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October 02, 2015

Munster 23 - 21 Glasgow Warriors

GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Thomond Park on Friday October 2nd 2015 | No comments

Rory Clegg showed fine form for Glasgow
Glasgow came agonisingly close to taking the win over Munster at Thomond Park this evening.

Six penalties and a drop goal from Rory Clegg put the Warriors a point in front with just minutes to go before a late penalty edged Munster to the win.

In a tight first half, Rory Clegg kicked three penalties for Glasgow but that wasn't enough to gain the lead at the break as Dave O'Callaghan touched down and Keatley added a pair of three-pointers for the Irish province.

Clegg was just as imperious off the tee in the second period, kicking 12 more points, but BJ Botha's try and Keatley's three-pointer took Munster to their third win of the season.

Gregor Townsend's men have been hurt more than most by the World Cup with the majority of their first team on international duty. The Warriors have unsurprisingly struggled to find their fluency so far this season and, despite Clegg's early penalty at Thomond Park, the hosts had the better chances throughout the opening period.

Keatley's three-pointer duly levelled the scores before the Munster pack laid siege to the opposition line. The pressure eventually resulted in a yellow card for Tyrone Holmes and the home side took advantage of the extra man as O'Callaghan powered over from close range.

To the Warriors' credit, they battled back and two Clegg efforts off the tee reduced the arrears before the Irish province's stand-off gave them a four-point buffer at the interval.

Despite the absentees, the visitors refused to be shaken off and they controlled the early exchanges of the second period. Successive penalties from the fly-half took them ahead for the first time since the 12th minute and it was now up to Munster to respond. Good work from the home forwards moved them to within inches of the line before Botha barged across the whitewash.

Clegg's drop-goal regained Glasgow's lead but Keatley was the match winner with a late three-point attempt that bisected the uprights.

At Thomond Park, Glasgow Warriors pushed Munster all the way in an agonisingly tight game but ultimately lost out in the last five minutes through an Ian Keatley kick which secured a 23-21 win for the hosts. Gregor Townsend

After the match, Gregor Townsend told “There were a number of positives to take from tonight. It was a game we can learn so much from. We have so much character in this group and the players are disappointed not to win.

“We had a lot of good moments in attack, but we’ve got to keep working to improve our accuracy when we have the opposition on the back foot. I thought our defence was outstanding at times, both in our recognition of what Munster were doing in attack, as well as the effort in the tackle area.’

“Rory Clegg kicked all our points and I thought he played really well and his drop-goal was fantastic too. It was the right set-up and really good execution from him. To have someone of his quality has really helped us during this Rugby World Cup period.”

The Warriors fielded a number of young players including D'arcy Rae who made his first competitive start for the club.

Despite the defeat, Gregor is convinced they will only get better after putting in a big shift against such a top side.

“It’ll be great learning for them. No-one ever gets to play the perfect game and you learn by making mistakes, seeing what works and seeing what the opposition are doing,” he said.

“For guys like D'arcy (Rae), Zander (Fagerson) and Robbie (Fergusson) who are young as well as Scott Cummings who is only 18, they’ll remember this game as one that will really accelerate their learning. Another player new to this level – Junior Bulumakau – had an excellent match tonight.”

Glasgow Warriors next match is at home to Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday 16 October and Gregor can't wait.

He said: “Our base game is in place, which is aggressive defence and playing at tempo. We made smart decisions at times tonight but there are also areas we need to improve on. It was frustrating not to get the victory, after getting ourselves into the ideal position to do so.

“Injury wise, it looks like we came through the game OK and there might be a couple of players we can add to our squad for our next match which we’re looking forward to.”

Referee Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Man of the Match Adam Ashe
Alex Allan
Pat MacArthur
D'arcy Rae
Robert Harley
Scott Cummings
Tyrone Holmes
Chris Fusaro
Adam Ashe
Grayson Hart
Rory Clegg
Lee Jones
Fraser Lyle
Hugh Blake
Junior Bulumakau
Rory Hughes
Fergus Scott
Jerry Yanuyanutawa
Zander Fagerson
Kieran Low
James Eddie
Mike Blair
Gregor Hunter
Robbie Fergusson
Match Substitutions
Off On
D'arcy Rae Zander Fagerson
Off On
Scott Cummings Kieran Low
Off On
Tyrone Holmes James Eddie
Off On
Grayson Hart Mike Blair
Off On
Alex Allan Jerry Yanuyanutawa
Off On
Junior Bulumakau Robbie Fergusson
Off On
Pat MacArthur Fergus Scott
Off On
Chris Fusaro Gregor Hunter
Rory Clegg Penalty
Rory Clegg Penalty
Rory Clegg Penalty
Rory Clegg Penalty
Rory Clegg Penalty
Rory Clegg Penalty
Rory Clegg Drop