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Glasgow Warriors claim tenth straight victory with URC win over Ulster

By PA
Jack Dempsey fends the defence.Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images

Glasgow Warriors extended their unbeaten streak in all competitions to 10 matches with a hard-fought 17-11 BKT United Rugby Championship victory over Ulster at Scotstoun.

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A late John Cooney penalty secured a losing point for Ulster to keep them a point ahead of the Warriors in the table.

Sione Vailanu went over midway through the first half for Glasgow but a try from Harry Sheridan and Nathan Doak’s penalty ensured the visitors went into the break 8-5 up.

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Jack Dempsey and Fraser Brown went over late in the second half to put the hosts in control before Cooney’s late penalty ensured Ulster left with something.

The hosts set out their stall early on, winning back possession straight from kick-off and sending a kickable penalty to touch as they set up camp in Ulster’s 22.

But they could not find a way past Ulster’s determined defence and a Vailanu knock-on allowed the visitors to clear the danger.

Ulster threatened when a clever cross-kick from Billy Burns nearly caught the Warriors out, but the bounce did not go Jacob Stockwell’s way.

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The deadlock was eventually broken on 17 minutes when Glasgow kicked another penalty to the corner, Scott Cummings claimed the line-out and Valianu got the downward pressure after the maul had rumbled over the line.

Tom Jordan missed the touchline conversion, and Ulster had a chance to bounce right back with a similar try to the one they had just conceded, but an Alan O’Connor offside let the Warriors off the hook.

The visitors kept building pressure, helped by a series of penalties conceded by Glasgow, and the dam eventually broke just before the half hour make when Sheridan rumbled over from close range.

Ulster continued to dominate during the final 10 minutes of the first half, but the hosts stood firm, until the last play of the opening period when a high challenge by Jonny Matthews on Burns allowed Doak to kick a long-range penalty.

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After a cagey start to the second half, the Warriors eventually got on top after bringing some international experience off the bench in the shape of Jamie Bhatti, Brown, Simon Berghan and Ali Price.

And it was another Scotland squad member who scored the points which put the hosts back into the driving seat, with Dempsey powering over from another clever line-out move.

That was the decisive moment in the match, with Warriors taking a strangle-hold, and they stretched themselves further ahead on 75 minutes when Brown bustled over following another powerful line-out maul.

Duncan Weir nailed the conversion from wide on the left for good measure before Cooney put over his late penalty.

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