RaboDirect PRO12: Glasgow finish third after beating Connacht 20-3
Last Updated: 03/05/13 10:29pm
DTH van der Merwe: Record-breaking try for Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow had to settle for third place in the final RaboDirect PRO12 table despite ending their regular season with a 20-3 victory over Connacht at a wet and windy Galway Sportsground.
The Scottish side will now return to Ireland next Saturday to take on Leinster at the RDS in the semi-finals of the play-offs.
Dan Parks saw an early penalty attempt for the hosts blown off target by the strong wind, but Ruaridh Jackson used it to his advantage at the other end when he landed a long-range drop goal via the post in the 12th minute.
Glasgow extended their advantage four minutes later as good work by the forwards set up DTH van der Merwe for a touchdown in the corner, the Canadian wing becoming the club's record tryscorer in the process.
The Warriors were reduced to 14 men when Jon Welsh was sent to the sin-bin but Connacht were unable to take advantage and only some sloppy handling from Van der Merwe prevented him from scoring a second try.
Parks finally put the home side on the scoreboard with a penalty but it was the visitors who finished the half on the front foot without being able to break through the home defence as they led 10-3 at the interval.
Jackson had a chance to restore Glasgow's 10-point cushion shortly after the restart but he also struggled against the wind as his penalty attempt sailed miles wide.
Connacht scrum-half Johnny O'Connor left the field to warm applause on his farewell appearance as both sides made changes and it was the arrival of Glasgow's Lions duo Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland that made the difference.
Hogg, operating at fly-half where he could feature for the Lions, landed a long-range penalty attempt before Maitland scored the visitors' second try in the right-hand corner following a break by fellow replacement Nikola Matawalu.
Hogg was once again on target with the conversion from the touchline but Glasgow were unable to extend their lead despite dominating the closing stages, Matawalu going closest when he dropped the ball as he attempted to touch down.