Munster v Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors made history in Belfast by becoming the first Scottish team to win a major title after the club defeated Munster 31-13.
It was a fairytale ending for a number of players leaving the club and the Warriors always looked like winning after a blistering first half saw Harley, DTH and Pyrgos crossing the whitewash.
In the second period, Russell scored a try and Weir knocked over a conversion to put the icing on the cake.
Canadian winger DTH van der Merwe was handed a place in the starting XV following his try against Ulster last weekend, with Niko Matawalu moving to the bench.
Both players made their final appearances for the Warriors along with Al Kellock, Dougie Hall and Jon Welsh.
Munster made three changes from their play-off with Conor Murray adjudged to not be fit to play.
Before the game, there was a feverish anticipation never experienced before with the Warrior Nation out in force and thousands of flags fluttering in the Belfast evening air.
After an edgy start to the game, Ian Keatley was presented with the first scoring opportunity of the game but his penalty didn’t have the legs and fell short of the posts.
Glasgow were then presented with a scrum 30 metres out after seven minutes and from that passage of play, Leone Nakarawa stormed through the heart of the Munster defence before standing strong and offloading to Rob Harley. The towering flanker then outmuscled defenders on his way to the line and touched down. Russell banged over the simple conversion to give his side a 3-0 lead.
The Warriors were on their game and many players were playing out of their skins. One of those men was DTH van der Merwe who was at his mercurial best.
17 minutes on the clock, Russell grubbered a ball through but the Canadian was unable to dot the ball down.
On the following play, Munster charged a Russell kick down and looked as though they would score a try of their own but Ryan Wilson showed immense strength to rip the ball back.
The men in red eventually did get points on the board through Keatley who kicked a penalty.
The roof was blown off the Kingspan Stadium after 25 minutes when Leone Nakarawa produced another unbelievable offload. This time, he was on the left wing and DTH van der Merwe was on the end of it, managing to outrun the defence and dive over. Russell then converted to give the Warriors a 14-3 lead.
The Warrior Nation couldn’t believe their eyes when on the half hour mark Stuart Hogg found space before feeding Henry Pyrgos and he was able to pick a gap and run clear to score. Russell then did his usual and collected the extras giving the men from Glasgow a 21-3 lead.
Before the break, Munster built up a solid passage of play and Andrew Smith scored for his side despite Nigel Owens going to the TMO to seek assurances but it was adjudged that there was no knock-on in the build up and the try was awarded.
At the break, Glasgow led 21-10 and at the start of the second period, Munster had all the early running and notched a penalty despite thinking originally that they had scored a try but the TMO said no.
The Warriors were relentless in attack and before the 60 minute mark, Glasgow got their fourth try to ease the pressure on them. Having built up endless phases of play, Russell then saw space and dived over the line as the travelling Warriors fans erupted! He then converted his score to extend Glasgow’s tally to 28-13.
As the game edged to a close, Al Kellock and Niko Matawalu made their final appearances for the Warriors with Duncan Weir knocking over a penalty to secure the 31-13 victory.
After the match, there were wild scenes of celebration to crown a simply stunning day