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December 20, 2014

Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster

GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Saturday December 20th 2014 | No comments

Jonny Gray went over for Glasgow's winning try
Glasgow came from behind to beat Munster 21-18 to move above the Irish province at the top of the PRO12 table.

Munster took an 18-9 lead at the interval courtesy of stand-off JJ Hanrahan's early try, two penalties and conversion of Robin Copeland's 40th-minute touch down.

All Glasgow's points in the first half came from the boot of Finn Russell, but after the break Leone Nakarawa and Jonny Gray crossed the whitewash to turn the match around.

The win moves the hosts above Munster and briefly saw them climb into first place in the table, but Ospreys' bonus-point victory over Ulster in the late game ensured they were top of the tree heading into the festive period.

A night of heavy rain had been followed by a dry morning so Munster kicked off in perfect conditions to start a first half in which the lead changed hands four times.

First to secure it was Glasgow thanks to a penalty from Russell who took his first opportunity to put his crucial misses last week against Toulouse behind him.

In what was to be a feature of the half Glasgow made a mess of receiving the kick off and Munster pounced with Hanrahan dotting down before missing the conversion.

Soon after, Russell missed a long penalty but Glasgow stayed on the attack with centre Peter Horne and then number eight Josh Strauss making inroads until Russell was able to kick a more straightforward penalty.

After 20 minutes Munster captain Paul O'Connell was sin-binned by referee Leighton Hodges for a silly penalty as Munster pressed on the Glasgow line.

The visitors' makeshift scrum then won a penalty that Hanrahan struck home, but Russell struck with the boot shortly after to make it 9-8 to Glasgow.

Two debatable decisions from Hodges laid the foundations for Munster to take 18-9 advantage into the break.

Firstly Strauss was penalised for not releasing - when hardly held - and then winger Sean Lamont was detected in careless footwork at a ruck.

Each time a good Munster position was kicked, with the first resulting in a Hanrahan penalty and the second a try for Copeland with Hanrahan converting.

Glasgow opened the second half brightly but were rebuffed until the 51st minute when play was spread wide from a line-out on the visitors' line with Nakarawa getting the touch down and Russell converting to cut the Munster lead to two points.

Munster again immediately benefited from Glasgow's failure to exit the restart, this time Matawalu was the sinner, and were awarded two kickable penalties. However, Hanrahan was unable to take advantage.

In turn Glasgow's chance came after 70 minutes when sub winger Tommy Seymour's break was backed up by fellow winger DTH Van Der Merwe and the latter was held up over the Munster line.

It merely delayed the inevitable though as Gray managed to power over with a huge effort that went unconverted but was enough to put Glasgow into a decisive late lead.

Referee Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Attendance 6,176
Man of the Match Jonny Gray
Gordon Reid
Fraser Brown
Euan Murray
Leone Nakarawa
Jonny Gray
Robert Harley
Tyrone Holmes
Josh Strauss
Nikola Matawalu
Finn Russell
DTH van der Merwe
Peter Horne
Richie Vernon
Sean Lamont
Peter Murchie
Dougie Hall
Alex Allan
Jon Welsh
Tim Swinson
Ryan Wilson
Henry Pyrgos
James Downey
Tommy Seymour
Match Substitutions
Off On
Fraser Brown Dougie Hall
Off On
Euan Murray Jon Welsh
Off On
Gordon Reid Alex Allan
Off On
Sean Lamont Tommy Seymour
Off On
Peter Horne James Downey
Off On
Leone Nakarawa Tim Swinson
Off On
Nikola Matawalu Henry Pyrgos
Off On
Tyrone Holmes Ryan Wilson
Finn Russell Penalty
Finn Russell Penalty
Finn Russell Penalty
Leone Nakarawa Try 
Finn Russell Conversion
Jonny Gray Try