Monday, November 12, 2007

Sarries Squeak Past Glasgow

It all seemed to be going so well as Heineken Cup rugby returned to Watford again.

Despite some early pressure from Glasgow, Saracens' Hugh Vyvyan crossed the line in under 10 minutes, and they began to turn the screws, adding another two before half time, from Rodd Penney and Ben Skirving.

But Glasgow' John Barclay clawed one back, and Dan Parks kept lining up the penalties, so Glasgow were only 25-11 down at the break.

[Dan Parks lines up another shot at goal, this time from inside is own half]

Things started to go down hill in the second half. Sarries defence lots its shape, and the fans were in for a nailbiting time as the clock ticked down. Kameli Ratuvou [left] crossed from a run up the wing, to bring up Saracens' 4th try, so a bonus point was at least in the bag. But then Hefin O'Hare and Ally Kellock scored a couple of converted tries after some sloppy defence.

It was only Glen Jackson's 79th minute penalty that saved the day, so the Men In Black went back into the dressing room 2 points up rather than 1 point down, but they were still kicking themselves for not being more clinical.

[Hugh Vyvyan rallies the forwards during a break in play]

Alan Gaffney is rightly spitting feathers about it. After all, even though they are top of Pool 4 at the end of round 1, they are away to Biarritz next week, which won't be an easy task at all, especially if the defence leaks tries like they did on Sunday.

Cencus Johnston had another great game, and the scrum was still pretty strong, which will be important next week. And the other prop, Kevin "Po Po" Yates was seen sporting a rather fetching scrum cap for much of the game, which is not his usual style. Either he's worried about getting Cauliflower Ears all of a sudden, or the medics were trying to hold on a dressing from a bash to the head early on!

[Yatesy's hat in evidence as Gordon Ross has a go at John Beattie]

You can see the rest of my photos from Sunday's game here.

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