Munster bounce back from slow start but miss out

Two yellow cards cost side as Glasgow claim bonus-point win in Kilmarnock

Glasgow Warriors 27 Munster 24

Glasgow got the better of Munster in a seven-try thriller at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock that prevented Antony Foley’s side from dragging themselves into the top five of the the Guinness Pro 12.

This was a match that proved if the game is to be played in winter then artificial surfaces are essential as both sides played at a fast pace despite conditions that would have reduced the match to a mud slog on grass.

Glasgow went over for four tries to secure the bonus point, with Munster’s losing bonus point leaving them on 38 points alongside both Edinburgh and Ospreys – the Welsh side having won the earlier encounter between those two teams at Liberty Stadium.

Glasgow's high-tempo game with decisive running from skipper Josh Strauss, scrumhalf Ali Price and centre Peter Horne produced two tries in the opening seven minutes by tighthead prop Sila Puafisi and converted by outhalf Duncan Weir.

But after gaining possession from the restart Munster showed their resolve to bounce back by moving the ball skilfully, wing Ronan O'Mahony making a timely midfield incision to help build momentum that ultimately gave the visitors' loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne a try from close range .

Ian Keatley added the conversion before kicking a penalty goal to narrow Glasgow's lead to just four points. Keatley set up Munster's next score with a high kick that was taken by Andrew Conway to give the men in red vital possession and a second try for Kilcoyne, again converted by Keatley.

Then from a penalty-created lineout close to the Munster line Glasgow botched another scoring chance with a poor throw-in, leaving Munster ahead by 17-14 at the conclusion to an exhilarating first half.

The Warriors opened the second half with pacy play that brought points when Weir, looping round Horne, found a gap in the Munster defence before sprinting over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Munster’s hopes of hitting back then suffered a setback after Tomás O’Leary was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on as Glasgow attempted to move the ball wide. Minutes later Munster conceded a penalty in the shadow of their posts allowing Weir to add three points to his side’s tally.

From the restart Glasgow were clumsy with their exit strategy, giving away a penalty. Keatley kicked to the corner and from the lineout Munster set up a driving maul that ended with replacement hooker Mike Sherry touching down in the corner, Keatley’s touchline conversion giving Munster a two-point lead.

Yet again Munster were reduced to 14 men, as this time prop James Cronin shown the yellow card. In Cronin's absence Glasgow applied pressure and from a turnover by Glasgow's Italian flanker Simone Favaro, Warriors moved the ball left for centre Glenn Bryce to score Glasgow's bonus-point try. The game ended with Weir missing a penalty kick on the stroke of full-time.

GLASGOW: P Murchie; T Naiyaravoro, G Bryce, P Horne, S Lamont; D Weir, A Price (G Hart 60); G Reid (J Yanuyanutawa 49), J Malcolm (C Fenton 76), S Puafisi (Z Fagerson 55), T Swinson, L Nakarawa; R Harley, C Fusaro, J Strauss

MUNSTER: A Conway; D Sweetnam, D Johnston, R Scannell, R O'Mahony; I Keatley, T O'Leary (D Williams 67); D Kilcoyne (J Cronin 40), N Scannell (M Sherry 55), J Ryan (M Sagario 56), D Ryan, B Holland, J O'Donoghue, T O'Donnell (C Oliver 40), R Copeland (D Foley 20).

Referee: B Whitehouse (Wales)

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