Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Glasgow Warriors edge Lions — after refereeing howler

The Lions dominated much of the clash, and were superior in the set-pieces, while stand-in No 10 EW Viljoen also produced a quality outing.

A much improved performance from the Lions saw them go down narrowly 13-9 against Glasgow Warriors in their United Rugby Championship clash at the Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A refereeing howler along with small mistakes from the Lions in the end cost them a match they were well in with a chance of winning.

The Lions forward pack put in a monstrous performance over the game completely dominating the Warriors forwards, while makeshift flyhalf EW Vijoen put in an accomplished performance at number 10, slotting three out of four penalties and putting in a solid showing overall.

The big talking point of the game came right at the start of the match when the Warriors scored the only try in the second minute.

Italian referee Gianluca Gnecchi was unsighted with the Warriors on attack right on the Lions try line, when their players started celebrating after prop Jamie Bhatti had seemingly dotted the ball down, with Gnecchi awarding the score.

However replays after the conversion from flyhalf Ross Thompson had gone over showed that the ball was clearly grounded short of the line, which in the end proved a decisive seven points for the home side.

The Lions however brushed off the mistake from the ref and hit straight back, earning a penalty which Viljoen converted to make it 7-3 after five minutes.

The Warriors showed some terrific running during the rest of the half, but the Lions despite being unlocked a few times put in some brilliant scramble defence to make sure the Warriors couldn’t get over for another try.

This meant that a 15th minute penalty from Thompson and a 27th minute reply from Viljoen were the only other points of the half as the Warriors took a 10-6 lead into the break.

The second half then saw a much more even match, albeit in tougher conditions as the rain came down, with both sides having chances in each other’s 22m areas, but the Lions were unfortunately let down by a few simple errors.

Viljoen got things ticking for the visitors with a 42nd minute penalty to make it a one point game, but both sides then managed to hold each other out until a frantic final 15 minutes.

A scrum penalty to the Lions in the 67th minute saw Viljoen line up a shot at goal from his own half over 50m away, with him having the distance but pushing the kick wide.

This allowed Thompson to slot a 71st minute penalty for the Warriors to give them a four point buffer which they clung onto until the end.


Lions – Penalties: EW Viljoen (3)

Glasgow Warriors – Try: Jamie Bhatti; Conversion: Ross Thompson; Penalties: Ross Thompson (2)

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