Glasgow 3, Leinster 21

SCOTTISH rugby's district teams have been offered a carrot with an

antipodean taste. The winners of their championship this season will

have a match against the All Blacks next year, but Glasgow were not

enticed on Saturday by the prize.

A stumbling, fumbling game in defeat by Leinster at Hughenden was far

short of what Glasgow needed in preparation for the district

competition. They have a long way to go before they open their

championship campaign with the Inter-city match against Edinburgh in

November, and when they could not settle to a game in Saturday's ideal

weather they will find it all the more difficult in the colder, perhaps

wetter climate of November and December.

Glasgow need to find the means to win more lineout possession, and

they have to have a better appreciation of how the rephrased laws demand

that players have to be on their feet when they play the ball on the

ground. That is liable to be a regular theme in the season's early


Glasgow's failing and falling went a long way to explaining why the

Irish visitors could profit from a penalty count of 14-4. Leinster had

obviously learned their lesson from the Netherdale match that they lost

to the South on Wednesday, and they avenged last season's defeat by

Glasgow in Dublin.

Wednesday's contest had also helped to sharpen Leinster's rugby for

Hughenden, no more so than in the lineout. Glasgow had no-one to match

Jim O'Callaghan on the touchline even though Malcolm Norval had three

glorious leaps for two-handed catches. O'Callaghan is a lock who will

surely be seen in the higher flights, continuing progress from his

country's Students' World Cup team.

Leinster, with six backs and four forwards from Wednesday's XV, had

the attitude and force of a team determined to erase unhappy memories.

Glasgow, as a sharp contrast, were too patchy.

Their cause was hampered by the need to adjust to an enforced change

at scrum half after only 17 minutes, with Fraser Stott having to give

way to Stuart Simmers. At first it was thought that Stott's right leg

might be broken, but an X-ray later showed no fracture. The damage was


Fergus Wallace occasionally stirred Glasgow by example, and Brian

Ireland was typically busy until late on, when a leg knock forced him to

be replaced by Gordon Mackay. Consistency, however, was missing, and

Glasgow too often tried to prise space with midfield intricacies that

foundered on defence as solid as their own. Instead, they were most

threatening when they swept the ball wide to Gerry Hawkes and Angus


Glasgow confined Leinster's half-time lead to 6-3 even though the

visitors had dominated the first 40 minutes. It would not have been an

unfair reflection if the three-point margin had been multiplied half a

dozen times.

Conor O'Shea kicked two penalty goals in the first nine minutes, and

Dave Barrett replied in kind midway in the first half -- the only shot

he had at the posts. The Leinster full back missed two others just

before the interval, and when Paul Hennebry took over, with only half a

minute gone in the second half, he kicked Leinster's third.

It was then that Glasgow's resilience and resistance were best seen.

Martin Ridge was denied from a close-range tapped penalty, and a siege

on the Glasgow goal-line, with a series of scrums, was raised when

Wallace pounced to disrupt an attempted push over and lead the


Glasgow's defence was broken at last when Ridge's long pass released

the intruding O'Shea on a thrust deep into the home twenty-two. Vincent

Cunningham and Ridge linked for Alain Rolland to score in 66 minutes,

and Cunningham later went in off ideal ruck ball in the Glasgow

twenty-two. O'Shea's conversion was the last act of the match.

Glasgow -- K M Logan (Stirling County); G F Hawkes (Glasgow High/

Kelvinside), S McIntosh, D R McKee (both West of Scotland), A S M Turner

(Stirling County); D N Barrett, F H Stott (both West of Scotland); G T

McKee (Glasgow High/Kelvinside), K D McKenzie, G B Robertson, M Norval,

J S Hamilton (all Stirling County), D A McVey (Ayr), F D Wallace

(Glasgow High/Kelvinside), captain, B Ireland (Stirling County).

Replacements -- S M Simmers (Glasgow Academicals) for Stott (17

minutes), G T Mackay (Glasgow Academicals) for Ireland (67).

Leinster -- C O'Shea (Lansdowne); M Costello (Terenure), V J G

Cunningham (St Mary's), M Ridge (Blackrock), D Jackson (Old Wesley); P

Hennebry (Terenure), A C Rolland (Blackrock); N J Popplewell, J Murphy

(both Greystones), A Keen (Lansdowne), M O'Neill ( Blackrock), J

O'Callaghan (Wanderers), C S Pim, A Blair, R Love (all Old Wesley).

Referee -- I C Henderson (Kelso).