Battling Munster pay heavy price for shocking start and late yellow cards
Glasgow Warriors 27 Munster 24
Published 20/02/2016 | 02:30
Munster seemed poised for a great comeback victory at Kilmarnock's Rugby Park but a couple of yellow cards in the second half proved costly against the champions.
Munster did well to recover from falling 14-0 down after just eight minutes to lead by the break, but Glasgow made the extra numbers count in the second half of an entertaining clash.
Munster, with 18 homegrown players in the matchday squad and an all-Irish starting side, were rocked by an early Glasgow onslaught and went 14-0 down after just eight minutes.
Scotland's South African-born No 8 Josh Strauss led the home side and a series of early drives yielded a brace of tries for Tongan tighthead Sila Puafisi.
Munster were facing a massive defeat but they kept their composure, gained confidence from building the phases and, remarkably, found themselves in front after 23 minutes.
They drove Glasgow back with some great work up front by the likes of Robin Copeland, Donnacha Ryan and Tommy O'Donnell, and loosehead Dave Kilcoyne delivered the finishes to score a brace.
The Limerick man got his first after 13 minutes and then added a second just into the second quarter. He had scored nine tries in 91 appearances prior to this but was unstoppable to add two more.
Ian Keatley converted both and in between added a penalty to leave Munster 17-14 ahead at the interval.
But Glasgow seized control after the restart and out-half Duncan Weir punished slack defending, albeit with excellent speed, to race in from deep and slide over to regain the lead.
Munster brought in back-row Conor Oliver for his debut, but their hopes suffered a blow after 56 minutes when scrum-half Tomas O'Leary was binned for a deliberate knock-on.
Glasgow extended their lead going into the final quarter when Munster failed to clear their lines Weir tapped over a penalty to make it 22-17.
But Munster hit back. Keatley sent a penalty to the right corner, captain Billy Holland collected and returned it to replacement hooker Mike Sherry, who did well to score at the corner. Keatley landed a superb touchline conversion with the wind swirling all over the place to lead by 24-22 with just over 15 minutes left in front of a crowd of 7,217.
However, the sin-binning of replacement prop James Cronin for collapsing a scrum proved costly, as it did Munster's failure to clear their lines and they paid the price when Glasgow went wide for centre Glenn Price to score their fourth try, and the hosts held on.
Glasgow Warriors - P Murchie; T Naiyaravoro, G Bryce, P Horne, S Lamont; D Weir, A Price (G Hart 60); G Reid (J Yanuyanutawa 54), J Malcolm (C Fenton 77), S Puafisi (Z Ferguson 54); T Swinson (G Peterson 65), L Nakarawa; R Harley, C Fusaro, J Strauss.
Munster - A Conway; D Sweetnam, D Johnston (C Bohane 73), R Scannell, R O'Mahony; I Keatley, T O'Leary (D Williams 66); D Kilcoyne (J Cronin 46), N Scannell (M Sherry 56), J Ryan (M Sagario 58); D Ryan, B Holland; J O'Donoghue, T O'Donnell (C Oliver 46, Kilcoyne 78), R Copeland (D Foley 20).
Ref - B Whitehouse (Wales).