Glasgow 24 Munster 13
Heineken Cup holders Munster put in another below-par Magners League performance tonight, allowing Dan Parks and Glasgow to run out easy winners.
The Scotland stand-off was back to his best, gathering a 19-point haul to thrill the Hughenden faithful. His tally included a dramatic interception touchdown which broke Munster’s spirit.
Glasgow coach Sean Lineen was forced to alter his line-up just minutes before the kick-off when Argentinian full-back Francisco Leonelli pulled out with a calf injury.
Leonelli had tweaked a hamstring during training on Thursday, but thought he would make the game. However, the problem returned in the warm up, so Colin Shaw filled the number 15 slot, with Scott Barrow being called on to the bench.
Shaw’s joy was to turn to gloom, however, as he was stretchered off with a damaged leg midway through the first half.
Munster made all the early running, only to find themselves three points adrift after six minutes.
They failed to roll clear of the tackle scene inside their own danger-zone, giving Parks a simple penalty chance.
The Irish hit back strongly, prompting Glasgow to make a spate of basic errors. And it was no surprise when Jeremy Manning confidently struck the equaliser in the 15th minute.
Parks was quickly back in the spotlight to edge his side back in front with a beautifully-executed penalty from 40 metres.
The personal game of ping-pong continued just 60 seconds later as Manning replied in identical fashion.
Suddenly, Glasgow upped the pace to create a superb try for winger Thom Evans in the corner. Parks taunted the Munster markers with a crossfield run before sending a perfectly-weighted chip towards the line.
The defence appeared to have it covered – until new recruit Evans nipped in to scoop up the loose ball and gleefully dive over.
Parks was wide with the angled conversion, but rediscovered his touch to land his third penalty just before the break.
The fly-half then launched a drop-goal attempt, only to see it being blocked by the advancing Munster locks. Parks made no mistake, however, just after the restart when he delivered another blow to the province in the shape of penalty number four.
Even better was to come from Parks five minutes later. His sense of anticipation was extra-sharp as he latched on to a floated pass in the Munster midfield before scuttling 70 metres to complete the interception score.
He still had sufficient puff to bag the conversion to stretch the margin to 18 points.
The Warriors had their tails up with Evans and Johnny Beattie almost breaking through again, but they were on the back foot when Sam Pinder was yellow carded before Tom O’Leary nipped over for Munster – Eoghan Hickey adding the goal.