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Valiant Glasgow Warriors battle back to down Connacht

Glasgow Warriors powered to a bonus point victory over Connacht to keep their hopes of a top four finish in the Guinness PRO12 alive.

The visitors and defending champions were ahead at the break thanks to tries from Niyi Adeolokun and John Muldoon.

But a roaring second-half performance from the Warriors sealed an entertaining win as Finn Russell and man of the match Ali Price went over to add to Corey Flynn’s first-half score.

And there was still time – despite losing Tim Swinson to a red card for a high tackle – for the hosts to grab an all-important fourth as Sean Lamont burst over at the death to leave them ten points behind fourth-placed Ulster in the standings.

Glasgow were sixth in the Guinness PRO12 at start of play, and knew any more slip-ups could be costly in their quest for a top-four place.

But it was the visitors who flew out of the blocks and had all the early pressure. They made it count through wing Adeolokun, after four minutes, before Glasgow had even touched the ball.

However, the home side hit back immediately, with the returning Russell kicking a penalty shortly after the restart.

And Gregor Townsend’s men got their noses in front moments later when Flynn crashed over, Russell adding the extras.

But Connacht hit back through a Craig Ronaldson penalty, before John Muldoon crossed the white line in the left corner.

Ronaldson landed a difficult kick to make it 15-10, before Russell added another three points from the tee to cap off a breathless first half.

The visitors landed the first blow of the second period through a Ronaldson penalty after Glasgow failed to release, but the home side seized the game by the scruff of the neck after that.

The impressive Russell crossed immediately after the restart, and stepped up to convert his own score and put the home side into the lead.

And Connacht were left reeling on 53 minutes when Jack Carty was sin-binned for a high tackle.

Warriors won a penalty in front of the posts and opted for a scrum, which they powered back over the Connacht line and allowed Price to squirm over, with Russell adding the extras.

Despite being a man down, Connacht rallied and thought they had scored through Adeolokun in the right corner, only to be denied by TMO after a superb Price tackle bundled the wing into touch.

But Glasgow were reduced to 14 men 15 minutes from time when Tim Swinson was dismissed for a swinging arm at the ruck on Dave Heffernan in the build up to Adeolokun’s effort, and Ronaldson kicked the resulting penalty to close the gap to six points.

But Connacht could not capitalise on their numerical advantage, and Glasgow stretched their lead back to nine through Peter Horne’s penalty, before John Cooney cancelled this out for Connacht.

And veteran wing Lamont powered over late on to seal a dramatic win for Townsend’s men.

Guinness PRO12 Final 2017, 27th May, Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Ticket Information: Fans can still avail of an exclusive number of €35 tickets. Book via www.ticketmaster.ie. Further information: www.pro12rugby.com/final

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