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Munster move ahead of Glasgow into top spot of Pro12 with bonus point win

Keith Earls produced a piece of individual brilliance to seal the win.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Munster 22

Glasgow 10

MUNSTER MOVED TOP of the Guinness Pro12 with a bonus point victory over Glasgow Warriors at Musgrave Park.

First-half tries from Jack O’Donoghue and Eusebio Guinazu set the Irish province on their way to the five points they needed to replace their opponents at the summit.

The visitors rallied after the interval and threatened to haul themselves back into the contest but minutes after Roussow de Klerk bulldozed over the line, Keith Earls ended any hopes of a Glasgow comeback with an outstanding piece of skill.

The points were assured soon after when CJ Stander crossed the line as Munster assume pole position for the Pro12 play-offs.

Anthony Foley made seven changes to the side that drew with Scarlets last week and struggled to penetrate a resilient Glasgow defence as the game remained scoreless until the 28th minute.

But the hosts wrestled control of the contest in the space of a few minutes.

Firstly, O’Donoghue scored his third try in as many weeks after Ian Keatley made the initial break following a period of sustained pressure inside the Glasgow 22.

From that point on Munster began to turn the screw and after Ronan O’Mahony’s score was disallowed by referee Nigel Owens, hooker Guinazu scored his first try for the province to extend their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Glasgow came out after the break re-energised and got their reward when de Klerk ran through four red shirts from close range to reduce the deficit to just two points.

However, a moment of brilliance from Earls, following Keatley’s perfectly weighted kick, stopped Glasgow’s charge in its tracks and shifted the momentum back in Munster’s favour.

Stander went over shortly after the hour mark to secure the victory and the all-important bonus point.

Munster are now one point clear of Glasgow with Ulster and Leinster making up the semi-final berths as it stands.

Munster scorers:Tries: O’Donoghue, Guinazu, Earls, StanderConversions: Keatley (1)Penalties:

Glasgow scorers:

Tries: De Klerk

Conversions: Braid (1)

Penalties: Braid (1)

Munster: JJ Hanrahan, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Denis Hurley (captain), Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Eusebio Guinazu, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, Billy Holland; Jack O’Donoghue, Sean Dougall, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Dave O’Callaghan, Paddy Butler, Neil Cronin, Andrew Smith, Ivan Dineen.

Glasgow Warriors: Peter Murchie, Niko Matawalu, Richie Vernon, Fraser Lyle, DTH van der Merwe, Connor Braid, Murray McConnell; Alex Allan, Pat MacArthur, Rossouw de Klerk, James Eddie, Al Kellock (captain), Adam Ashe, Will Bordill, Josh Strauss.

Replacements: Dougie Hall, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, D’arcy Rae, Alex Toolis, Tommy Spinks, Glenn Bryce, Lee Jones, Rory Hughes.

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Ryan Bailey

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