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Munster topple Glasgow and climb into top three of URC table

MATCH REPORT: Munster turned in an electric attacking performance to beat United Rugby Championship leaders Glasgow Warriors 40-29 at Musgrave Park.

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Putting last week’s defeat to Leinster behind them, Munster bagged their bonus point inside 36 minutes as tries from Edwin Edogo, Tom Ahern (2) and captain Diarmuid Barron had them leading 26-5.

Glasgow conceded twice while Nathan McBeth was in the sin bin, but a Sione Vailanu maul try – and Johnny Matthews’ eighth of the season just after the restart – kept them in the hunt.

Further scores from Rory Darge and replacement Angus Fraser, coupled with a penalty try, gave Glasgow a bonus point, yet Munster were always at least 11 points in front thanks to Alex Nankivell’s first try for the province and a final effort from John Hodnett.

With the table toppers leaking five penalties inside the opening six minutes, Nankivell and Gavin Coombes carried strongly before Edogbo dived in under the posts for the first of the game’s 11 tries.

Capitalising on prop McBeth’s sin-binning for not rolling away, Ahern then collected a Jack Crowley cross-field kick, despite Sean Kennedy appearing to take him out in the air, and powered over in the left corner.

Brilliant hands and running from Antoine Frisch and Ahern spearheaded a superb 15th-minute attack, which a sidestepping Barron applied the finishing touches to. Crowley converted neatly from the left.

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Duncan Weir’s excellent touch-finder from a 25th-minute penalty saw flanker Vailanu close the gap to 19-5 from the resulting maul.

Scott Cummings lifted Glasgow further with two line-out steals, but Frisch and Coombes beat two defenders each before Ahern scored out wide again.

The visitors, who had only lost two of their seven games against Irish opposition. hit back when hooker Matthews scored from a well-controlled 41st-minute maul.

That good work was undone when Glasgow were hit by the double whammy of Nankivell’s well-finished seven-pointer and a yellow card for Lucio Sordoni infringing at a ruck.

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Munster could not deal with the Scots’ power-packed mauling through, as one drive was stopped before Darge piled over from a ruck.

Just past the hour mark, two more ground-gaining mauls earned Glasgow’s penalty try, making it 33-22 with Tadhg Beirne sent to the bin.

Hodnett crashed over from a tap penalty for a swift Munster response, with debutant Oli Jager helping to drive him over. Crowley tagged on his fifth conversion, before Fraser replied late on from another well-executed maul.

Man of the Match: While disappointed to concede five tries in the end, six-try Munster had a decisive buffer thanks to a terrific opening 40 minutes under the floodlights in Cork. Waterford youngster Ahern was central to that. His move to blindside flanker has seen him showcase his athleticism and versatility, and he has started the season with four tries in seven appearances.

Scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Edogbo, Ahern (2), Barron, Nankivell, Hodnett
Cons: Crowley (5)

For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Vailanu, Matthews, Darge, Fraser, Penalty
Cons: Weir

Teams:

Munster: 15 Shane Daily; 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Antoine Frisch, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Seán O’Brien, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Craig Casey; 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 John Hodnett, 6 Tom Ahern, 5 Tadhg Beirne; 4 Edwin Edogbo, 3 Stephen Archer; 2 Diarmuid Barron (captain), 1 Jeremy Loughman.
Replacements: 16 Scott Buckley, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Oli Jager, 19 Fineen Wycherley, 20 Brian Gleeson, 20 Alex Kendellen, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Alex Kendellen.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Kyle Rowe, 13 Sione Tuipuluto, 12 Stafford McDowall (captain), 11 Ollie Smith, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Sione Vailanu, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Lucio Sordoni, 2 Johnny Matthews, 1 Nathan McBeth
Replacements: 16 Angus Fraser, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Greg Peterson, 20 Max Williamson, 21 Thomas Gordon, 22 Ben Afshar, 23 Tom Jordan

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Dan Carson (Ireland), Sam Holt (Ireland)
TMO: Aimee Barrett Theron (South Africa)

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