THERE is no need to press the panic button after this comprehensive defeat for Danny Wilson’s side. They were, after all, up against the top side in this competition who were pretty close to full strength. It is, however, a stark reality check in terms of where Warriors’ aspirations in this United Rugby Championship should really be at the moment. 

The key difference here was between Leinster’s relentless physicality which meant they could patiently build pressure and strike when the time was right, compared to Warriors struggling to hold onto possession through multiple phases meaning they were relying on moments of magic to break their opponents down. 

Warriors now face a frustrating five weeks out of action during the international window before they get a chance to get this disappointing defeat out of their system. 

The good news from a Scottish rugby perspective is that there did not appear to be any fresh injury concerns ahead of the internationalists in the Warriors squad beginning their build-up to next Saturday’s opening Autumn Test against Tonga. 

Ross Byrne edged the visitors into a fifth minute lead with a successful 40-yarder after Zander Fagerson was penalised for taking out Leinster scrum-half Luke McGrath. 

And the Dubliners stretched their scoreboard advantage to 10 points just two minutes later when Dan Leavy and Adam Byrne combined to release Ronan Kelleher up the right touchline. The hooker brushed off Johnny Matthews, stepped inside Ross Thompson and carried Rufus McLean over the line – with Ross Byrne adding the touchline conversion. 

A powerful burst from Sione Tuipuloto put Warriors into the Leinster 22 for the first time on 10 minutes, and Thompson got the hosts off the mark with a straight-forward penalty from in front of the sticks after Leavy went off his feet as he tried to jackal the ball. 

That early Irish onslaught had dampened the atmosphere at Scotstoun but the faithful were beginning to find their voice again, with some sharp kicking from Ali Price and Duncan Weir, and powerful running from Jack Dempsey, Ryan Wilson and Zander Fagerson, turning the tide of this match temporarily. 

But on two or three occasions they coughed up possession in the strike zone, and when Leinster got a chance to riposte, they were ruthless, building the pressure through the phases before James Lowe finally jinked through midfield then sent Hugo Keenan home. 

Leinster had an opportunity to press home their advantage when they won a penalty in the middle of the park and kicked to the corner, but they overthrew their line-out, and a few minutes later a raking clearance from Thompson and full-throttled chase from McLean put Adam Byrne on the spot, to establish another promising field position, until a loose pass from Weir derailed that opportunity. 

Warriors threatened with three minutes left in the first half when Sam Johnson put Tuipuloto thrugh a gap straight off scrum ball. The return pass was juggled but Johnson managed to slap the ball in the direction of Thompson, who collided with opposite number Keenan as they both stretched to retrieve possession. The Warriors man went sprawling, and referee Craig Evans decided to have a second look via the TMO, before deciding that a try – and not a penalty try – was the appropriate punishment. 

There was some graceless booing from the Scotstoun crowd after that decision, but, in fact, Warriors were probably lucky to get the penalty. It meant they could keep the pressure on, and after Leinster No8 Jack Conan was sent to the sinbin for playing the ball on the deck, Dempsey powered over from close range, with Thompson’s conversion making it 17-10 at the break. 

It took a brilliant last-gasp tackle from Rory Darge to stop a third Leinster score on the left after great work from Keenan with 10 minutes of the second half played. 

But it was only a temporary reprieve for the Warriors, and two-minutes later, Adam Byrne managed to get the ball down under pressure from Johnson on the opposite side of the park for Leinster’s third try.  

After another bombardment of the Warriors line, the visitors picked up the bonus point on the hour mark through replacement hooker Dan Sheehan. 

Warriors kept plugging away, and McLean did well to put George Horne into space, but Leinster got back to snuff out the threat then snaffle possession. 

The fact that a group of home fans in the main stand were trying to initiate a Mexican wave with 15 minutes still to play. 

Replacement scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park was the second Leinster player to be yellow-carded when he shoved opposite number George Horne with two minutes to go, with visiting head coach Leo Cullen expressing disappointment afterwards at the Warriors player’s theatrical reaction. He may have had a point. 

Replacement second-row Lewis Bean’s last-minute try gave the Warriors fans something to celebrate at the end – but it was a muted cheer. 

Glasgow Warriors (v Leinster at the Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 7.35pm British time): R Thompson; K Steyn, S Tuipulotu (N Grigg 71), S Johnson, R McLean; D Weir (C Forbes 56), A Price (G Horne 54); J Bhatti (O Kebble 46), J Matthews (G Turner 41), Z Fagerson (E Pieretto 54), R Harley (L Bean 76), R Gray, R Wilson, R Darge (M Fagerson 63), R Wilson. 

Leinster: H Keenan; A Byrne, G Ringrose (J Osborne, 70), C Frawley, J Lowe; R Byrne, L McGrath (J Gibson-Park, 63); C Healy (E Byrne 54), R Kelleher (D Sheehan 54), T Furlong (M Ala’alatoa 54), R Molony, R Baird ( D Toner 50), C Doris (R Ruddock 67), D Leavy (J van der Flier 50), J Conan. 

Referee: Craig Evans (WRU) 

Scorers –  Glasgow Warriors: Try: Demspey; Con: Thompson; Pen: Thompson. 

Leinster: Tries: Kelleher, Keenan, A Byrne, Sheehan; Cons: R Byrne 4; Pen: R Byrne 

Scoring sequence (Glasgow first): 0-3; 0-8; 0-10; 3-10; 3-15; 3-17; 8-17; 10-17 (h-t) 10-22; 10-24; 10-29; 10-31. 

Yellow cards – Leinster: Conan (37mins), Gibson-Park (79mins)