In front of a sell-out crowd Glasgow pleased their supporters by shifting the ball at every possible occasion and at times made Munster look heavy footed. Only in brief spells were Munster able to match the pace of Glasgow’s game and on a surface made for pace.
Munster made it difficult for themselves by having one player yellow-carded and another shown red. Moreover against the kicking machine that Finn Russell is fast becoming mistakes and ill-disciplne proved costly.
Glasgow made their intentions clear in the opening minutes by playing with pace and with width, finally rewarded after four minutes of play by a try after replacement wing Leonardo Sarto, who had come on to the field while Rory Hughes was receiving a head injury assessment, ghosted through a bemused defence.
Finn Russell added the conversion points and then increased his tally from the tee with a 40 metre penalty goal to put Warriors into double figures. It provoked the expected reaction from Munster, who drove a penalty created line-out but were held up on the line.
Munster then won a penalty at the ensuing scrum and opted for a second shove. This time the ball was put wide before the attack was moved to the right with a long pass that found try scorer Rory Scannell, the centre just managing to stretch out and dot the ball down one-handed.
Tyler Bleyendaal missed the conversion and then failed to take a difficult pass in the Munster 22m area forcing a scrum. A penalty quickly followed and from the resultant driven line-out the Glasgow forwards pounded the visitors’ line.
Munster’s defence however held firm but when Russell rifled a penalty kick up the touch line Glasgow were able run the ball at Munster once more. A penalty provided relief for Munster, who then showed their attacking flair, after wining a scrum, as Bleyendaal made space with a ‘wrap-around’ run that came close to producing a score.
Reward for pressure, however, should have followed only for Bleyendaal to put a penalty kick wide of the posts. Munster then survived a scare when Sarto made ground from his own kick ahead. The pressure on Munster continued and when Munster were caught offside Russell duly dished out the punishment.
From the restart Glasgow moved the ball spectacularly allowing Callum Gibbins to escape up the right touchline before handing on to wing Lee Jones who had the pace to run in Warriors’ second try, calmy converted by Russell for a 20-5 half time lead.
Munster’s woes continued at the start of the second half when second row Billy Holland was sent to the bin for a maul offence. Glasgow quickly made their extra man count, launching their backs into action that ended with a long pass by Peter Horne to Jones whose inside flip rebounded back off Adam Ashe into the hands of try scorer Nick Griggs, Russell again converting.
Glasgow’s scoring rhythm was interrupted when centre Chris Farrell intercepted an somewhat laboured pass to romp in for an unconverted try. But it was soon back to business for the Scotstoun team as the Warriors’ forward drove a maul, the end result another penalty goal by Russell, the outside’s sixth success from the tee.
Munster had a chance to reply from a penalty touchfinder by Rory Scannell only for Glasgow to ‘steal’ possession at the line-out. It was the trigger for Glasgow to return to high tempo rugby and minutes later the Watrriors claimed their bonus point try after a surging run by Sarto gave second row Scott Cummings a try under the posts leaving Russell to put over his easiest kick of the match.
Munster then tried desperately to salvage something from the game but their pick and drive tactics close to the Glasgow line and then a wide pass to Simon Zebo came to nought. Then when replacement Robin Copeland was red-carded for reckless play at the ruck it really was all over for Munster.
Tries: Sarto, L. Jones, Grigg, Cummings. Cons: Russell 4. Pens: Russell 3.
Jackson, L. Jones, Grigg, P. Horne, Hughes, Russell, Price, Bhattie, Turner, Z. Fagerson, Swinson, Cummings, Wilson, Gibbins, Ashe.
Sarto for Hughes (3), Johnson for Russell (41), Pyrgos for Price (66), Allan for Bhattie (57), MacArthur for Turner (57), Rae for Z. Fagerson (57), Alainu-uese for Cummings (66).
Tries: R. Scannell, Farrell.
Conway, Sweetnam, Farrell, R. Scannell, Wootton, Bleyendaal, Williams, L. O’Connor, Marshall, Archer, D. O’Shea, B. Holland, S. O’Connor, O’Donnell, O’Donoghue.
Zebo for Sweetnam (47), Taute for Bleyendaal (48), Hart for Williams (48), Cronin for L. O’Connor (52), N. Scannell for Marshall (55), Ryan for Archer (65).
Benetton Treviso 16 Ospreys 6