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'Yellow card the catalyst' for Glasgow win while Ulster injury toll rises again

The northern province will be nursing six front row injuries during the upcoming bye-week.

Image: Russell Cheyne/INPHO

FOR THE SECOND week in succession, Glasgow Warriors left an Irish province looking dispirited after being soundly beaten by the Scottish side.

Six days on from putting Munster to the sword, Glasgow out-muscled Ulster in a 27 – 9 victory that further complicates the Pro12′s endgame.

After falling behind to an early penalty, Ulster’s European pedigree had looked like it was about to prove telling as they took a 3 – 9 lead after Ryan Wilson’s 28th minute sin-bin.

Ulster, though, ought to know better than underestimate a side reduced to 14 men.

“The yellow card really was a catalyst,” Warriors coach Gregor Townsend told BBC Scotland.

“Suddenly we realised that we’ve got to defend well and really be smart and then take the game to Ulster when we were back to 15. To get the try before half-time gave us a lot of momentum and we started the second half well too.”

He added: “I thought the final 50 minutes were top drawer.

“It took a while to get going. I felt we just stood off them in the first half. maybe the occasion, maybe the opposition, giving them a bit too much respect.”

The win moves Warriors ahead of Munster into third place, just a point behind Ulster with a game in hand against Edinburgh to be played next week.

However, Munster can leapfrog both with a win over Connacht this evening.

Optimism

Indeed, if results really go against Ulster in the coming fortnight then they could even be outside of the play-off places by the time Leinster come to visit the new Ravenhill on May 2.

Following the raised levels of optimism that accompanied so many returning big names ahead of the Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat to Saracens, Ulster’s injury toll has been multiplying ever since.

They will have a week to rest and recuperate as the Heineken Cup returns next weekend, but with fresh injury concerns among front rows Declan Fitzpatrick, Tom Court and Ricky Lutton.

Mark Anscombe’s front row was already into a contingency plan with the back problems for John Afoa and ankle injuries to Rory Best and Callum Black.

The momentum in this Pro12 run-in seems to have shifted to Glasgow, as Townsend was left heaping praise equally among every single squad member rather than wondering who he could find to fill a jersey.

“I always try and single out two or three guys who have given more effort or epitomised what we’re about; last week I couldn’t pick anybody out and tonight was very similar.

“I thought the defence close to our line: Tommy Seymour’s tackle, Finn Russell had a couple of great tackles, Chris [Fusaro] had really good low tackles as well.

“That’s what makes the victory, not the tries, the defensive effort.”

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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