September 17, 2005
Glasgow Warriors 32 - 10 Munster
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Hughenden on Saturday September 17th 2005 | 5 comments
Andy scored one of Glasgow's four tries Top level sport is meant to be dramatic. But the drama is meant to involve tight scorelines and brilliant performances under pressure. It is not meant to be a medical drama, as the crowd at Hughenden witnessed last night.
Fortunately, it looks as though it will be one with a happy ending, the reports from hospital being that Euan Murray was conscious and stable.
It all overshadowed comfortably Glasgow’s best performance of the season, with Dan Parks, the Scotland fly-half, masterminding an all-round display of pace, power and passion that completely overwhelmed a Munster side that dominated possession for long periods but still never actually crossed the home line, their only score a penalty try. Glasgow, in contrast, proved they can create and innovate, two tries coming from clever kicks from Parks, and another from a creative Sam Pinder pass.
"Scoring four points and getting a bonus point was fantastic for Glasgow and hopefully will banish the ghosts of our first two games when we did not finish teams off," said Hugh Campbell, the coach, afterwards. "Our defence was heroic."
For all that, the sight of a player lying on the ground twitching uncontrollably is one that will any player or fan with their heart in their mouth. To then have to sit and watch as the Glasgow medical staff fought to restrain the Glasgow prop as he had a seizure in the middle of the pitch and then, bellowing like a bull in pain and with blood streaming from his nose, got up, staggered, tried gamely to get back to his feet and collapsed again, took the discomfort to another level.
It appeared there was nothing in the original contact to cause such trouble; the worst incidents always seen so innocuous. A straight tackle on Anthony Horgan on the crash ball from the wing, two big men hitting each other at pace; nothing that does not happen 100 times or more in the course of the average rugby match.
Eventually, the medics got on top of the situation even though in his dazed and confused condition he refused the proffered neck brace and with a helper holding him up on either side he managed to stagger back to the changing rooms.
That and the seven-minute delay that followed could easily have upset the Scots and nobody would really have blamed them if it had. Instead it seemed to inspire them. They had already hit the game with the sort of passion and pace that had been missing in their opening home game, with Steve Swindall, the flanker, pouncing in the first minute as Munster panicked in defence and he got a hand to the ball that went loose over the Irish line for the try.
It was a superb start, but after Murray left, they stepped up another gear again. Everything was being done at speed. In attack, the handling was slick and moved the game from touchline to touchline; the forwards were direct and brutal and the defence swarmed up on their opponents, giving them no time to settle.
In no time they were further ahead, with Parks adding a penalty after Mike Roberts, the wing, had set up the position, then came a peach of a try for Rory Lamont, the wing, following an inch-perfect cross kick from Parks, taking the ball first bounce and ploughing over the line.
It soon got even better for the Scots. Lamont came in on the crash ball into the midfield from an attacking position set up by a brilliant chase from Craig Hamilton, the lock. Sam Pinder, the scrum half, sniped back to the blind side and a clever flip behind his back set Andy Wilson, the flanker, up for the third try.
Not that Munster are ever a rollover. But in many ways, that summed up the Glasgow first-half effort just as well. It started with a break from the Irish line, David Quinlan, the flanker, hoofing the ball up field and David Wallace, his partner, easily outstripping Andy Craig, the Scotland centre, only for Lamont to get back and save his line.
After that, it’s impossible to list the Glasgow players who pulled off try-saving tackles. Just about every one of them did something as Munster swarmed all over their line but failed to cross. Munster almost emptied their bench trying liven things up.
It worked too, after a fashion, the forwards setting up camp again and trying in old-fashioned Munster style to maul and power their way over and got their reward with a penalty try, awarded after Nigel Owens, the referee, blamed the Scots for collapsing one scrum and ruling that the next had popped up.
It may have given the Irish some heart but it achieved two positives for the Scots. First Stuart Corsar, Murray’s replacement, damaged a shoulder, and was replaced by Fergus Thomson, a hooker forcing uncontested scrums for the rest of the game. Second it relieved the pressure on the Scots, who drove the ball up to the visitors’ line where a sublime grubber kick and from Parks and chase from Mike Roberts, the wing, got their fourth try.
Good to see Parksy dominating. As captain, I think it improves his game and can take him to that next level both with Glasgow and with Scotland. He has a lot of support from all over the world. He can do Scotland justice if given the chance.
Dan had a great game last night, and seems to be relishing the extra responsibility of the captaincy.
It was also great to hear the response he got from the crowd as he came back on in the final minutes - well deserved!
Great tries, but a huge effort in defence as well - looks like Gary Mercer's work is paying off.
Firstly, I wish Euan Murray well.
The incident must have been alarming for all to witness. If it occurred within rules, it will be recognised as the risks of a great sport. It is assumed all players are protected against these risks as far as possible.
It is good to read that Euan is stable and on the mend.
The score and the reports of the Glasgow effort show that the team have these flashes of brilliances just under the surface and breaks surface when they get it together.
Good on you Rory!
Yes, I'm glad too, to hear that Euan is on the mend! It was very alarming to see him go down like that and just after he's recovered from a previous injury.
The game last night was brilliant, all the players played extremely well and it has definitely made up for their previous ones. Some of the tackles by players, Rory Lamont in particular, were absolutely ace! They definitely deserved the win. Good on you boys!
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