Glasgow Warriors V Munster
Glasgow Warriors came into their penultimate European Rugby Champions Cup fixture against Munster at Scotstoun knowing a win would put them in pole position to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.Mark Bennett in action against Munster
Both teams had only lost one game in the tournament, with Munster leading their hosts by three points at the top of Pool 1.
A blistering start to the game saw Glasgow build an early attack which took them into the Munster 22 but the home side conceded a penalty which allowed the visitors to clear.
They cleared to almost halfway but their subsequent line-out throw wasn’t straight and the Warriors continued to build the pressure.
The Warriors were clearly in the mood and Finn Russell tried to chip the Munster defence inside their 22, but they latched onto the ball and cleared the danger.
Stuart Hogg then put a lovely kick in behind the Munster defence which Simon Zebo had to run into touch.
From the resulting line-out Glasgow went through the phases but a knock on brought the attack to an end.
However, the first points of the game weren’t far away as Glasgow won a scrum penalty and Russell stepped up.
His penalty sailed through the uprights to give the home side a 3-0 lead after 14 minutes.
On the 15 minute mark Munster won a penalty on halfway and Tyler Bleyendaal immediately pointed to the posts, but his long-range effort dropped just short.
Almost on the midway point of the first half Stuart Hogg’s attempted clearance when straight out and Munster went through the phases which into the Glasgow 22 where they were awarded a penalty.
This time Bleyendaal made no mistake and levelled the scores at 3-3.
From the re-start Munster fumbled the ball and the Warriors had another attacking scrum. There was a further knock on by the visitors when the ball came out as Ali Price tried to get the ball away but Munster did well to defend and win the turnover.
Munster continued to ramp up the pressure and when a Russell clearance went straight into touch, wave after wave of Munster attack followed and took them to within five metres of the Glasgow line. But the Warriors defended in numbers and continued to shut out the Munstermen, before winning a penalty much to the relief of the home support.
On the half hour mark and with the visitors in possession Glasgow continued to defend well and they won a penalty which Stuart Hogg fancied.
The Scotland full-back stepped up slotted the long-range effort much to the delight of the majority of people inside Scotstoun.
With less than 10 minutes until the break Glasgow now led 6-3 but their lead didn’t last long. Munster went up the pitch and won a penalty of their own and their stand-off Bleyendaal with the simple kick to level the scores once again.
Before the half was out Glasgow had one last opportunity to move ahead again but from inside his own half Stuart Hogg’s attempt sailed just past the posts and it was to remain 6-6 at half-time.
At the start of the second-half Glasgow continued to attack with purpose, but the Munster defence continued to hold firm.
The home side were stringing passes together and on the 47th minute Munster were penalised for not rolling away inside their own 22 and Russell kicked the points to move the Warriors ahead 9-6.
Munster however were determined not be behind for long and the contest was level once more when Bleyendaal converted a penalty from inside the Warriors half.
The game moved from end-to-end with both sides looking for a five-point breakthrough.
With just 10 minutes left on the clock a Munster attack inside the Glasgow 22 ended with the ball being spun wide finding space with Andrew Conway closing in on the Glasgow line.
Stuart Hogg put in a tackle in and Lee Jones did really well to stop him from scoring but the referee had a second look at Hogg's tackle and showed the Scotland international a yellow card for going high, which meant his game was over.
Munster put the penalty to touch and when they came streaming across the field, Simon Zebo linked with Keith Earls who found Francis Saili on the wrap-around.
The replacement went over in the corner to put Munster ahead for the first time. Glasgow came again, but continued to run into a red wall and the visitors did enough to see out the game and claim the narrow win.
The Warriors travel south next weekend knowing a win in Leicester could still be enough to see them progress to the knockout stages.