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Glasgow Warriors continue RaboDirect PRO12 play-off charge

Glasgow Warriors took a huge step towards booking up their RaboDirect PRO12 play-off spot by completing a first season’s double over Ulster since 2010 with a 27-9 win.

The Warriors looked destined to trail at the break after Ulster’s Paddy Jackson slotted three penalties to one from Finn Russell but Sean Maitland crossed at the last for a converted score to establish a 10-9 lead.

And the match was transformed in the space of ten minutes after the break with Sean Doyle’s yellow card seeing 14-man Ulster concede five points to the boot of Russell and a try to Seymour.

From then Ulster hammered on the door but they failed to make up the ground and Glasgow Warriors broke clear near the end for Mark Bennett to cross and rubber-stamp the win.

Maitland fired the first warning shot as he broke towards the Ulster 22 but it was the visitors who had the first attempt at goal with Jackson’s penalty drifting wide.

Glasgow fly-half Russell showed Jackson how it should be done with the opening points on nine minutes.

The Ulster fly-half made amends on 20 minutes when a period of possession saw them rewarded with a penalty that levelled the scores.

Jackson slotted his second penalty of the match five minutes later and the momentum truly swung Ulster’s way when Ryan Wilson was sin-binned and the fly-half kicked the visitors 9-3 ahead.

Jackson was given the chance to open up a nine-point gap on 30 minutes but failed with his attempt.

The misses were to cost Ulster dear when Glasgow crossed for the first try of the match on the stroke of half-time.

Russell was again at the heart of it and he off-loaded the ball to meet Maitland’s perfectly-timed run for the Scotland wing to burst over.

Russell picked up after the restart where he had left off with another penalty extending Glasgow’s lead to 13-9 with Ulster also seeing flanker Doyle sent to the bin.

The Warriors were awarded two penalties in quick succession and kicked to the corner on both occasions with the second lineout leading to a drive that saw Tommy Seymour go over for his third try in two seasons against his old club.

Russell kicked a fine conversion from the left touchline to extend Glasgow’s lead to 20-9.

Nick Williams thought he had scored a try for Ulster but he was adjudged to have been held up over the line.

After holding out on their own line for sustained periods of pressure, Glasgow broke and centre Bennett stretched out to score a vital try even though the ball appeared to slip from his hand.

Russell converted to stretch the lead to 27-9 to complete a third successive victory over Ulster, who, despite denying their hosts a bonus point, are now sweating on their own place in the play-offs.

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