Pro14: Glasgow Warriors 9-3 Ospreys
|Glasgow Warriors (0) 9|
|Pens: Thomson 3|
Glasgow Warriors leapfrogged Munster at the top of Pro14 Conference A after eking out a try-less win over Ospreys.
Visiting fly-half Sam Davies kicked the only points of a turgid first half.
His opposite number, Brandon Thomson, struck three penalties after the interval to give Glasgow the advantage before Niko Matawalu was sin-binned.
The hosts clung on to win the lowest-scoring fixture of the Pro14 season, but Munster can return to the summit by beating Dragons on Saturday.
Ospreys earn a losing bonus point and remain third, a point ahead of Connacht, who face Cardiff Blues.
Glasgow win error-strewn and 'forgettable' contest
It was a game that will live long in the memory, but only in the sense that those who turned up at Scotstoun will forever recall the couple of hours they spent watching this, a couple of hours they will never get back.
With three consecutive losses in the league, Glasgow needed a win. What they didn't need was incessant rain and a howling wind - and an error count that would have given their fans the shivers every bit as much as the biting cold wouldn't have been in the plan either.
Ospreys, playing with the wind in the opening half, should have been further clear at the break. Their three-point lead was a pretty poor return given that Sam Davies missed two kickable penalties, and converted one, and Tom Habberfield came within one desperate Nick Frisby scrag-tackle from scoring under the posts after Sam Cross blasted through the Glasgow defensive line.
Glasgow were fortunate to escape and were toothless down the other end. The conditions were lousy for sure, but that hardly excused all of the mistakes out there. Glasgow couldn't build pressure because they couldn't control the ball. They gifted possession too easily and created precious little. Like the weather, their performance was dreich.
They had enough possession and territory to score heavily, but not enough nous to break an Ospreys defence that made an amount of tackles but many of them were routine. Scott Baldwin, Lloyd Ashley, James King and Olly Cracknell's tackle numbers will have been sky high, but as intense as the Ospreys pack were they weren't put under the cosh the way visiting teams so often are at Scotstoun.
Glasgow had the comfort of drawing level early in the second half, Thomson's boot doing the job. More Glasgow pressure brought an offside penalty on the hour and Thomson banged that one over, too. His third came soon after, a monster from 55m. As a game, it was no oil painting, but for Glasgow the scoreboard was becoming a little easier on the eye.
The visitors hadn't existed in attack in the second half, but Matawalu's 70th minute yellow card for a deliberate knock-on amid a rare Ospreys venture into Glasgow territory put the Welsh on the front foot.
They won a penalty and put it to touch. Suddenly, things were looking promising for an Ospreys sucker-punch. Luke Morgan took them to the Glasgow five-metre line, whereupon Cracknell became detached from his trolley, blasting in and beyond the ruck and smashing Stafford McDowall to the floor.
Penalty Glasgow. Game Glasgow. A foul-tempered fracas at the end finished it off. In a word: forgettable.
Glasgow: Ruaridh Jackson; Lee Jones, Nick Grigg, Stafford McDowall, Niko Matawalu; Brandon Thomson, Nick Frisby; Alex Allan, Kevin Bryce, Siua Halanukonuka, Tim Swinson, Scott Cummings, Rob Harley (capt), Matt Smith, Adam Ashe.
Replacements: Robbie Smith, Jamie Bhatti, D'Arcy Rae, Tevita Tameilau, Thomas Gordon, Robbie Nairn, Alex Dunbar, Rory Hughes.
Ospreys: Dan Evans; Hanno Dirksen, Johnny Kotze, Cory Allen, Luke Morgan; Sam Davies (capt), Tom Habberfield; Gareth Thomas, Scott Baldwin, Tom Botha, Lloyd Ashley, James King, Olly Cracknell, Sam Cross, Rob McCusker.
Replacements: Scott Otten, Rowan Jenkins, Gheorghe Gajion, Will Griffiths, Will Jones, Matthew Aubrey, Luke Price, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler.
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
AR1: Dave Sutherland (SRU), AR2: Rob Sullivan (IRFU)
TMO: Charles Samson (SRU)