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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 1 April, 2020

Munster go top after stunning solo effort by JJ Hanrahan

The league lead has changed hands after a tough tussle in Glasgow.

JJ Hanrahan fends off Glasgow Warriors' Chris Cusiter.
JJ Hanrahan fends off Glasgow Warriors' Chris Cusiter.
Image: INPHO/Ian McNicol

JJ HANRAHAN PUT in a stunning solo display as he accounted for all of Munster’s points in a 13 — 6 win over Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun. The outhalf kicked two penalties and scored an excellent second-half try to put Munster top of the league.

A Hanrahan penalty kick from the halfway line was the sole success for Munster after a bruising first-half against a previously unbeaten Warriors side.

The Kerry native made a great connection from just over 55 metres out to level the scores after 22 minutes. Duncan Weir, however, was successful with two penalties and the league leaders were 6 — 3 up at the break.

The main story, before kick-off, was the late changes Rob Penney was forced to make as Keith Earls and Paul O’Connell succumbed to injury. Casey Laulala and Billy Holland came into the XV and Glasgow, sensing weakness, opted to attack the visitors in the setpiece.

Weir’s first penalty was from 45 metres out but Hanrahan’s response, 10 minutes later, was from a greater distance:

YouTube credit: RaboDirect PRO12

The Munster pack was not at its cohesive best and Warriors were more than happy to duke it out for the remainder of the half.

Three minutes later, the outhalf then backed himself when faced with a flat Glasgow defensive line. He somehow broke through a narrow gap out on the right wing and dived over to give his side the lead.

YouTube credit: RaboDirect PRO12

Hanrahan’s conversion made it 10 — 6 before adding a penalty three minutes later. The visitors battened the hatches down for a tense finish. Yellow cards to James Cronin [55 minutes] and Dave Kilcoyne [76] did not make their task any easier but Munster held out for the win and now top the Pro12 standings.

There was a late biting allegation made by Donncha O’Callaghan against a Glasgow player but the matter will now fall into the citing commissioner’s hands.

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Patrick McCarry

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