Sport Rugby

Sunday 23 July 2017

Keatley puts boot into Warriors to cement record-breaking run

Glasgow 12, Munster 23

John Fallon

Munster maintained their winning start to the Pro12 and in the process created a new league record by winning a dozen games on the spin.

Tries either side of the break did the trick for the champions, who have yet to concede a try in this season's competition. However, two more yellow cards -- on top of three in the opening-day win over the Dragons -- will be a cause for some concern for Tony McGahan.

Nevertheless, they made light of this and were on top for most of the game despite their absent international stars. There was little between the sides during the opening half but Munster came good before the break to push 16-6 ahead at the interval.

trouble

Their chronic trouble with yellow cards manifested itself as early as the 13th minute, when Niall Ronan was binned for killing the ball after Danny Barnes had done well to haul Rob Dewey down with the line in sight.

Duncan Weir scored the penalty in front of the posts, but that was the only score Munster conceded when they were down a man.

Earlier, Ian Keatley and Weir had traded penalties, while Simon Zebo needed to be sharp to deny his opposite number Federico Aramburu in the right corner after early Glasgow pressure.

Glasgow lost a man to a yellow card when their No 7 Chris Fusaro followed his opposite open-side flanker to the bin for not rolling away after a great Munster drive off a lineout take by Mick O'Driscoll. Keatley added the penalty to tie the sides at 6-6 after 22 minutes but Munster, similar to Glasgow, failed to make their extra man count on the scoreboard.

Weir saw a drop goal effort come off the right post and when Peter Stringer knocked on as he tried to collect the rebound it presented Glasgow with a glorious chance in front of the posts but Munster's defence was superb.

Weir missed a penalty from the right after Johne Murphy, who was superb under the dropping ball, was penalised for a scuffle with Weir. But Munster stepped up a gear before the break, with James Coughlan leading the way up front.

Keatley edged them in front with a penalty from inside his own half and then just before the break a superb break from Barnes saw Munster twice tap penalties inside the '22' before Ronan, who had scored in three of his last four visits to Firhill, squeezed over, with Keatley adding the extras.

Munster all but decided the issue five minutes after the restart. Ronan and Stringer stretched the home defence before Lifeimi Mafi cut a superb line and while he was stopped short he expertly fed Simon Zebo for a score under the posts.

Keatley added the points and while Weir pulled back a couple of penalties for Glasgow, Munster were never threatened when Billy Holland was binned 11 minutes from time for killing the ball.

Glasgow Warriors -- S Hogg; F Aramburu, R Dewey (P Horne 57), T Nathan, C Shaw; D Weir (S Wight 75), H Pyrgos (C Gregor 46); R Grant (G Reid 76), P MacArthur (F Gillies 72), M Cusack (E Kalman 53); T Ryder, N Campbell (J Eddie 46); R Harley, C Fusaro (y-c 21), R Wilson (R Pitman 72).

Munster -- J Murphy; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, S Zebo (T Gleeson 67); I Keatley (S Deasy 75), P Stringer (D Williams 65); W du Preez (M Horan 62), D Varley (D Fogarty 67), J Hayes (S Archer 59); B Holland (y-c 69), M O'Driscoll; P O'Mahony (D Foley 73), N Ronan (y-c 13, T O'Donnell 59), J Coughlan.

Ref -- D Phillips (IRFU).

Irish Independent

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