Glasgow Warriors 29
JOHN FALLON @ Musgrave Park
GLASGOW WARRIORS may have produced a stunning forward display to maul their way over for five tries but it still wasn’t enough to thwart the URC champions.
Warriors just didn’t do enough out wide to secure their first win at Musgrave Park in Cork in 15 years.
Munster led 26-5 at the break after producing some blistering rugby in front of a full house of just under 8,500 on a freezing night.
The champions were on top in all sectors, moving the ball at speed and bossing the breakdown as the league leaders struggled to get into the contest.
Glasgow’s cause was not helped by conceding four penalties in little over a minute, three of them inside their own 22, and it was no surprise when Munster hit the front after seven minutes when academy lock Edwin Edogbo drove over for his third try of the season after a lineout on the left stretched the visitors’ defence with Gavin Coombes making hard yards before being stopped short.
South African referee Marius van der Westhuizen finally lost patience with Glasgow when prop Nathan McBeth took out scrum-half Craig Casey at a ruck for a fifth penalty after eleven minutes and Munster hit them for two tries while he was in the bin with Tom Ahern and Diarmuid Barron scoring to lead 19-0.
Glasgow hit back and a superb penalty to the right corner from Duncan Weir provided a good platform in what was really their first meaningful attack of the game after 27 minutes.
Scott Cummings gathered the lineout and Warriors got the perfect drive with Sione Vailanu getting the touchdown. Weir was unable to master the Cork wind and pulled the first of three missed conversions across the posts.
Munster finished the half strongly and secured the bonus point when Ahern was out wide again to score after good work from Antoine Frisch and Coombes to lead 26-5 at the break.
Warriors needed a big start to the second-half and it came from a familiar source. A penalty to the right corner again set up a solid maul and hooker Johnny Matthews drove over for his eighth try of the campaign two minutes after the restart.
However, Munster hit back and centre Alex Nankivell cancelled that try this with his first Munster score when he cut a direct line through a pile of bodies with a penalty advantage after 49 minutes, with tighthead Lucio Sordoni binned as Warriors again failed to protect their line.
But it did little to stem the impact of the superb Glasgow maul and after Rory Darge drove through the home rearguard after 55 minutes for their third try to reduce the margin to 33-15.
And the prospect of a remarkable comeback gained momentum when they secured the bonus point and cut the gap to 31-22 after 66 minutes when they were awarded a penalty try after Irish lock Tadhg Beirne was penalised for pulling down a maul and was binned.
Munster though did not panic and they killed off any notions of the comeback when John Hodnett tapped a penalty and drove over with new tighthead signing from the Crusaders Oli Jager on his shoulders 14 minutes from time.
That left Warriors with just too much of a gap to bridge but Franco Smith and his management were given a boost as they now turn their attentions to Northampton Saints in the Champions Cup when they finished on the front foot when they scored their fifth maul try in the dying moments when replacement hooker Angus Fraser got over after another excellent drive from a penalty to the right corner.
Munster: S Daly; C Nash, A Frisch, A Nankivell, S O’Brien; J Crowley, C Casey; J Loughman, D Barron (c), S Archer; E Edogbo, T Beirne; T Ahern, J Hodnett, G Coombes. Subs used: S Buckley, D Kilcoyne, O Jager, F Wycherley, C Murray, R Scannell, A Kendellen.
Glasgow Warriors: J McKay; K Rowe, S Tuipulotu, S McDowall (c), O Smith; D Weir, S Kennedy; N McBeth, J Matthews, L Sordoni, S Manjezi, S Cummings, S Vailanu, R Darge, H Venter. Subs used: A Fraser, O Kebble, Z Fagerson, G Peterson, M Williamson, T Gordon, B Afshar, T Jordan
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Munster: Tries: T Ahern (2), E Edogbo, D Barron, A Nankivell, J Hodnett. Cons: Crowley (5)
Glasgow Warriors: Tries: S Vailanu, J Matthews, R Darge, penalty try, A Fraser. Cons: D Weir
Scoring sequence (Glasgow Warriors first): 0-5, 0-7, 0-12, 0-17, 0-19, 5-19, 5-24, 5-26 (h-t) 10-26, 10-31, 10-33, 15-33, 22-33, 22-38, 22-40, 27-40, 29-40
Munster: Tadhg Beirne
Glasgow Warriors: Nathan McBeth, Lucio Sordoni