Glasgow fly out of the blocks to put Munster away
Once again it seems that Munster’s form on the road is questionable in the Pro14
Glasgow Warrior’s Callum Gibbins gets away during their Pro14 win over Munster. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Glasgow 25 Munster 10
Munster were made to pay for a sluggish first half performance in Friday’s Pro14 match on the artificial surface at Scotstoun Stadium against a Glasgow Warriors side that played at a ferocious pace for the first 40 minutes of the game.
That fast start established a comfortable 22-0 lead at the break and the visitors had little answer, leaving them to adopt a predominately defensive role.
Warriors ran out of puff a tad in the second half and although Munster were able to eat into the Glasgow’s lead the damage had already been done. Once again it seems that Munster’s form on the road is questionable and is an issue that coach Johann Van Graan will have to address if his side is to challenge for Pro14
To make matters worse for Munster, they suffered two first half injuries, first to skipper and second row Billy Holland and then to scrum half Neil Cronin. Van Graan made key changes after the break notably bringing on Joey Carberry early in the second half.
After an intense opening period it was Glasgow who had the first chance of points with a penalty kick at goal, only for Peter Horne’s attempt to drift wide. But when a second chance presented itself Horne made no mistake with the comparatively simple kick – deserved points for Glasgow’s unrelenting pressure.
The Warriors’ points trawl continued with a try by flanker Callum Gibbins from a series of moves that all began after Munster had turned over ball at the contact area and which ended with Adam Hastings delivering a pass to the touchline-patrolling Gibbins. Horne, however, was unable to make the score a seven pointer.
With Warriors dominating possession and territory it was inevitable that another score would follow. This time the platform was a penalty kick to the corner, then a driving maul that triggered an endless pounding of the Munster line. But it was a clever grubber kick by outhalf Hastings that delivered the coup de grace, the ball sitting up well for Stuart Hogg to touch down in the corner, the Scotland and Lions full back adding the conversion points to his own score.
Munster then conceded a third try and one which they will not want to watch at Monday’s video session, JJ Hanrahan was the villiain of the piece after fumbling a pass in the visitors’ goal area allowing back row Adam Ashe to pounce for the score. Hogg again converted to give his side a 22-0 lead at the break.
The visitors’ prospects perked up after the break with a penalty goal by Harahan, the outhalf’s final contribution before being replaced by Joey Carbery. Almost immediately Carbery began to pull the strings which allowed Munster’s backs, anonymous in the first half, to show their paces on the plastic pitch.
Munster had a chance to add a second score when they repeatedly drove at the Glasgow line but a spilled pass ruined a promising situation. Finally their perseverance paid off when from a series of attacks replacement hooker Rhys Marshall found a hole in the Glasgow defence to crash over for his side’s first try, quickly and easily converted by Carbery.
From the restart Munster gave away a penalty to give Glasgow the twin luxury of a breather and a kick at goal, the latter through Hogg which provided Warriors with a three pointer.
Then, from a fortuitous piece of play, replacement Niko Matawalu followed up his own deep kick and from the ensuing ruck Glasgow’s second row Johnny Gray seemed to have scored only for Glasgow to be penalised for an earlier infringement, denying the victors their bonus point.
Scoring sequence – 15 mins: P Horne pen, 3-0; 22 mins: Gibbins try, 8-0; 28 mins: S Hogg try, S Hogg con, 15-0; 36 mins: A Ashe try, S Hogg con 22-0. Half-time. 42 mins: JJ Hanrahan pen, 22-3; 71 mins: R Marshall try, J Carberry con 22-10; 73 mins: S Hogg pen, 25-10.
GLASGOW WARRIORS: S Hogg; T Seymour, N Grigg, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe; A Hastings, G Horne; O Kebble, F Brown, Z Fagerson; R Harley, J Gray; R Wilson, C Gibbins, A Ashe.
Replacements: G Turner for Brown 50, J Bhatti for Kebble 59, D Rae for Fagerson 63, S Cummings for Ashe 54 , M Fagerson for , A Price for G Horne 54, A Dunbar for Hastings 64, N Matawalu for Hogg 73.
MUNSTER: M Haley; D Sweetnam, S Arnold, R Scannell, S Daly; JJ Hanrahan, N Cronin; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, J Ryan; Je Kleyn, B Holland (capt); D O’Callaghan, T O’Donnell, A Botha.
Replacements: F Wycherley for Holland 25, J Cronin for Kilcoyne 34, D Williams for N Cronin 34, S Archer for Ryan HT, T Beirne for O’Callaghan HT, J Carbery for Hanrahan 44, R Marshall for Sherry 48, J Taute for Scannell 64.
Referee: B Whitehouse (Wales).