JJ to the fore as Munster win classic

Rugby

JJ Hanrahan of Munster is tackled by Scott Cummings of Glasgow Warriors during the Guinness PRO14 Round 7 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park on Saturday evening.
Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
JJ Hanrahan of Munster is tackled by Scott Cummings of Glasgow Warriors during the Guinness PRO14 Round 7 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park on Saturday evening. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Dan Kearney

Munster showed the spirit of the great teams of the past when they came from 24-10 down with just 15 minutes left on the clock to snatch an unlikely victory over bitter rivals Glasgow in the Guinness Pro 14 league.

The contest had an undercurrent of bitterness throughout as both sides showed their inherent dislike for each other from an early stages of the game. In the end it was Munster who showed the greater willingness to achieve victory, and tries from Alex Wooten and Alby Mathewson, as well as an Ian Keatley conversion, brought them to within two points of their opponents with time running out.

Munster got one last chance in the 80th minute when they won a penalty after excellent work in the breakdown. The kick was a full 55 metres out and one would have forgiven the kicker had he missed, but Rory Scannell showed both guts and accuracy to land the seemingly impossible kick and snatch the win.

It was obvious from the Munster players reaction how much the win meant to the team as they jumped and shouted with joy as soon as the kick went over. Wins such as this builds huge team spirit, and augurs well for Munster for the rest of their campaign.

A huge bonus for Munster was the performance of scrum half Alby Mathewson. The former All Black number 9 showed that he is a quality back up for the injured Conor Murray, and can be called upon to do a decent job when needed.

With Duncan Williams showing rare form in the position as well lately, it is fair to say that Munster have an embarrassment of riches in the scrum half position at the moment.

Currow native JJ Hanrahan also had a very good 60 minutes at out half. Some excellent breaks and link play, in the first half particularly, showed what he is capable of. Hanrahan is always under pressure to perform in a Munster shirt, but his display should keep him well within the radar of head coach van Graan going forward.

The win sees Munster move up to third in the Pro 14 Conference A league table and their next game is away to South African side Toyoya Cheethas on Sunday, November 3 in round 8 of the competition.

Kerryman

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