Although the home side had taken a 15-0 lead in the first-half, Connacht showed considerable spirit to fight back, come within a bonus point, but ultimately miss out in their first visit to the Warriors’ new Scotstoun ground.
Glasgow deservedly led 15 -10 after Connacht conceded two penalties in the opening four minutes, one of which Scott Wight converted for an early Glasgow lead. Right wing Sean Lamont was given too much room from a skip pass to score a 17th minute try after Keiron Marmion’s clearance was blocked down.
Struggling initially to get to grips with the Warriors physicality at the breakdown. Connacht found it difficult to find any rhythm, compounded by the loss of captain Gavin Duffy in the 26th minute to be replaced by U20 out-half Jack Carty, one of five Connacht players making their first start of the season.
Connacht’s woes continued when full-back Peter Murchie grabbed a second try after they coughed up possession, but a try for Mark McCrea in the 30th minute, after a clever grubber from Carty, gave Connacht belief. Matthew Jarvis added the conversion, and, on the stroke of half time, the out-half added a penalty to close the gap to five points. Although man of the match DTH van Der Merwe bagged the first of his brace just after the break, Connacht’s Nathan White replied almost immediately with his first try for the Irish province after the home side failed to deal with the restart.
Jarvis again added the conversion to close the deficit to 22 -17. It looked set to remain that way until Murchie supplied van der Merwe who raced in for a third try in the 68th minute. Connacht continued to attack and Jarvis had one last chance to secure the bonus point, but on this occasion his penalty kick from inside the Connacht half, dipped just short.
lLate tries from Ryan Jones and Hanno Dirksen saw the form book turned on its head as RaboDirect Pro12 league leaders Scarlets went down 23-16 in a tense Welsh derby to the previously winless Ospreys. The score was locked at 9-9 until the Ospreys came up with their tries in the space of three minutes. Dan Biggar supplied 13 points with the boot. Wales wing George North grabbed a late try to seal a losing bonus point for Scarlets, with Rhys Priestland kicking 11 points, but he missed four penalty attempts as well.
CONNACHT: G Duffy, J Loxton, R Henshaw, D McSharry, M McCrea, M Jarvis, K Marmion, B Wilkinson, A Flavin, N White, G Naoupu, D Gannon, J O’Connor, W Faloon, E McKeon.
Replacements: J Carty for Duffy (26m), M Fafita for McCrea (57m), M Swift for O’Connor (59m), D Buckley for Wilkinson (61m), D Moore for Marion (65m), R Ah You for White.
GLASGOW: P Murchie, S Lamont, A Dunbar, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe, S White, H Pyrgos, R Grant, D Hall, M Low, T Ryder, A Kellock, J Eddie, J Barclay, R Wilson.
Replacements: F Gillies for Hall, A Macdonald for Swinson and R Jackson for White (58m), M Cusack for Low and G Reid for Grant (67m), T Nathan for Home.
Referee: A Rolland (IRFU)