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Glasgow URC play-off bid could go down to Edinburgh showdown after loss to Bulls

By PA
PA

Glasgow’s United Rugby Championship play-off hopes could go down to a season-ending clash with Scottish rivals Edinburgh following a 29-17 defeat to the Bulls in Pretoria.

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A win would have earned Warriors a place in the quarter-finals with a game to spare, but their failure to stretch their advantage over the ninth-placed Scarlets means they remain at risk of being caught.

The Scarlets visit the Ospreys on Saturday and a defeat for the men from Llanelli – assuming they do not collect two bonus points in the process – would send Glasgow through.

However, should Dwayne Peel’s side, who currently trail Warriors by seven points, end the weekend within five of the Scottish club, then Glasgow’s involvement in the knockouts would go down to the final round.

Danny Wilson’s men took the lead through a penalty try at Loftus Versfeld but conceded scores through Zak Burger, Madosh Tambwe, Walt Steenkamp and Cyle Brink before Ollie Smith added a late consolation. The Bulls are now all but assured of their place in the last eight.

Glasgow put their hosts under early pressure and were rewarded for their decision to kick for the corner when the collapsing of a line-out maul led to a penalty try, while the Bulls had Elrigh Louw sin-binned.

The home side emerged from Louw’s 10 minutes on the sidelines back on level terms, with Burger having applied the finish after Ruan Nortje put the Bulls on the Glasgow line.

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Morne Steyn added the extras and pulled the Bulls level for a second time after Duncan Weir had nudged Glasgow back in front from the tee.

Veteran fly-half Steyn then missed a relatively straightforward attempt, but the Bulls moved in front for the first time before the break.

An accumulation of penalties led to Glasgow prop Zander Fagerson being yellow-carded as the clock reached 40, and the Bulls immediately took advantage as an excellent team move ended with Tambwe going over on the right wing. Steyn rediscovered his range to make it 17-10 at the interval.

Tambwe was denied a second try by a tight offside call 11 minutes into the second half, but the Bulls soon kicked on and claimed a bonus point as Steenkamp and Brink both powered over. Steyn converted Steenkamp’s effort before replacement Chris Smith hit a post following the latter touchdown.

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Ollie Smith crossed for Glasgow in the last 10 minutes, converted by Ross Thompson, but it was not enough to avoid leaving South Africa empty-handed, with the full-back later seeing a try ruled out for a forward pass.

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