The Irish province came close to earning a losing bonus point after attempting a late fightback in a tie that had swung away from them after the break.
Leading 22-12 early in the second-half Leinster fell asleep at the wheel and allowed Glasgow wing Tommy Seymour to score twice under the posts in the space of five minutes. Seymour went on to complete a second-half hat-trick and left the visitors with plenty of food for thought.
“It was very disappointing to lose after leading at half-time. It was just that short period in the second-half that let us down. Inaccuracies came into our game,” admitted the Leinster skipper Luke McGrath.
He added : “It was difficult for us after gifting two tries in the second-half. We just had to regroup It’s going to be tough to look at that on the video. We had a great bench coming on and everyone gave it 100%. Unfortunately, the bonus point didn’t come. Glasgow are a great side and they showed their class. We just made a few little errors and they pounced on them. But there were a lot of positives today. We showed better width. We showed more variety. Our off-loading was done well in the first half but things went a bit downhill in the second-half.” insisted the Leinster scrum-half.
Another positive for Leinster was the continued good form of the young outside half Joey Carbery, who, aside from pulling the strings behind the scrum, contributed 10 points with his goal kicking. However the 2015 Ireland U20 cap wouldn’t enjoy the video review of his error that gave Seymour an intercept try.
Glasgow have replaced their often-muddy, flooding-prone old pitch with a thoroughly modern playing surface for the new season, and it staged an engrossing match. Man of the match Seymour opened the scoring with a try but Leinster replied quickly with a break by Jordi Murphy and then rapidly recycled ball to give Rob Kearney a try in the corner, converted from the touchline by Carbery.
The fast pitch invited an immediate reply and Glasgow duly delivered, spraying the ball to right and left before the forwards hammered at the line eventually producing a try for Tim Swinson, the extras supplied by Henry Pyrgos. Glasgow were reduced to 14 men after wing Leonardo Sarto was binned and in his absence Leinster struck with a try. Josh van der Flier spotted space at the ruck that allowed the back row to touch down under the posts leaving Carbery with the simplest of conversion kicks.
Carbery was the architect of Leinster’s third try by Zane Kirchner with a skilfully executed cross kick which gave the visitors a 19-12 interval advantage.
Then two minutes into the second-half a Carbery penalty increased Leinster’s lead to ten points. All looked good for Leinster until Carbery’s pass was intercepted by Seymour, who then delivered a double blow after mesmerising the defence with clever footwork to score under the posts, Pyrgos converting both tries for a 26-22 lead.
Carbery again brought Leinster back into the game with his second penalty goal but seven minutes from full-time the Warriors produced choice ball and again it was that man Seymour who benefited, the winger taking an inside pass before outpacing the defence to touch down for his fourth and his side’s winning try. The conversion by Pyrgos denied Leinster a bonus point and makes their return to Scotland such a vital affair.
Tries: Seymour (4), Swinson; Cons: Pyrgos (4).
Tries: R Kearney, Van der Flier, Kirchner; Cons: Carbery (2); Pens: Carbery (2).
S Hogg; L Sarto, A Dunbar, S Johnson, T Seymour; P Horne, H Pyrgos; G Reid (A Allan 68), F Brown (C Flynn 68), S Puafis i (Z Fagerson 48), T Swinson (T Uanivi 76), J Gray, R Harley, S Favaro (L Wynn 68), R Wilson.
R Kearney (R O’Loughlin 58); Z Kirchner, G Ringrose, N Reid, D Kearney; J Carbery (C Marsh 76), L McGrath (J Gibson-Park 62); C Healy (P Dooley 58), J Tracy (B Byrne 58), M Bent (T Furlong 46), M McCarthy, R Molony (M Kearney 58), D Leavy (D Ryan 70), J van der Flier, J Murph.