Glasgow Warriors V Munster
A dominant first-half performance saw Glasgow Warriors lay down an early marker to the rest of the Guinness Pro14, running in three tries in a 25-10 victory over Munster at Scotstoun.
Spearheaded by a superb display from the pack, the home side ran in 22 unanswered points in the opening stanza, with Callum Gibbins, Stuart Hogg and Adam Ashe all crossing the whitewash.
Fresh from his match-winning exploits last week, it was Stuart Hogg that kicked off proceedings at Scotstoun for 2018/19.
The home side had the chance to open the scoring after six minutes, after tremendous work from Fraser Brown had led to a penalty in front of the posts. However, Peter Horne pushed his attempt wide of the uprights, and the game remained without score.
The centre made amends on 15 minutes, splitting the uprights from 10 metres to give his side a 3-0 lead after a sustained period of possession in Munster territory.
Dave Rennie’s men were beginning to establish themselves as the dominant force in the game, with the crowd sensing the opening try was imminent. It arrived on 22 minutes; after initial line breaks from Jonny Gray and Peter Horne had splintered the Munster defence, Adam Hastings’ pinpoint pass allowed co-captain Callum Gibbins to dive over in the corner. Horne was off target with the conversion, but the home side had an 8-0 advantage.
The Warrior Nation were further delighted just six minutes later with the game’s second try. With the platform set by a pack enjoying themselves immensely, Hastings’ deft grubber kick was gathered by the onrushing Hogg for the score. The full-back converted his own score from out wide in impressive fashion, taking the score to 15-0 in the home side’s favour.
If the first two tries were the result of superb Glasgow build-up, then the third was the result of a certain degree of good fortune. Under intense pressure, a fumble from Munster fly-half JJ Hanrahan just inches from the line allowed Adam Ashe to drop on the ball for his second try in as many games. Hogg was once again on target from the tee, extending his side’s lead to 22-0 at the half-time interval.
The visitors eventually registered their first points two minutes after the restart, as Hanrahan made no mistake with a penalty to narrow the deficit.
Munster’s determination to find a foothold in the contest saw them enjoy the lion’s share of territory and possession as the third quarter wore on, yet they found themselves repelled at every turn by a resilient Glasgow defence with co-captains Gibbins and Ryan Wilson were at the forefront.
Despite the best efforts of the Warriors defence, though, the Irishmen managed to find a way through with ten minutes remaining. Substitute hooker Rhys Marshall cut a good line to take an offload from Duncan Williams and crash over, Joey Carbery’s conversion meaning the score read 22-10 as the game entered its final stages.
Whilst knowing one more try would secure them a bonus point, the Warriors also knew that securing the win was priority number one. With that in mind, Hogg slotted his third successful kick of the evening on 73 minutes, his penalty extending the lead to 25-10 in favour of the hosts.
The bonus point would ultimately elude Dave Rennie’s men, yet a capacity Scotstoun crowd were left in no doubt about the result. With a confidence-boosting victory and an impressive all-round performance under their belts, the Warriors leave for their South African sojourn in fine fettle and with their 100% record still intact.