Ulster return to winning ways with a rare three-try win over Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun on Friday evening.
Michael Lowry scored the only first half try in the final play, while Craig Gilroy and Nick Timoney added second half scores to secure the victory.
A sinbinning for Alby Mathewson resulted in Glasgow’s only try and left a nervy final six minutes as the hosts pushed for a match-winning try.
TRY: Aki Seiuli
CON: Ross Thompson
PEN: Adam Hastings (2)
TRY: Michael Lowry, Craig Gilroy, Nick Timoney
CON: John Cooney (2)
This was only Ulster’s second match in 2021 and first since January 8th and it was evident as passes didn’t stick culminating in 16 scrums for both sides throughout the 80 minutes. This led to a stop-start game and I would expect that at least 15 minutes were wasted setting and resetting at scrum time although it did feel like more.
Glasgow had the better of the opening 15 minutes but were unable to convert a lineout seven metres out into any points. Adam Hastings looked spritely at 10 while Jamie Dobie kept the fringe defence honest with a few snipes around the rucks.
Hastings opened the scoring with five left in the first half before Ulster fashioned an opportunity for John Cooney to feed Lowry and the fullback sprinted in from the ten metre line for the first try of the night. The visitors had created precious little in the first half with the only other opportunity resulted in Marcell Coetzee being held up and then Ulster losing the ball later in the play.
A 15 minute surge from the 50th minute won this game for Ulster. Relentless pressure took its toll on the Glasgow defence as they began to concede penalties and were lucky not to have a man in the bin.
Terrific defence from the home side prevented Craig Gilroy from scoring his first try of the season, however he did get over a few minutes later thanks to good work from Ian Madigan, Tom O’Toole and Lowry. That’s Gilroy’s 65th try for Ulster and he’s now just 12 behind Ulster’s record try scorer, Andrew Trimble, on 77.
The maul was an intriguing battle all night. Both sides where fairly equal with Richie Gray and Rob Harley often disrupting good platform ball for the away side. However Nick Timoney emerged with the ball from the bottom of one for the third Ulster try just after the hour mark.
Aki Seiuli pulled one back for Glasgow with four minutes left after Mathewson was pinged for two fairly cynical infringements leaving a tense couple of minutes remaining. Jordi Murphy eased the pressure with a fantastic turnover penalty which allowed Ulster to wind down the clock and leave Scotstoun with four of the five points they would have been after.
Who stood out?
The more I see of Michael Lowry, the more I’d be less likely to move him to any other position other than 15. His try and try assist saw him win the man of the match award. Despite many people pointing towards his stature, he is immensely secure under the high ball and is able to wiggle in and out of tackles.
Michael Lowry v Glasgow
- 12 carries
- 108m run
- 7 defenders beaten
- 3 clean breaks
- 1 offload
Kieran Treadwell put in a performance that we have grown to expect from him as he becomes Ulster’s latest centurion. Combative in contact he recorded 16m off his 10 carries as well as beating two Glasgow defenders. I also though he commanded the lineout very well winning four of Ulster’s 13 lineouts and also stealing Glasgow ball.
Cooney and Madigan guided Ulster very well from half back while Tom O’Toole and Eric O’Sullivan made important carries in the build up to two of Ulster’s tries.
Where now for Ulster?
Despite a good performance from the Dragons last night Leinster came away with a bonus point win to increase their gap on Ulster to five points. Although Leinster still have to come to Ravenhill I still think they are favourites to progress to the final. Here are both Ulster and Leinster’s remaining fixtures:
|Ospreys (H)||Glasgow (H)|
|Leinster (H)||Ulster (A)|
|Dragons (A)||Zebre (A)|
|Zebre (H)||Ospreys (H)|
We will sweat over the injury to Marcell Coetzee which he picked up in the last play of the first half and we won’t know the extent of the knee injury for another 48 hours according to BBC Sport NI. It would be such a shame if we have seen the Springbok international in an Ulster shirt for the last time.
Ospreys travel to Ravenhill next Friday night and this will be a match where Ulster will be hoping to pick up a bonus point win.