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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 18 April 2021

Munster hold off Glasgow challenge to stay top of the Pro12

Munster have a one point advantage on the Ospreys with more Pro12 action coming tomorrow

Munster survived a close scare against Glasgow Warriors.
Munster survived a close scare against Glasgow Warriors.
Image: Craig Watson/INPHO

Glasgow Warriors – 15

Munster – 16

IAN KEATLEY DELIVERED for Munster to ensure his side would retain their spot at the top of the Pro12 table after a tense encounter with Glasgow Warriors.

After falling two points behind, the out-half capped off a superb individual performance by hitting a drop goal at the death to nudge Munster back in front and seal the win in Scotstoun Stadium.

Munster led 13-3 at the break but leaked crucial scores after the restart, with Ali Price and Mark Bennett both crossing the whitewash to give Glasgow the advantage.

The southern province spent the early stages of the first half in Glasgow territory. After surviving an early maul they launched some good forward play but the ball slipped under a red body and Glasgow cleared their lines.

Within the first 10 minutes, the visitors were on the board through an Ian Keatley penalty. From the restart, Munster went on the offensive again. A boxkick floated dangerously into Glasgow’s try area and after a deflection from Darren Sweetnam, Andrew Conway was on hand to collect the ball and touch down for a try.

Glasgow responded and earned a penalty shortly after but the position didn’t suit the left-footed Peter Horne and the resultant kick trailed wide. Horne redeemed himself with a second penalty to keep them to within seven points of Munster.

Rob Harley tackles Tommy O’Donnell Source: Craig Watson/INPHO

Glasgow scrum-half Ali Price attempted to capitalise on that momentum with a kick and chase but he ran into a Munster wall and was wrapped up before they could break through. Nick Grigg spotted a pocket in the Munster cover moments later and easily bypassed the outstretched arms of Duncan Williams to gain some significant yards.

After some good phase play, Glasgow were awarded another penalty. Horne suffered a bad leg injury during the move and was stretchered off.

Munster regained their footing in the concluding stages with referee Nigel Owens awarding a penalty for a challenge on Ian Keatley. The out-half’s effort however dragged wide and brought his flawless conversion record up to that point, to an end. He was afforded another opportunity from the tee after Glasgow were found guilty of crossing and his shot put Munster 13-3 up at the break.

Glasgow were dealt another blow early in the second half when their second player of the night was stretchered off. Lee Jones came in to replace Rory Hughes after sustaining an injury in the ruck.

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Peter Horne leaves the field with an injury Glasgow's Peter Horne being stretchered from the pitch in Scotstoun Stadium. Source: Craig Watson/INPHO

Keatley resumed his good work from the opening period, finding touch inside the opposition 22 with a beautifully aimed kick after Munster overturned possession in the ruck. Price unleashed a box kick and some misplaced passing along the Munster line resulted in them conceding a scrum from a knock-on.

A clever kick from Conway on 56 minutes forced Ali Price to bring the ball out of play but Munster spent the next 10 minutes resisting the Glasgow attack. And an Ali Price try was the outcome of the persistent pressure. Price gather possession from a line-out and danced through the Munster defence to slide in for the score.

Rory Clegg added the conversion to leave them just three points adrift heading into the final 20 minutes.

Duncan Williams was close to replying with a try of his own moments later to reignite the Munster challenge. After blocking down a kick from Clegg, Williams darted in to ground the ball but Peter Murchie marginally beat him in the race.

Tweet by @Glasgow Warriors 🏉 Source: Glasgow Warriors 🏉/Twitter

Munster managed to get more of a share of the possession but they leaked a second try on 69 minutes when Tommy Seymour released Mark Bennett on the wing and Bennett’s pace brought him the rest of the way to touch down and edge Glasgow two in front.

Clegg failed in the conversion, thus handing Munster a final lifeline heading into the final minutes. Immediately, Munster went about forcing play back into Glasgow’s half.

Fittingly, it was Keatley who delivered when the need was utmost, hitting a drop goal with four minutes left on the clock to regain the advantage.

Glasgow scorers:Tries: Ali Price, Mark BennettConversions: Rory Clegg [1 from 2]Penalties: Peter Horne [1 from 2]

Munster scorers:

Tries: Andrew Conway

Conversions: Ian Keatley [1 from 1]

Penalties: Ian Keatley [2 from 3]

Drop Goal: Ian Keatley

GLASGOW: Peter Murchie, Rory Hughes (Lee Jones ’43); Mark Bennett, Nick Grigg, Tommy Seymour, Peter Horne (Rory Clegg ’22); Ali Price, Ryan Wilson, Chris Fuscro (Rob Alpine ’79), Josh Strauss (Langilangi Haupeaukui ’57), Tim Swinson, Rob Harley, Sila Puafisi (D’Arcy Rae ’60, Fraser Brown (Corey Flynn ’50), Gordon Reid (Alex Allan ’50).


MUNSTER: Andrew Conway, Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell,  Ronan O’Mahony, Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams (Te Aihe Toma ’64), Jack O’Donoghue, Tommy O’Donnell (Thomas Tu Toit [temporary substitution] ’33); Peter O’Mahony (captain) [Robin Copeland '56], Billy Holland, Jean Kleyn (Donnacha Ryan half-time); John Ryan (Stephen Archer ’60), Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne.

Yellow cards: Dave Kilcoyne (’27)

Referee: Nigel Owens

Attendance: 7,351

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