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RaboDirect PRO12: Glasgow secure 20-14 victory over Ulster
- De Luca off in Edinburgh loss
- Connacht claim Cardiff win
- Leinster sink Scarlets
- Zebre denied maiden Pro12 win
- Munster fall flat in Treviso
Glasgow teed-up an intriguing RaboDirect PRO12 run-in as they edged out leaders Ulster 20-14 to slash their advantage at the top of the table to just four points.
Gregor Townsend's men, fresh from last weekend's record-breaking 60-3 mauling of Newport-Gwent Dragons, completed their sixth successive league victory to ensure a thrilling climax to the league campaign.
Yet they flirted with disaster as stand-off Peter Horne missed all five of his goal attempts, including an embarrassing conversion effort late in the second half while stationed dead centre and just 15 yards from the posts.
However, tries from Tim Swinson, Tommy Seymour, Peter Murchie and Nikola Matawalu were enough to hold off a determined Ulster side who could only manage three successful penalties from Ruan Pienaar and Stuart Olding's second-half touchdown.
The victory thrilled a capacity 5,600-strong crowd that included Rangers manager Ally McCoist, but there were worried looks as the hosts' South African wing DTH van der Merwe was stretchered off wearing a neck brace and oxygen mask eight minutes into second half following a clash of heads.
Thankfully the early prognosis from Glasgow's medics was positive and his immediate withdrawal had only been precautionary.
Pienaar kicked Ulster into the lead with a penalty before Swinson claimed the opening try for Glasgow, swallow-diving over the line for his third score in two games after his double against Dragons.
Pienaar edged Ulster back into the lead with another penalty and the scores remained as such until two minutes before the break when Warriors scrum-half Matawalu robbed Pienaar as he waited for the ball to emerge from a scrum and handed over to right wing Seymour for a simple finish.
Just 31 seconds into the second half full-back Murchie chased down Paddy Wallace's kick five meters from his own try line and snaffled up the loose ball to extend Glasgow's lead to nine points.
Pienaar was able to add a third penalty of his own to bring the scores to 15-9 and they finally found their way over the tryline on 67 minutes as Olding made the most of an overload down the right to score in the corner.
Just as it looked set for a tense finish, however, Glasgow struck again as Matawalu collected a stunning offload by substitute Sean Kennedy just as he hit the deck to run in under the posts.
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RaboDirect PRO12 Table
|Saturday 6th September|
|TBC||Munster vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 13th September|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Munster|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Connacht|
|TBC||Ulster vs Zebre|
|TBC||Leinster vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 20th September|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Munster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Connacht vs Leinster|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 27th September|
|TBC||Leinster vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Munster vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Ulster|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Connacht|
|Saturday 4th October|
|TBC||Leinster vs Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com