October 25, 2013
Glasgow Warriors 6 - 13 Munster
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday October 25th 2013 | No comments
Duncan Weir kicked Glasgow's only points Glasgow's winning start to the PRO12 ended with defeat to Munster in a dour match a Scotstoun tonight.
The defeat sees the Warriors lose their top spot in the PRO12 and ends an unbeaten run at Scotstoun that goes back to December 2012.
The Warriors only have themselves to blame with some poor decision making on and off the pitch. Kickable penalties were turned down in what was always going to be the tightest of games. In addition, for much of the first half the Glasgow scrum had Munster in all sorts of trouble, but the coaching staff chose to replace Ryan Grant early in the second half with the Warriors scrummaging close to the visitors' line.
Glasgow started brightly enough with Duncan Weir kicking a penalty after just two minutes.
The fly-half then had a chance to extend the lead for Gregor Townsend's men, but his effort missed, and the visitors capitalised as JJ Hanrahan levelled matters with a three-pointer of his own.
Both teams were struggling to put consistent phases of play together, but the Warriors' fly-half was again on target from the tee when the Irish province infringed.
Although the visitors pressed late in the half, Glasgow held on and went into the break 6-3 ahead.
Munster started the second period in the ascendency and slack defence from Glasgow was punished when JJ Hanrahan went over in the corner. Hanrahan himself seemed surprised at the ease with which he went over.
The stand-off then extended the advantage for Rob Penney's side with a penalty after a poor restart kick from the home team.
Now Munster had the lead they weren't going to let it go. The game descended into a turgid, stop-start affair of re-set scrums and injury breaks, culminating in the referee binning Jon Welsh and his opposite number as the set-piece became a lottery.
In the closing minutes Glasgow pounded the line but the men from Munster held firm through fair means and foul to take the points back to Ireland and go top of the PRO12.
As the players headed off the pitch there was a stramash near the tunnel as Donncha O'Callaghan decided to continue the hostilities after full-time.
The Munster players went to the dressing room to boos from the home support but the new PRO12 leaders won't care as they did exactly what they wanted to do and exactly what Glasgow should have been able to deal with.
After the game Gregor Townsend said: “We’re obviously frustrated and disappointed with the result and disappointed with the game as well, it wasn’t a spectacle.
“There were too many minutes lost to scrums and to slowing down the game but it was effective. Once Munster get ahead of teams, they’ve shown over the last 10 to 15 years it’s very hard to get back into the lead.
“We never really picked up our game, I thought we played pretty well in the first half and probably looked the better team. A couple of mistakes in the second half just cost us that lead and it was very difficult to get back ahead.
“The better team has won the game. They found a way to win the game and we weren’t able to get back ahead.
“I think the ball was slippery. Both teams dropped the ball, we dropped it a few times in the first half. I thought we were building our play well, we just couldn’t hold onto it for two or three phases. It didn’t rain until the second half but there was a lot of rain this morning so that affected the handling.
“It’s disappointing but we’ve got 22 games in this league and we'll have challenges every week. We’re playing some very good sides.
"That was the second team in the table and it requires big effort and it requires learning how we make the most of our opportunities.”