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October 10, 2004

Glasgow Warriors 26 - 28 Munster

Celtic League match played at Hughenden on Saturday October 9th 2004 | No comments

Andy Henderson went over for Glasgow's first try
This was an astonishing and entertaining match than neither side really deserved to lose because both teams played some wonderful running rugby.

Munster walked away with the points but not until the sixth minute of injury time when Ronan O’Gara dropped a goal with the last kick of the match to silence a Hughenden crowd that thought Dan Parks’ penalty one minute earlier had been enough.

Glasgow has struggled at re-starts all season and they did so again last night since two Munster tries came directly from that set piece area and, of course, the deciding goal. They might rue moving their re-start specialist to the bench just before the winning kick, although O’Gara was overdue some good fortune because otherwise he had a very ordinary night with the boot missing three of his four conversions, hitting the post with one.

Glasgow coach Hugh Campbell’s assertion that his side "played most of the rugby in the game" would only be contested by the most one-eyed Irishman because the home team led for most of the match. Against one of the best teams in Europe, with their full complement of internationals returned to active duty, Glasgow went toe-to-toe with Munster over 80 minutes and were not flattered by the result. The home side shocked the Irishmen with their aggressive and direct running to dominate the opening half, ended strongly and even had the audacity to attack the much-vaunted Munster scrum. Shame about the final result.

Time and again in the opening 40, a Munsterman was forced to concede a penalty at the breakdown just to slow the Glasgow bandwagon. Parks kicked a couple of these, on three and 23 minutes.

Ominously for Glasgow, the first time the visitors played their way into the home 22, they came away with points after the referee reversed a penalty decision under the Glasgow posts. O’Gara kicked those three and also took advantage of a dreadful lineout throw by Gordon Bulloch to attempt a drop goal that sailed wide.

Glasgow then showed great initiative and no little skill to claim the first try of the match just ahead of the half hour mark. A quick 22 drop out was followed by a quick tap penalty. Lamont split the sleeping defence with a scything run and while Peter Stringer did wonderfully well to make his trademark tap tackle on the flying winger still Donnie Macfadyen was on his shoulder to take the scoring pass twenty yards out.

But the little flanker’s next contribution to the Glasgow cause was altogether less impressive. Munster were camped on the Scottish line following a fine run from David Wallace and the referee decided that the Scotland No.7 had deliberately slowed the ball so Macfadyen spent the last 10 minutes of the first half on the sidelines. From the ensuing lineout Ireland hooker Frankie Sheahan had no trouble scoring against the short-handed home team.

Still Munster struggled to take advantage of their numerical superiority and the home team were 13-8 up at the break.

Munster made their intentions clear with a try just two minutes after the restart and it was simplicity itself. From a midfield scrum, Cullen had too much pace for Graham Morrison and rounded the centre before touching down in the right corner.

With the match tied at 13 apiece, the both sides knew the importance of the next score and while it went to home centre Andy Henderson, the entire Glasgow pack deserve an assist. But Glasgow hadn’t long to celebrate their lead because Munster struck again straight from the kickoff. This time a neat in and out put Horgan over in the left hand corner and O’Gara finally found his range to add the extras and tie the match again as it moved into the final quarter.

But Munster had realised that while Glasgow extra large midfield would tackle all day, they were vulnerable out wide and Cullen grabbed the visitors’ fourth try 13 minutes from time when the ball went wide to centre Mike Mullins who found his fullback an inside.

Parks kicked two late penalties, the last from 47 yard out and five minutes into injury time.

Even the Munster coach Alan Gaffney admitted: "I thought that the referee would blow after Parks’ second penalty." So too did the entire Hughenden crowd who were briefly ecstatic before O’Gara’s late strike showed them the other end of the emotional spectrum.

Report taken from Scotland on Sunday.

Referee N Whitehouse (Wales)
Man of the Match Dan Parks (because he really wanted it last night)
Kevin Tkachuk
Gordon Bulloch
Lee Harrison
Andy Hall
Dan Turner
Cammy Mather
Donnie Macfadyen
Jon Petrie
Sam Pinder
Dan Parks
Kenny Logan
Andrew Henderson
Graeme Morrison
Sean Lamont
Rory Kerr
Scott Lawson
Andy Kelly
John Beattie
Andy Wilson
Graeme Beveridge
Calvin Howarth
Andy Craig
Match Substitutions
Off On
Cammy Mather Andy Wilson
Off On
Sam Pinder Graeme Beveridge
Off On
Andy Hall John Beattie
Off On
Lee Harrison Andrew Kelly
Off On
Lee Harrison Andy Kelly
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Donnie Macfadyen Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Andrew Henderson Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty

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