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Munster sunk in Glasgow after letting a nine-point half-time lead slip

The visitors were held scoreless in the second half.

Despite scoring a fine try, errant kicking from JJ Hanrahan cost his side.
Despite scoring a fine try, errant kicking from JJ Hanrahan cost his side.
Image: Russell Cheyne/INPHO

Glasgow 21-18 Munster

A REMARKABLE SECOND half turnaround from Glasgow saw them erase a nine-point half time deficit to triumph 21-18 at Scotstoun.

Two first half tries saw Munster lead 18-9 at the break and after a vibrant first half attacking performance, Anthony Foley will be furious that his side were held scoreless in the second half.

Glasgow struck first with a Finn Russell penalty but Munster responded in style. John Ryan pounced on a loose ball and bulldozed his way into the Glasgow 22 and a few phases later JJ Hanrahan slipped between the tackles of Rob Harley and Leone Nakarawa to dot down.

Hanrahan shuffled his feet well to bamboozle the Fijian second row en route to the line.

Glasgow restored their lead with another penalty before Munster captain Paul O’Connell was sent to the sin bin in slightly comic fashion.

Glasgow were pinned on their own line and O’Connell was adamant that the ball was actually on the try line so he was crawling on his hands and knees around the side of the ruck to touch the ball down.

The referee disagreed with the second row’s interpretation and sent him to the bin. Despite being down to 14, Munster retook the lead through Hanrahan’s boot before the two sides swapped further penalties.

It looked like Munster would hold a two-point lead going into the break before Robin Copeland drove over from close range to give Munster a healthy two score half time advantage.

Glasgow went to the corner early in the second half and Nakarawa was able to atone for his earlier defensive lapse by stretching out to touch down. Russell converted to make it a two-point game.

Cracks began to show in Hanrahan’s otherwise stellar afternoon as he twice pulled kickable penalties wide left that could have given Munster a nicer cushion.

Those penalty misses ultimately cost Munster. DTH van der Merwe was held up over the line after a fine break and a few phases after the resulting scrum, Jonny Gray peeled off a ruck to score.

Russell had a chance to extend the home side’s lead to six with a penalty four minutes from time but pulled his kick wide.

However, Glasgow held onto possession to see out the game to cap a remarkable second half turn around.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Josh Strauss (c), 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 James Downey, 23 Tommy Seymour.

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray, 8Robin Copeland, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 Paul O’Connell, 4 Billy Holland, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Kevin O’Byrne, 1 John Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Eusebio Guinazu, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Donncha O’Callaghan, 20 Dave O’Callaghan, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Felix Jones.

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