Munster too good for Glasgow
PRO14 REPORT: Munster claimed their first win at Scotstoun since 2016 as they overcame Glasgow Warriors 27-13 to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign.
First-half tries from Billy Holland and Fineen Wycherley, both from rolling mauls, were added to by Gavin Coombes and Jean Kleyn in the closing stages as Johann van Graan’s men closed out their sixth successive victory to stretch their advantage at the top of Conference B.
Glasgow crossed twice themselves through Glenn Bryce and Grant Stewart but slipped to their fourth defeat on the spin in the driving rain at Scotstoun.
Following an opening 10 minutes which saw both sides trying to adjust to the tricky conditions, Munster broke through in familiar fashion as their powerful pack surged over from a rolling maul.
Glasgow had withstood the visitors’ initial drives with stoic defence but they couldn’t stem the tide after another kick to the corner, with veteran Munster skipper Holland breaking away from the mass of bodies to burst over.
Ben Healy’s conversion had just enough on it to drop over the posts but Glasgow hit back immediately with a superb score which made light of the wind and rain.
Tommy Seymour collected Sean Kennedy’s pop pass to burst through the Munster back line and though his pass went to ground, the ball found Robbie Nairn on the left touchline.
The wing could not quite make it over but he had support from Bryce, who dotted down in the corner to finish an excellent move.
Pete Horne’s kick dropped just short but the Warriors went ahead in the 19th minute through a monster kick from Brandon Thomson, who nailed a penalty from the halfway line amid the downpour having replaced Nick Grigg after the centre failed a Head Injury Assessment.
Seymour followed Grigg down the tunnel with an injury of his own on the half-hour mark and Munster re-established their lead shortly afterwards with a carbon copy of their first score.
This time it was Wycherley at the bottom of the pile from a rolling maul, with Healy unfortunate to see his conversion attempt come back off the post.
Coombes won a vital turnover inside his own 22 to keep Munster 12-8 in front at the interval, after which the visitors began on the front foot with the pack again asserting their authority.
Healy missed a three-pointer from the left touchline but made no mistake when his side won a penalty at the scrum soon afterwards to open up a seven-point advantage.
The next scrum had the same result, only for the 21-year-old to send the penalty wide of the upright, and Glasgow changed both props in an attempt to restore parity at the set-piece.
The hosts couldn’t make the most of an attacking scrum of their own eight metres out, Craig Casey disrupting at the base to force a knock-on, but they then handed Munster a taste of their own medicine with a score from a rolling maul.
Grant Stewart was the beneficiary as the Warriors eventually broke through after a prolonged spell of pressure in the Munster 22, which also saw Holland sin-binned, though Thomson’s attempt to level the scores from the tee drifted wide.
A game which contained plenty of niggle soon brought another flashpoint, with Ryan Wilson yellow carded for diving on Casey, and Munster immediately took advantage from the penalty that followed.
The pack went through the phases and the poacher Coombes pounced from a metre out to go over for his sixth try of the season, crucially followed by Healy’s successful conversion to take the lead past a converted score.
There was still time for the visitors to claim the bonus point score, which arrived with two minutes to play when Kleyn spotted a gap down the blindside and exploited it with brute force to power over.
JJ Hanrahan couldn’t mark his 100th Guinness PRO14 appearance with the conversion but that did little to take the shine off yet another job well done for Munster.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Bryce, Stewart
Tries: Holland, Wycherley, Coombes, Kleyn
Cons: Healy 2
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Glenn Bryce, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Robbie Fergusson, 11 Robbie Nairn, 10 Pete Horne, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Thomas Ioane, 7 Tom Gordon, 6 Ryan Wilson (captain), 5 Rob Harley, 4 Lewis Bean, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Grant Stewart, 1 Aki Seiuli.
Replacements: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Alex Allan, 18 D’arcy Rae, 19 Hamish Bain, 20 Fotu Lokotui, 21 Caleb Korteweg, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Niko Matawalu.
Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Rory Scannell, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Matt Gallagher, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 Jack O’Sullivan, 6 Fineen Wycherley, 5 Billy Holland (captain), 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Kevin O’Byrne, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Josh Wycherley, 18 Keynan Knox, 19 Jack O’Donoghue, 20 Tommy O’Donnell, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Dan Goggin.
Referee: Adam Jones
Assistant Referees: Ben Blain, Fin Brown
TMO: Sam Grove-White