AFTER last week’s Heineken Cup heroics, Leinster slumped to Magners League defeat to Glasgow Warriors at a breezy Firhill last night in a match that produced nine penalty goals and not a single try.
“This was a disappointing team performance,” said Leinster coach Michael Cheika, “Last week’s result in the Heineken Cup doesn’t matter in this competition. We never really put ourselves in a position to win.”
Leinster could hardly have wished for a worse start; failure to take the kick-off ball and then conceding a penalty award which Parks converted into three points with only 36 seconds showing on the clock.
The visitors were given a chance to respond in kind, and from his first attempt at goal, Felipe Contepomi made no mistake to level the scores.
But Glasgow made no mistake with their next opportunity after Devin Toner had infringed at a line-out, allowing Parks to land his second goal.
Leinster came close to hitting back after Cian Healy used his pace to make ground up the right touchline before off-loading to Contepomi, only for the centre to be tracked down.
At the other end Glasgow added to their points with a third successful kick at goal by Parks after Leinster had been penalised for using hands in the ruck.
Leinster’s propensity to win the ball illegally was becoming expensive as Jamie Heaslip was shown the yellow card and Parks popped over a simple short range kick to put the Warriors ahead by 12-3. It seemed Leinster might claw back three points after Glasgow were penalised for a straight arm tackle but Contepomi hooked his kick, leaving the visitors trailing 12-3 at the interval.
Leinster looked the more dynamic at the beginning of the second half but despite some good handling moves and clever positional kicking from Jonathan Sexton it was left the boot of Contepomi to supply the points with his second penalty goal.
The visitors, beginning to dominate possession, were given a further opportunity to eat into Glasgow’s lead from a penalty award following clean line-out possession and swift delivery by Malcolm O’Kelly. From 45 metres Contepomi narrowed the gap to just three points.
After turning over ball at a ruck, Leinster were penalised giving Parks his fifth goal of the match, but almost immediately Glasgow’s number eight Johnnie Beattie went blatantly off side at the breakdown to allow Contepomi reply in kind.
With the game delicately poised Glasgow worked a move off the back of a scrum that ended with Leinster conceding a penalty. Parks, five metres in from the touchline, missed his kick.
Almost immediately Leinster won a penalty allowing Rob Kearney to kick the ball down-field for a line-out on the Glasgow 22m line. From the throw-on Leinster won good possession but their attack was met with stiff resistance as Leinster’s challenge petered out.
Glasgow scorers: Pens: Parks 5.
GLASGOW: Stortoni, Faatau, M. Evans, Morrison, T. Evans, Parks, McMillan, Tckachuk, Milligan, Kalman, Turner, Kellock, Brown, Barclay, Beattie.
Replacements: O’Hare for Faatau (74), Henderson for Morrison (62), McArthur for Milligan (70), Low for Kalman (40), Barker for Kellock (41).
Leinster scorers: Pens: Contepomi 4.
LEINSTER: Dempsey, Horgan, Fitzgerald, Contepomi, Kearney, Sexton, Whitaker, Healy, Fogarty, Wright, Toner, O’Kelly, Elsom, Jennings, Heaslip.
Replacements: van der Linde for Healy (50), Blaney for Fogarty (65), O’Brien for Jennings (50).
Ref: Gwynn Morris (Swansea).
Referee: G Morris (Wales).
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