Glasgow and Saracens: Past meetings (part 2)

For part 1 of this look back at when Glasgow and Saracens were regular adversaries during the mid-2000s click here.

Vicarage Road part 2 – Judgement Day

2006/07 Challenge Cup Round quarter final
1 April 2007 at Vicarage Road (report)

Saracens 23
Tries: Dan Scarborough, Kameli Ratovou
Conversions: Glen Jackson (2)
Penalties: Glen Jackson (3)

Glasgow Warriors 19
Tries: Rory Lamont
Conversions: Dan Parks
Penalties: Dan Parks (4)

Of all Glasgow’s trips to Watford this was the one that saw them push Saracens the hardest. The game sat in the balance with just 4 points between the sides for the entire final quarter. The home side gave nothing away though and the Warriors couldn’t find that moment of magic to create a winning score.

With 2 recent encounters behind them there was always likely to be a bit of niggle between the teams. John Barclay demonstrated the Warrior mindset, taking on English rugby royalty in the shape of Richard Hill during a scrap on the floor that would see both players sin binned (the only yellow card the saintly Hill received in 167 matches for Saracens, stat fans). The game also saw Dan Parks pass 50 points scored against Sarries – he would end up with a total of 80 by the end of the clubs’ series of fixtures.

Vicarage Road part 3 – Return of the Jedi *

2007/08 Heineken Cup Round 1
19 January 2007 at Hughenden (report)

Saracens 33
Tries: Hugh Vyvyan, Rodd Penney, Ben Skirving, Kameli Ratuvou
Conversions: Glen Jackson (2)
Penalties: Glen Jackson (3)

Glasgow Warriors 31
Tries: John Barclay, Hefin O’Hare, Al Kellock
Conversions: Dan Parks (2)
Penalties: Dan Parks (4)

Glasgow returned to the Heineken Cup, one of the early tangible signs of their progress under Sean Lineen. There was still an element of being slightly overwhelmed by being back in the big time though as Saracens raced to a 30-14 lead (and the bonus point) before the Warriors finally showed what they were capable of late on to give their hosts some nervous moments.

The match, and in particular the squads, demonstrated some of the other links between the sides. After playing (and scoring) for Glasgow in the previous season’s clash at Vicarage Road, Francisco Leonelli was at full back for Saracens; future Warrior, Tom Ryder was on the bench for the home side; and future Sarrie, Kelly Brown started at 6 for the visitors.

Glen Jackson scored his 50th point against Glasgow, demonstrating that he enjoyed screwing over Scottish sides long before he blew the final whistle with time still on the clock at the denouement of Scotland v Wales in 2015!

Firhill for thrills

2007/08 Heineken Cup Round 6
18 January 2008 at Firhill (report)

Glasgow Warriors 17
Tries: Bernardo Stortoni
Penalties: Dan Parks (4)

Saracens 21
Tries: Richard Haughton, Glen Jackson
Conversions: Glen Jackson
Penalties: Glen Jackson (3)

The fifth meeting between the two clubs in less than 14 months turned into one of the most anticipated in Glasgow’s history. Qualification for the quarter finals was on the line (although made much harder by losing at the death in Biarritz in Round 5) meaning far more media attention than normal. There were even the giddy heights of Reporting Scotland going live to the ground in the build-up.

With a then record crowd packing into Firhill’s Jackie Husband Stand there was real excitement in the air. Unfortunately the team hadn’t read the script, damping down enthusiasm by coughing up a giveaway try with just 4 minutes on the clock. Future referee Richard Haughton taking advantage after Hefin O’Hare failed to touch the ball down in his own in goal. Not content with that another future ref, Glen Jackson, was handed a gift-wrapped try shortly before half-time. Johnnie Beattie was having one of his off nights (after back to back Man of the Match awards against Biarritz) and fired an interception straight to the Sarries’ number 10.

As so many times in the history of this fixture Glasgow came back into the match and fought valiantly to the end. There was just too much ground to make up though and they couldn’t find another score in a desperate final five minutes. Saracens progressed as group winners and the Warriors were left to wait 10 long years before finally making it to the quarter finals.

* Factually inaccurate to fit the theme! This was actually James Eddie’s first European game.

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