Glasgow Warriors gave their RaboDirect Pro12 Play Off hopes a boost with a 29-6 victory over Aironi at Firhill on Friday night. Tries from Tommy Seymour, Chris Fusaro and Peter Murchie helped the Warriors stave off the Italians and set up another mouth-watering match, against the Cardiff Blues, next week in front of their home fans.
This was the first match Coach Sean Lineen has had at home since the announcement of his departure was made two weeks ago that he’d be leaving his role at the end of the season. The crowd were keen to show their feelings towards him when he was given a standing ovation and a rapturous applause, as he made his way to his seat for the start of the game.
It was a dominant game overall from the Warriors, captained by Hooker Dougie Hall for the first time, as they looked to show off their play-off credentials to their passionate 4000 strong home crowd. Three penalties from Duncan Weir and a Tommy Seymour try gave Glasgow a 16-6 lead at half time.
However, with the chances the Warriors had to cross the line, it could have been a lot worse for the visitors, who were wasteful with the one opportunity they were given at the end of the first half when Luciano Orquera charged down a Duncan Weir clearance kick only to knock it into touch. Glasgow’s forwards were worth their weight in gold for Lineen as they tormented the Aironi forwards in the scrum throughout the first half.
The second half started similar to the first as the Warriors continued their dominance in the pack. Heavy pressure in the scrum saw Aironi enter at the side, which gave Weir the opportunity to make it 19-6.
Moray Low came on for Chris Cusack to add even more firepower to the Warriors scrumage, making his first appearance since injury in January.
With the commanding lead, Glasgow went in search of tries in order to get the much sought after bonus points, which could prove pivotal in the run up to the play-offs. A second try was eventually taken by the Warriors when, after a massive heave in the Aironi 22, Chris Fusaro got the ball over to the line to give the Warriors a 24-6 lead, following Weir’s missed conversion.
After Aironi’s second row, Matias Aguero, was sent to the bin for persistant fouling, Glasgow aimed to take advantage of the extra man as they went looking for tries. On 73 minutes, after some fine dummying and stepping from David Lemi on the wing, his offload found full back Peter Murchie who had the easy job of touching down to make it 29-6.
Despite their efforts to gain the bonus point winning try, Glasgow lost their battle with the match clock after Aironi managed to play Glasgow into touch.
Try scorer Tommy Seymour said after the match; “Aironi are a tough side and we needed to get the win. I think after the game we can be a bit subdued with the fact that we didn’t get the fourth try and the bonus point, but we showed our ambition to do it in terms of the kicks into touch instead of going for the posts. I think, maybe, we left it a little bit too late to give it that extra bit of a push.”
Head Coach Sean Lineen was in great spirits saying “Of course the guys are disappointed but, listen, we won! During the Six Nations period, the boys have worked so hard. Cardiff will be a real test match next week and the boys are looking forward to that one. Cardiff’s just another game really, it’s a massive game, but every game from now is important.”
Glasgow Warriors: Murchie; Seymour; Dunbar; Aramburu; Lemi; Weir; Pyrgos; Grant; Hall; Cusack; Campbell; Ryder; Forrester; Fusaro; Wilson
Replacements: Verbakal for Campbell (40), Low for Cusack (51), Nathan for Aramburu (60), Wight for Weir (60), MacArthur for Hall (60), Beattie for Forrester (62), Pyrgos for McConnell (73)
Aironi Rugby: Tebaldi, Toniolatti, Quartaroli, Pratichetti, Sinoti, Orquera, Keats, De Marchi, Ongaro, Romano, Biagi, Del Fava, Cattina, Bergamasco, Ferrarini
Replacements: Perugini for Romano (24), Favaro for Ferrarini (50), Furno for Biagi (50), Denti for Ongaro (50), Aguero for De Marchi (54), Olivier for Keats (63) Bennatti for Pratichetti (66)
Not Used: Bronzini
Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)
Photos from last night’s match can be view here.