Fardy and Leinster go back-to-back in Pro14

International
AFP
by AFP

Scott Fardy's Leinster defended their Pro14 title on Saturday with a hard fought 18-15 victory over Glasgow, denying Scotland star Stuart Hogg a victorious farewell after nine years at the club.

Aussie Fardy started in the second row in what was an intense afternoon of rugby.

It was a miserable day all round for 26-year-old full-back Hogg.

His knocked down clearance led to Leinster's first try and he exited 15 minutes before full-time after being knocked cold by Leinster opposite number Rob Kearney.

Kearney earned a 10-minute spell in the sin-bin from referee Nigel Owens, though, it could just as easily have been a red card having taken Hogg out in mid-air.


"It was an incredibly tough final," Leinster centre Robbie Henshaw told BBC Radio after the final at Celtic's football ground.

"It was almost like a home game for Glasgow, so to come out on the winning side is unbelievable.

"The experience over in Newcastle (losing to Saracens in the Champions Cup final) definitely helped us get the win today."

Glasgow -- who came into the match on the back of nine successive wins in the competition -- had the majority of the 46,000 crowd on their feet early on when they took the lead.

Matt Fagerson touched down -- Adam Hastings converting -- but their joy was not to last long as Leinster hit back immediately.

Hogg's clearance kick was charged down by Garry Ringrose who ran on to score the try -- Johnny Sexton failed to convert.

Hastings extended Glasgow's lead to 10-5 with a penalty but the champions took the lead for the first time when Sexton converted a try by veteran prop Cian Healy -- a nice way for the 31-year-old to celebrate signing a new two-year contract.

Two further penalties from Sexton -- one in the second half after Kyle Steyn had been sin-binned as Leinster turned on the pressure -- left Glasgow requiring two scores. 

A further blow to Glasgow followed with the departure of Hogg -- who joins Exeter Chiefs next season -- even if it gave them a one-man advantage with Kearney off.

"It's really clumsy from Rob but you can see he's going for the ball," Leinster head coach Leo Cullen told Premier Sports.

The Scottish side pulled to within three points when hooker Grant Stewart scored in the corner with five minutes remaining -- Hastings, though, missed the tough conversion.

However, hard as Glasgow pushed the Leinster defence held firm to give them a consolation prize for losing their European crown to Saracens a fortnight ago.

"That's a tough one to take in front of our home fans," Glasgow centre Pete Horne told BBC Radio.

"It's so frustrating. In that last half hour we died trying. We're not sitting here thinking we didn't fire any shots. It's a sore one."

RESULT

Glasgow 15

Tries: Fagerson, Stewart

Cons: Hastings

Pens: Hastings

Yellow cards: Steyn (49')

Leinster 18

Tries: Ringrose, Healy

Cons: Sexton

Pens: Sexton 2

Yellow Cards: Kearney (65')