Once again my rugby pundit creditability has taken a knock. I’d predicted a Glasgow win against the Ulster juniors but, fair dues, the youngsters manned up and took it to their opposite numbers to grind out a deserved 18 – 10 win.
It wasn’t a great match but, as old Rooster said when sending me the match video, it was, “a reasonable result against a dour side that nibble away at points and wins.”
It was the visitors that started the game with the greater intent but Ulster absorbed what they had to offer and after ten minutes the home side controlled the game.
Niall O’Connor, on for an injured Jackson, opened the scoring on the 10 minute mark landing a penalty with his first touch. Weir equalised for Glasgow after 20 minutes but with the Ulster pack getting on top the pressure inevitably took it’s toll with Seymour yellow carded on the 35th minute. Ulster took advantage with Jared Payne creating an overlap for Michael Allen enabling the youngster to run over the line in the right corner for his first senior score.
O’Connor, having an off day from the tee, missed the conversion and the teams turned round with Ulster leading 8 – 3 though it should have been more.
Ulster scored gain on the 45th minute with Craig Gilroy intercepting a pass on the Ulster 22 to race clear to score under the posts. O’Connor added the extras to give the home side a 15 – 3 lead and well set to push on.
However the pattern of the game was disrupted with a series of substitutions and with Glasgow bringing some quality of the bench they were next to score with Tommy Seymour racing clear and rounding Gilroy with ease to score in the corner. Replacement outhalf Ruaridh Jackson added the extras and the gap was closed to 5 points with the score reading 15 – 10.
Despite Glasgow pushing for the winning score it was Ulster who were next to trouble the score board with O’Connor slotting over a late penalty to deny the visitors a losing bonus.
Final score: Ulster 18 Glasgow 10.
Ulster: Jared Payne, Michael Allen, Chris Farrell, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy, Patrick Jackson, Michael Heaney, Callum Black, Rob Herring, John Afoa, Johann Muller (c), Lewis Stevenson, Robbie Diack, Sean Doyle, Nick Williams. Replacements: Nigel Brady, Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick, Neil McComb, Mike McComish, Paul Marshall, Niall O’Connor, Darren Cave.
Glasgow: Peter Murchie, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Graeme Morrison, Sean Lamont, Duncan Weir, Henry Pyrgos, Gordon Reid, Finlay Gillies, Mike Cusack, Tom Ryder, Al Kellock (c), Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Ryan Wilson. Replacements. Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Ryan Grant, James Eddie, John Barclay, Chris Cusiter, Ruaridh Jackson, Peter Horne
Great to be back at Ravers to meet up with friends old and new.
The pre match highlight was meeting the newly christened ”Cheeky Boys” , namely Big Dan and Roger, a moniker fully deserved judging by this duo’s tweets on Twitter!
Second laugh out loud moment was the story about Phat Chad Henry arriving at Singapore Airport, I believe, this summer. I’m sure well have plenty more to report on these developments as the season progresses!
In between I had to snap to attention as a rosy cheeked and clean shaven ex Cap’n and now 2nd Lieutenant Grumpy marched past collecting donations for his latest charity the NI Leukaemia Research Fund. Pity I hadn’t remembered to snap my camera at the same time but I did report the clean shavenness to the honourable Kofi Annan when I met him later!
The surprise of the day was finding out, somewhat after the event, that I’d been introduced to the scourge of the message boards, none other than Baggy Trousers! A surprisingly pleasant, harmless looking chap with no ranting at all! Now there’s a thing!