Glasgow Warriors caused a major upset tonight when they defeated Leinster 23-19 at a chilly RDS, in a game that saw serious injuries to Dominic Ryan and Kevin McLaughlin, to add to the woes of the Heineken Cup champions.
Isa Nacewa opened the scoring after some good pressure from the Leinster forwards forced Glasgow into conceding a penalty which the full back duly slotted over the bar. That score would prove to be one of the few bright spots in the opening exchanges.
In what was an uninspiring first half it was the away side that got the first try of the game. After a solid scrum deep in Leinster ‘s 22 it was second row Rob Harley that got over the whitewash to silence the home crowd.
That try gave a shot in the arm to the away side and for a period after the try they bossed Leinster and the game. Scott Wight in particular, was instrumental in the good play by the Warriors. However while they enjoyed most of the ball, Leinster’s defence held up well and the Scottish side were held out.
Five minutes before the break Leinster burst into life. Some good play from Dave Kearney and the Leinster backs freed fly half Ian Madigan who brought the home crowd to their feet with an excellent step and finish to give Leinster the lead right on half time.
The second half started much the same as the first half with Leinster looking the brighter side and looked like they could strike at Glasgow when they saw fit. However they suffered a double injury blow minutes into the second half when both Ryan and McLaughlin were carried off with serious looking injuries.
With that The Warriors began to come into the game and struck the crucial blow of the match on the 64th minute when a striking run from Stuart Hogg cut right to the heart of the Leinster defence and silenced the 11,000 strong crowd.
After that crucial try it was all Leinster. Wave after wave of attack pounded the Warrior’s line but each carry was met with a white wall as the away side refused to be moved. Leinster did have one major chance close to the end, a slipped pass by Isa Nacewa to Dave Kearney, who had the line at his mercy was as close as the home side came to getting that all important score.
Glasgow held out for the final minutes and recorded their first win of the domestic campaign and ended Leinster’s 28 unbeaten home record in the process.
A disappointed Joe Schmidt said after the game. “I felt that we had four good attacking platforms in the first half but we didn’t convert them. At the end we missed some of the key guys that could have carried and got us over the line. It’s a very bitter pill to swallow.”