Wednesday 21 February 2018

Glasgow storm Thomond to rock Penney's ambitions

Munster 5 Glasgow Warriors 22

Glasgow Warriors's Josh Strauss scores his side's third try despite the efforts of Munster's Donncha O'Callaghan
Glasgow Warriors's Josh Strauss scores his side's third try despite the efforts of Munster's Donncha O'Callaghan
Simon Zebo, Munster, is tackled by Alex Dunbar, left, and Sean Maitland, Glasgow Warriors
Keith Earls, Munster, after defeat to Glasgow Warriors

John Fallon at Thomond Park

Munster's hopes of a home semi-final in the RaboDirect PRO12 suffered a massive blow when Rob Penney's side were taken apart at Thomond Park last night.

The Heineken Cup semi-finalists were in serious trouble when they trailed 22-5 at the break after spending long periods of the opening half on the back foot.

Glasgow took the game to the home side from the start and raced into a 10-0 lead after eight minutes. They showed a great ability to build the phases and it didn't take them long to be rewarded on the scoreboard when Jonny Gray burst through the challenge of John Ryan and JJ Hanrahan to score after a good maul off a lineout.

Duncan Weir added the points and he again punished Munster when Ryan was pinged for not releasing after a good turnover and the Glasgow outhalf landed the resultant penalty from the '22'.

That spurred Munster to life and Hanrahan was stopped short before scrum-half Chris Cusiter got a boot to the ball just as CJ Stander was about to touch down after a good break by Simon Zebo.

Munster continued to build opportunities and this time another break through the middle by Zebo yielded a big result when they went wide with Keith Earls and James Downey combining to send Stander through for a try to make it 10-5 after 18 minutes.

But it was Glasgow and not Munster who responded and with Hanrahan forced to go off injured, they hit Munster for two tries before the break.

Sean Maitland, struggling to contain Zebo, turned the tables on the Munster winger and burst through to score after 25 minutes. Weir missed the difficult conversion from the right but Glasgow continued to dominate and Josh Strauss crowned a superb display from the flanker with a third try four minutes from the break after a five-metre scrum to make it 22-5 at the interval.

Munster continued to enjoy enormous phases of possession after the restart but several promising moves broke down through sloppy play.

Ian Keatley went to the left corner with three penalties in as many minutes but Munster turned over the ball through poor execution each time and the Glasgow line was not threatened in any of the moves and that summed the poor Munster display on the night.

Scorers – Munster: CJ Stander try. Glasgow Warriors: J Gray, S Maitland, J Strauss tries; D Weir 2 cons, pen.

Munster: F Jones; G van den Heever (J Murphy 63), K Earls, J Downey, S Zebo; JJ Hanrahan (I Keatley 22), C Murray (D Williams 71); J Ryan (D Kilcoyne 49), D Casey (Q McDonald 71), BJ Botha (Ryan 71); D O'Callaghan (B Holland 71), D Foley; CJ Stander, S Dougall (P Butler 71), J Coughlan.

Glasgow Warriors: P Murchie; S Maitland, A Dunbar (R Vernon 61), F Russell, T Seymour; D Weir, C Cusiter (H Pyrgos, 71min; G Reid (J Yanuyanutawa 66), D Hall (P MacArthur 61), J Welsh (G Cross 59); T Swinson (L Nakarawa 59), J Gray; J Strauss, C Fusaro (R Harley 61), R Wilson (P Horne 71)).

Referee: N Owens (WRU).

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