Munster V Glasgow Warriors
A tenacious performance finished in heartbreak for Glasgow Warriors as they were denied a famous victory at Thomond Park by an extra time Munster penalty.
A young Warriors side bereft of 11 Scottish internationals shows outstanding valour both sides of the ball on a bitterly cold night in Limerick and looked to have earned the victory their performance deserved until the very last minute.
Dave Rennie’s men take both a losing and a try scoring bonus point away from the game and will be enthused not only by the heart that was on display against the Irish giants but also the quality of rugby going into next weekend’s game against Ospreys.
It was a feisty encounter from the very beginning, with several XV on XV clashes setting the mood for the rest of the game.
The home side showed early dominance and got the first score of the game after 10 minutes, their forward pack pushing over from close range.
Munster continued to threaten, and Warriors had to be strong defensively, successfully repelling several visits into their 22.
A late inclusion to the match day 23 with DTH van der Merwe pulling out just before kick-off, Stafford McDowall was introduced after just a quarter of the game played following an injury to Sam Johnson.
Having been starved of the ball and chances Glasgow had to ensure they took any opportunities they got, which they did. George Horne finishing a brilliant counter attack started by Rory Hughes deep inside his own half.
A penalty attempt to take the lead floated just wide of the posts but just before the break Warriors had a second and it was Horne again.
Another sweeping counter attack, this time started by Ruaridh Jackson caught the Munster defence off guard. Nick Grigg broke the line before finding George Horne again to touch down under the sticks. 7-12 the score at the break.
Glasgow flew out of the blocks in the second period as Munster had done in the first. A dominant set piece and constant pressure saw a red shirt sent to the bin and Warriors capitalised. Matt Fagerson picking off the base of an advancing scrum to dot down.
Munster slotted a penalty to keep the scores close, but it was the visitors who scored next. George Horne’s clever chip over the top finding his brother who competed well in the air to collect the ball and touch down. 24-10 the score with 20 minutes to play.
Munster hit back almost immediately, pulling in the Glasgow defenders before diving over in the corner, missing the conversion.
With their tails up the red men flooded forwards and they muscled their way over for the try that took them within two points of the Warriors.
Glasgow managed the closing moments well but with just seconds to play were penalised by the referee at the breakdown and Rory Scannell stepped up to nail a 50m penalty with the clock read to break Glasgow hearts.