Unsurprisingly Adam Hastings’ stunning pass off his left hand to put Tommy Seymour away for a try at the RDS against Leinster has been getting a lot of attention.
Adam’s intervention was just the culmination of a two minute burst of repeated phases though. A passage of play which showcased the Glasgow pack’s ability to front up to their hosts’ power in defence. Here then is On Top Of The Moon’s analysis of everything that made the score possible.
Having just been pegged back by a Rob Kearney try the Warriors needed a reaction as the seconds ticked away towards half-time. As Stuart Hogg kicked off to restart the game the time on the clock was 37.07. Exactly 2 minutes and 19 phases later Tommy Seymour would touch the ball down to allow Glasgow to go into the break with the lead.
Starting with Scott Cummings’s recovery of the kick-off there were 19 carries; 18 rucks and 18 passes as everyone bar Niko Matawalu managed some direct involvement in the play (click for large version):
The Warriors’ locks were particularly prominent in taking the ball up, accounting for 7 of the team’s carries in this phase. The workload was spread though with everyone in the pack bar Rob Harley getting their hands on the ball.
Adam Hastings’ first intervention from the backs was pretty significant. The snake-hipped stand off eased his way through a gap which then allowed his forwards to set up camp in the Leinster 22.
Rob Harley may not have touched the ball but his work around the breakdown was at least as crucial as any carry in maintaining the Warriors’ possession and progress. He was the first man to 4 rucks and second to 2 others, snuffing out the likes of Sean O’Brien as they looked to get their hands on the ball.
Zander Fagerson was the other member of the pack whose primary role was hitting rucks in this passage of play. Overall though everyone contributed and even a couple of backs (Kyle Steyn and Peter Horne) got themselves in and over the breakdown to protect the burgeoning attack.
Kicks / passes
It started with well flighted kick-off from Stuart Hogg and ended with an even more perfectly flighted pass from Adam Hastings. In between Ali Price was at the heart of everything, acting as primary decision maker on when to send the forwards into action or to look to release the backs.
Fraser Brown’s contribution to the final phase was a tidy one too, with the classic out the back pass giving Adam Hastings the time and space to weigh up his options before putting Tommy Seymour into space.
- This score equalled the most phases for a try scored by Glasgow in this season’s PRO14 (matching Robbie Nairn’s first versus Connacht at Scotstoun).
- Tommy Seymour had also got on the end of an 18-phase drive just before half-time the week before against Ulster.
- Just the second try in the league this season which started with recovering their own kick-off (the other was Adam Hastings very early score against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein).
- It was the 199th try of the Davie Rennie era – the 200th would follow in the second half when Matt Fagerson rumbled over at the back of a maul.
When the ball came out for the final phase Leinster’s shape looks reasonable (6 defenders to their left at the ruck) but the speed of the previous two breakdowns had just narrowed them a little bit. Glasgow split their line and with Stuart Hogg drawing attention on the left, Adam Hastings had room to work on the right.
As Adam released the ball he knew he had Dave Kearney flat-footed. The vision to float the ball into space where only his teammate could catch it was remarkable. Don’t underestimate Tommy Seymour either who was on exactly the same page as his stand off and raced towards where the ball would be delivered on a plate.
With the playoffs looming Glasgow have been demonstrating the kind of hard edge to their driving play through the forwards that they will need to take on the big guns in knock-out rugby.
They’ve also shown the focus and intensity that comes in those key periods around half-time. As ever with the Warriors (and any Dave Rennie coached side) it’s all topped off with the kind of skill levels that can unpick even the best defence if the groundwork has been laid correctly.
This is a potent cocktail in attack. If Glasgow’s big guns are out and firing for the remaining matches in this campaign it could well propel them to the PRO14 Grand Final at Parkhead on the 25th of May and a shot at their second league title.