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Injury blow for Cloete as front-row shines for Reds

Munster 21-10 Glasgow Warriors

Simon Zebo in action last night Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Simon Zebo in action last night Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Munster pulled to within 12 points of Glasgow at the top of the table thanks to tries from Niall Scannell and James Cronin, but Chris Cloete's injury is a significant setback for Johann van Graan's side.

Cloete left the field at Irish Independent Park in considerable pain after he sustained the arm injury in the lead-up to George Horne's Glasgow try, but despite also losing Scannell to injury, Cronin hit back straight away and Tyler Bleyendaal made sure of the win from the tee.

Munster players form a tunnel for Simon Zebo after the match Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster players form a tunnel for Simon Zebo after the match Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

The loss of Andrew Conway before kick-off with the same knee injury that has plagued him all month was a setback for Munster, but with the wind at their backs in the first half the home side were almost entirely dominant.

Bleyendaal kicked the game's first points after ten minutes, and after James Hart missed a long-range kick on 19 minutes, Munster stretched their lead 15 minutes from the break.

The failure of Ratu Tagive to release the ball for a Munster lineout resulted in another penalty for the home side, and after Bleyendaal pinned the Scots back on their own line, Munster's maul delivered the try, with Niall Scannell the beneficiary.

After Bleyendaal converted for a 10-0 lead after 25 minutes, Alex Wootton showed his defensive strength with a stunning tackle to deny Matt Smith a certain try eight minutes form the interval.

Tyler Bleyendaal of Munster kicks a conversion Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Tyler Bleyendaal of Munster kicks a conversion Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

And straight away Munster benefited when Bleyendaal slotted a penalty to make it 13-0 at half-time. Adam Hastings immediately cut Munster's lead with a 43rd-minute penalty for Warriors after a smart break from Brandon Thompson, and five minutes later Horne got the try his display deserved when he appeared on Lee Jones's shoulder to score.

There was worse news for the home side, who lost flanker Cloete with that nasty arm injury, but the sell-out home support was lifted two minutes later when Cronin dived on his own kick through to make sure.

Munster - S Zebo; C Nash (D Sweetnam 78), S Arnold, D Goggin, A Wootton; T Bleyendaal (I Keatley 67), J Hart (D Williams 78); J Cronin (D Kilcoyne 67), N Scannell (R Marshall 43), S Archer (B Scott 74); J Kleyn, B Holland; D O'Callaghan, C Cloete (J O'Donoghue 48), R Copeland (G Grobler 74).

Glasgow Warriors - R Jackson; L Jones, S Johnson, B Thomson, R Tagive (N Matawalu 74); A Hastings (R Vernon 68), G Horne (H Pyrgos 59); O Kebble (A Allan 62), J Malcolm (G Stewart h-t), S Halanukonuka (Z Fagerson 56); K McDonald (L Wynne 74), S Cummings; R Harley, M Smith (C Fusaro 59), M Fagerson.

Ref - M Mitrea (France)

Irish Independent

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