ONE player sent off, another yellow-carded. One try disallowed, two given away all too cheaply. And a key player, Huw Jones, lost to injury midway through the first half after threatening to be the difference between the teams.

So many things went wrong for Glasgow Warriors against Montpellier on Friday night that the wonder was they only lost 26-21. They were in contention right until the end of the Challenge Cup tie at the GGL Stadium, and if a couple of marginal decisions had gone the other way it would have been them, not the home team, going through to the quarter-finals.

But marginal decisions invariably decide games at this level. And when too many marginal decisions are going against you, it is counter-productive to ascribe a defeat to bad luck.

The fact is that Montpellier deserved to win this last-16 tie. They defended better, conceding points only to five penalties from Adam Hastings and two from Ross Thompson, his late replacement. They attacked more fruitfully, scoring tries either side of half-time to go from 6-9 down to 20-9 ahead. And, once they had established that lead, they maintained a far steadier grip on it than Glasgow had managed when they were in front.

Even so, as the Warriors look ahead to two blank weekends before the Rainbow Cup starts, they can reflect on a performance which had a lot to like about it. But, as Ali Price insisted, they also need to spend time addressing those lingering problems, with indiscipline being top of the list.

“We didn’t win the kicking battle that we wanted to, and our discipline again wasn’t good enough,” the scrum-half said after TJ Ioane was sent off and Nick Grigg was sin-binned late in the game. “That was the difference between the teams.

“We knew for the first 20 minutes it was going to be important in getting out and matching their start, and we definitely did that. It was penalty for penalty.

“And then we conceded a couple of soft tries. And after that when we were getting back into the game we were giving away something else cheap. That allowed them to keep that five to eight-point gap ahead of us. We were chasing the game a bit, but this feels like one that got away from us.

“It would have been brilliant to have come away with a dogged win and know that we would be playing a quarter-final at Scotstoun against Treviso or Agen. Then you’re looking potentially at semi-final rugby, which was obviously the goal, so we’re disappointed.”

Ioane was sent off for a shoulder-to-head tackle which might have only been a yellow card had it been a few inches lower. But it was a needless action, nonetheless, one which shows the on-loan forward has learned nothing from being sent to the sin bin twice over the past couple of months.

“Look, TJ was obviously gutted,” Price said in his team-mate’s defence. “No-one goes out there to get a red card. It’s something he will need to look at in terms of his technique and height. We speak about playing on the edge, but we were all in agreement that it was a red card.

“But it wasn’t just that. We gave away a number of penalties throughout the game. It was one of those games; both teams seemed to give away loads. Ill discipline has cost us throughout the season in matches.

“You aren’t going to go away to a French Top 14 side and win with 14 or 13 men on the field, are you? The fact that we were in with a chance of winning at the end shows the grittiness of the group and at times we played some good stuff. But we’re letting teams off the hook too easily.”

In his 25 minutes on the field before injuring an ankle in a tackle, Jones had been the Glasgow player who looked most likely to score from open play, and Price admitted that the loss of the full-back had been another blow. “He’s a brilliant broken-field runner and it was a pretty open game, so he was gutted he had to go off early. Losing Huw was massive so early on.”