Disputed video verdict ends Glasgow Euro campaign

Glasgow Warriors 17 Saracens 21

Glasgow Warriors 17 Saracens 21

Glasgow's European dream was ended by Saracens and a contentious video verdict at wind-lashed Firhill tonight.

The Warriors needed a convincing win to keep alive their quest to reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals for the first time.

They could not find an answer to the pace, power and guile of the English visitors when it mattered most, however.

There was no way back after Saracens, who now have a home tie in the last eight, were awarded a highly dubious try by television judge Brian Fitzgerald.

Glasgow had been rocked by the late withdrawal of former All Blacks hero Daryl Gibson, who failed to respond to treatment for a knee problem, and his place at centre was taken by Scott Barrow.

They made shaky start with scrum-half Sam Pinder spilling the kick-off from Glen Jackson but they recovered quickly to set up the first clear-cut chance.

Recalled winger Hefin O'Hare was first to reach his own chip only to put a foot over the touchline a split second before he grounded the ball.

Within seconds, however, the Warriors found themselves behind.

The defence - O'Hare in particular - dithered allowing Richard Haughton to sneak in to win the race to reach Jackson's lob as it trundled across the line.

Irish World Cup referee Alan Lewis awarded the try on the say-so of video assistant Fitzgerald - despite compelling evidence the ball was marginally out of play.

There was then almost another disastrous moment for the hosts as Sarries skipper Neil de Kock broke through a midfield gap but prop Moray Low dashed to the rescue with a brilliant last-gasp tackle.

There was a further scare for Glasgow when lock Opeta Palepoi went down with a leg injury but he was able to resume after lengthy treatment.

Dan Parks eased the jitters two minutes later as he slotted a penalty from in front of the posts.

Jackson restored his side's advantage when Glasgow were guilty of holding on to the ball in contact.

The penalty ping-pong continued at the other end when Parks struck again from close range.

Warriors continued to have the better of the possession battle but Jackson added his second goal before the break to give his team more breathing space.

The half ended in dramatic fashion as first Parks completed his penalty treble, then Sarries pounced for a second try as Jackson plucked Johnnie Beattie's pass out of the air for a simple interception score which he converted to open up a nine-point gap.

Haughton burst back into the contest with a run over the line after latching on to a Brent Russell feed and this time the video decision rightly went in favour of the home troops as Parks prevented the touchdown.

Glasgow refused to buckle and the tie was back in the balance thanks to a well-worked try by Bernie Stortoni.

Kevin Tkachuk and Thom Evans combined slickly to create the space and time for the Argentinian to finish in style.

Their prospects of a stunning fightback were dashed when Jackson kicked another penalty - though Parks added to his tally five minutes from time to salvage a consolation bonus point.

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