February 19, 2016
Glasgow Warriors 27 - 24 Munster
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Rugby Park on Friday February 19th 2016 | No comments
Glenn Bryce's try gave Glasgow the win and the bonus point Glasgow Warriors edged out Munster in an entertaining PRO12 encounter at Rugby Park this evening.
The win is a boost to Glasgow's play-off hopes as they defend their PRO12 title.
Duncan Weir converted two tries from Sila Puafisi and added one of his own. Glenn Bryce also crossed and Weir kicked a penalty.
Munster's points came from two Dave Kilcoyne tries and one from Mike Sherry. All three were converted by Ian Keatley who also added a penalty.
Glasgow have made no secret of their liking for the synthetic pitch at Rugby Park and they served up some great running play in the early stages, scoring two converted tries inside the opening eight minutes.
Playing their traditional all-action off-loading game, both scores fell to the unlikely figure of Tongan tighthead prop Puafisi, celebrating re-signing for the club this week.
Both came from close in. The first was following two bursts from scrum half Ali Price taking tap penalties, the second rounding off a move started by number eight Josh Strauss.
Weir converted both, but Munster soon hit back by playing a more direct style with their big men running hard on to the ball.
Loosehead prop Kilcoyne touched down from short range and Keatley converted.
Keatley put over a penalty shortly after and in the 23rd minute Munster went into a 17-14 lead they held to the break.
Both Munster props, Kilcoyne and John Ryan, made notable forward movements and when play reached the Glasgow line it was once again Kilcoyne who got the ball over to touch down, with Keatley converting.
Glasgow made a rapid start to the second half and retook the lead after 43 minutes when centre Peter Horne sent Weir in at the right corner for a try he was not able to convert.
Munster scrum half Tomas O'Leary was sin-binned in the 56th minute by referee Ben Whitehouse for a deliberate knock-on.
Glasgow then forged further ahead with a Weir penalty but before Munster were back to 15 men they had again taken the lead with replacement hooker Sherry scoring from a lineout drive and Heatley converting from touch.
With 10 minutes remaining replacement Munster prop James Cronin was shown a yellow card.
Glasgow immediately turned the screw with centre Bryce grabbing the bonus-point fourth try.
With Weir's conversion missing Glasgow only led 27-24 and could have faced a nervous finish but they dominated the remaining exchanges.
After the match Glasgow's Sila Puafisi was quick to praise his team-mates for their role in getting him across the whitewash for his first two tries for the Warriors.
Speaking to glasgowwarriors.org, Sila said: “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time really. The team got into a good position, and I was lucky to be on the end of it.
“From the beginning of the week, we’d talked about keeping a high tempo. That’s what we showed tonight, and I guess that’s why I ended up over the try line twice.”
Munster made the Warriors work hard for their win and the Tonga international believes it can spark a winning run as Glasgow seek to defend their PRO12 title.
Sila added: “At times Munster were on the front foot, but I was confident in the boys given how they’d been training during the week. We resisted a lot of pressure and to come away with the win and the bonus point was great.
“We hope this will be the start of a run of wins for us, but we need to keep working. We’ll come back in next week and will work to keep this run going.”
At the end of a week which also saw him extend his stay at the club for at least another season, Puafisi was quick to express his happiness at committing his immediate future to Glasgow.
“This week’s been pretty great! Tonight was a great way to show my appreciation for the club with the two tries and the strength of the scrum. I’m really happy to be staying here.”
Glenn Bryce, who scored Glasgow's decisive fourth try in the 27-24 bonus-point win at Kilmarnock's Rugby Park in foul second-half conditions, said: "It's all about momentum in this league.
"We managed to show the Warrior spirit in the end and get the win. The boys are ecstatic. Hopefully we can kick on."