struggled to breach a robust Castres defence which dominated the next scrummage, giving them the chance to clear the immediate danger. Tommy Seymour was next to threaten for Glasgow but, after jinking his way past two Castres players, he offloaded straight into the arms of another.

Teulet was also left somewhat red-faced just four minutes from the break when his angled penalty for illegal side-entry to a ruck drifted wide of the posts.

Glasgow were given further cause to celebrate when Barclay touched down on 41 minutes. Ryan Wilson led a surge forward following a line-out and Barclay finished in style. The flanker then left the field sheepishly.

Castres seemed to sense a weakness and earned a series of penalties, and Glasgow became more vulnerable when Ryder was yellow carded for a professional foul at a line-out and McGuigan followed for a late challenge with eight minutes left.

Those decisions carried further indignity for Glasgow as Karina Whongi had appeared to stamp on Moray Low's head moments earlier, only for the officials to miss the incident.

Yannick Caballero then went over to score a try for Castres and Dan Kirkpatrick adding the extras. It put the French side ahead and Jackson could not claw them back.

HEINEKEN CUP Signs of improvement do not show the way to elusive victory

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