January 08, 2011
Munster 22 - 20 Glasgow Warriors
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Musgrave Park on Saturday January 8th 2011 | 2 comments
DTH van der Merwe went over for Glasgow's second try Glasgow went close at Musgrave Park but were edged out 22-20 by Munster in tonight's Magners League match.
Ronan O'Gara came to Munster's rescue as his 76th minute penalty denied the Warriors the four points.
Glasgow outscored the Magners League leaders by two tries to one, and Ruaridh Jackson's drop goal gave them a 20-19 lead inside the final quarter.
But the Scots had Bernardo Stortoni sin-binned as Munster pummelled the visitors' try-line, and O'Gara mopped up with the match-winning penalty.
Jackson's seventh-minute penalty opened the scoring after O'Gara had a kick charged down and John Hayes was pinged for not rolling away after a tackle.
Munster, who brought Denis Hurley in for the injured Doug Howlett (calf), mounted a swift response.
Paul Warwick attacked with vigour and his kick forward was deflected into the path of Johne Murphy, who was brought to ground close to the Glasgow posts. Richie Gray killed the ball at the ensuing ruck and was promptly yellow carded.
O'Gara tapped over the penalty to level the tie, but Munster could not make use of their numerical advantage.
Jackson missed a kickable penalty from the left, before Munster's forwards began to exert more influence on the half hour, and it took a terrific turnover from Ryan Grant to release the pressure.
Munster's frustration grew as infringements in the scrum and at the breakdown cost them valuable possession and territory, and Glasgow caught them off guard in the 37th minute.
Max Evans broke out of a double tackle near the Munster 22 and although Warwick caught up with him, his well-weighted pass inside was carried on by scrum half Colin Gregor whose fast feet saw him glide in behind the posts for a converted try.
On the stroke of half-time, Munster were pressing for a score when Keith Earls was very harshly sin-binned for not coming through the gate at a ruck.
Munster had got on the wrong side of referee James Jones in the opening half, but they quickly turned the 10-3 interval deficit around.
They stormed out of the blocks for the second half, with O'Gara landing a quick hat-trick of penalties. Referee Jones did little to help the game's flow, drawing the ire of the crowd on a number of occasions.
But he did well to spot Wallace's grounding for his 62nd minute try, following a series of close range surges from his fellow forwards. O'Gara's conversion gave Munster some breathing space at 19-10.
However, Glasgow, hunting for their first away win of the season, had other ideas. Jackson was involved twice and Evans did brilliantly to pass out of the tackle, before the former unleashed DTH van der Merwe for a 65th score.
Gregor stepped in to add the conversion and three minutes later, Jackson followed up with a tidy drop goal. A repeat of the Warriors' 2008 win at this venue was on the cards.
Yet Munster had time on their side and although their try-scoring attempts were thwarted - Stortoni saw yellow for deliberating knocking on, with the hosts about to convert an overlap - O'Gara landed his sixth successful kick from six attempts to keep his side on the winning trail.
The win keeps Munster nine points clear at the top of the table, while Glasgow, who watched Jackson miss a late, long range drop goal, slip to tenth.
As a neutral (Leinster) viewer I thought Warriors were very unlucky not to win this match.
If there was a rule where the 'benefit ouf the doubt' for the attacking team was such that the ball does not have to be seen to have been touched down, then I would be all in favour of it.
But there isn't, so the Munster try should definitely not have been awarded.
The referee's shoot-from-the hip approach to Warriors from the start of the second half was obviously to atone unpopular decisions against munster in the first half. Some penalties seemed harsh to say the least.
Maybe if ref's whistles made a silly noise they would not blow them so often?
The sending off - the official's might have had a better view than we hand on TV, but that lokked lik a legimate take to me where the ball just flew out?
Anyway, keep up the good work Warriors!
You are absolutely right.
If you're replying to an existing comment, please use the 'Reply to this comment' link above the entry. This will display the comments in a way which is far easier for other readers to follow.