herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Second-half Munster revival sees off Warriors' challenge

Glasgow Warriors put up a brave fight before being overwhelmed by Magners League leaders Munster 43-29 at Firhill.

The hosts made undefeated Munster work for their bonus-point win, but once the Irish outfit nosed ahead with a two-try blitz early in the second half there was an inevitability about the result.

Second-half scores from Niall Ronan and Johne Murphy broke the home resistance. Ronan O'Gara's boot was responsible for 23 points.

Glasgow had taken a first-half lead thanks to well-worked tries from DTH van der Merwe and Colin Gregor plus five penalties and two conversions on his debut from teenager Duncan Weir.

Stand-off Weir, 19, had three penalty chances in the first seven minutes to get his Glasgow career off to a good start.

They were all from the same area of the pitch, however he could manage only the third to give Glasgow an early lead.

O'Gara and Weir each missed before Glasgow conjured up the night's first try after 18 minutes.

With play taken to the visitors' line on the left, Weir hoisted a cross-kick that was knocked down by Bernardo Stortoni to Van der Merwe who touched down. Weir converted.

Four minutes later, Munster registered their first try. Driving from a line-out, prop Tony Buckley got very close for captain Denis Leamy to finish and O'Gara to kick the simple conversion.

With O'Gara and Weir each exchanging a penalty, the score stood at 16-10 when the Munster pack at last got into gear.

Working their way into the home 22, the ball was released left and winger Murphy skidded over through a half tackle for the try, which O'Gara converted to put Munster a point ahead. However, the lead was short-lived and Glasgow went in leading 26-17.

One penalty too many saw Donncha O'Callaghan sin-binned, allowing the Glasgow pack to put on pressure with Gregor darting over and Weir converting.

Munster found another gear after half-time and within 10 minutes not only were they back ahead but they had the try bonus point.

Firstly, Leamy picked up from a close-in scrum and sent in flanker Ronan for a textbook score.

O'Gara converted that one and set up the next try for Murphy with a perfect side-footed kick, and again converted to put Munster 31-26 up.

O'Gara then nudged over four more penalties against one from Weir to seal the result.

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