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Glasgow knocked out of the European Challenge Cup by Lyon

By PA
(Photo by Chris Lishman/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Glasgow bowed out of the European Challenge Cup at the quarter-final stage after they were beaten 35-27 by Lyon in France.

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The French side will host Wasps in the last four next weekend after tries from Baptiste Couilloud, Romain Taofifenua, and a brace from Georgian wing Davit Niniashvili saw them fight back from 27-13 down to win. Leo Berdeu, and Jean-Marc Doussain also kicked 18 points between them.

Josh McKay and Cole Forbes scored tries for Glasgow with Ross Thompson kicking 10 points.

Glasgow scored the first try against the run of play when McKay hacked the ball forward from just outside his 22 and Ali Price got a toe on the ball ahead of Toby Arnold which allowed McKay to gather and score.

Thompson added the extras before Berdeu knocked over his second penalty to make it 7-6 to the visitors.

Glasgow’s back-line were beginning to find holes in the Lyon defence, which forced the French club to concede numerous penalties, with Thompson knocking over two to extend the Warriors’ lead.

It took some sharp thinking from Couilloud for Lyon to breach Glasgow’s defence. The Warriors were penalised five metres from their own try line, but instead of taking the easy option of three points Couilloud caught the visitors napping by taking a quickly taken penalty to score his 13th try of the season.

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The Scottish club responded on the stroke of half-time with some tremendous passing from Thompson before McKay put Forbes over for a try at the far left-hand corner. Thompson added the extras to give Glasgow a 20-13 lead at the interval.

The visitors turned down two kickable penalties and their bravery got rewarded as they were awarded a penalty try due to Lyon illegally sacking their driving lineout, with outside-half Berdeu sin-binned for his part in collapsing the drive.

But it proved to be Glasgow’s last points of the game. Their numerical advantage only lasted two minutes with prop Jamie Bhatti sent to the sin bin for almost the exact same action as Berdeu.

And Lyon made them pay when giant France lock Taofifenua powered over from short range with Doussain converting.

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The momentum had swung in Lyon’s favour, and they cut Glasgow’s lead to a mere point when Josua Tuisova and Pierre-Louis Barassi combined to release teenage wing Niniashvili who ran in from 45 metres out.

Berdeu kicked Lyon into the lead with 10 minutes remaining, with their pack beginning to dominate Glasgow physically.

And the hosts put the result beyond doubt with a lovely chip over the top from Doussain gathered by Niniashvili to score.

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Flankly 10 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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