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March 29, 2013

Glasgow Warriors 51 - 24 Munster

GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday March 29th 2013 | No comments

Stuart Hogg scored a fine individual try
Glasgow moved back to the top of the RaboDirect PRO 12 table after a 51-24 bonus-point victory against Munster at Scotstoun.

It was an impressive performance from Glasgow who scored six tries in total to leapfrog Leinster in the race for top spot in emphatic style.

It took Gregor Townsend's side just 26 seconds to get on the scoreboard after Sean Maitland, one of nine changes to the team that lost to Leinster the previous weekend, intercepted a floated pass from Casey Laulala. Jackson added the extras.

Paul O'Connell - two games into his comeback from a back operation - was prominent as Munster responded with vigour and Laulala eventually atoned for his earlier misdemeanor with a try under the posts that was improved by Ronan O'Gara.

Prop Dave Kilcoyne crashed over from close range to give Munster the lead as the visitors continued to dominate though the forwards. O'Gara was again on target with the conversion attempt.

But Glasgow hit back with their second interception try of the evening, livewire scrum-half Nikola Matawalu collecting a stray pass from his opposite number, Duncan Edwards, for a try that Jackson improved to make the score 14-14.

Glasgow finished the half strongly and they were rewarded with two Jackson penalties to take a six-point lead into the interval.

O'Gara scored the first points of the second half when he punished Glasgow for failing to roll away at the tackle, his 47th-minute penalty reducing the arrears to 20-17.

Thereafter it was all Glasgow with four tries in a devastating 23-minute spell delighting the home crowd.

Man-of-the-match Jackson finished off a nice interchange between backs and forwards with a try he converted himself and then added a penalty to put Glasgow 30-17 up.

The Scots went further in front through Mark Bennett not long after DTH Van der Merwe had been hauled down inches short of the Munster line. Jackson converted.

Stuart Hogg crossed for a fifth try, before former All Black Doug Howlett temporarily halted Glasgow's momentum with a well-taken score in the right hand corner that Ian Keatley converted.

Glasgow, though, had the final word in the dying stages through John Barclay who capped a fine personal display with the final try of the night. Duncan Weir's conversion saw Glasgow chalk up a half-century of points.

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend was naturally delighted with the win and particularly his team's second half performance.

He said: "They were the better team in the first half, they showed more energy and more aggression and probably deserved to be ahead. We wanted a reaction in the second half and we got it. I thought Munster threw so much energy into the first half that maybe that affected them and we looked sharp and we found more holes in the second half."

The Warriors scored three intercept tries through Sean Maitland, Niko Matawalu and John Barclay and Townsend thought the openside flanker had his best game of the season tonight.

"The first try was a great read by Sean Maitland and Niko's was an opportunist score. We didn't deserve to be leading at half-time but we certainly played better in the second half.

"Barclay's running lines were excellent, he worked well with Ruaridh and he picks his lines very well. His timing was good so he's always at pace when he takes the ball and I thought that was his best game of the season.

"John (Barclay) is back to the form he showed when he was playing for Scotland. He scored a cracking try against Castres in the Heineken Cup but did his hamstring, so he wasn't fit enough for the Six Nations, but I'm really pleased for him."

Glasgow now have a two week break before heading to Wales to face Scarlets on Friday 12 April.

"We have three games to win now to stay in the top two but we now have to look at our next opponents and prepare well for going down to Scarlets. They play differently to a number of teams and have a very strong defence so it'll be extremely tough."

Referee Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Attendance 5,692
Man of the Match Ruaridh Jackson
Ryan Grant
Pat MacArthur
Jon Welsh
Tim Swinson
Alastair Kellock
Josh Strauss
John Barclay
Ryan Wilson
Nikola Matawalu
Ruaridh Jackson
DTH van der Merwe
Peter Horne
Sean Lamont
Sean Maitland
Stuart Hogg
Dougie Hall
Ofa Fainga'anuku
Moray Low
Tom Ryder
Robert Harley
Henry Pyrgos
Duncan Weir
Mark Bennett
Match Substitutions
Off On
Jon Welsh Moray Low
Off On
Pat MacArthur Dougie Hall
Off On
Tim Swinson Tom Ryder
Off On
Nikola Matawalu Henry Pyrgos
Off On
Ryan Grant Ofa Fainga'anuku
Off On
Sean Maitland Mark Bennett
Off On
Josh Strauss Robert Harley
Off On
Ruaridh Jackson Duncan Weir
Sean Maitland Try 
Ruaridh Jackson Conversion
Nikola Matawalu Try 
Ruaridh Jackson Conversion
Ruaridh Jackson Penalty
Ruaridh Jackson Penalty
Ruaridh Jackson Try 
Ruaridh Jackson Conversion
Ruaridh Jackson Penalty
Mark Bennett Try 
Ruaridh Jackson Conversion
Stuart Hogg Try 
Duncan Weir Conversion
John Barclay Try 
Duncan Weir Conversion