Munster destroy Glasgow title hopes

Glasgow Warriors 13 Munster 26

Glasgow Warriors 13 Munster 26

European champions Munster underlined their strength in depth by wrecking Glasgow’s hopes of reviving their Magners League title assault.

Flanker Niall Ronan emerged as the destroyer in chief for the visitors with a hat-trick of touchdowns to knock the stuffing out of the hosts.

It was the Warriors' first home defeat at the hands of an Irish side for almost three years – and Munster certainly showed no signs of a hangover from their nation’s Grand Slam triumph less than a week earlier.

In the wake of a scrappy start, the contest burst into life with a three-try burst in a frantic seven-minute spell.

Glasgow surged ahead with a touchdown which featured the vision of Johnnie Beattie, the brilliance of Max Evans and the pace of Loma Fa’atau.

Beattie caught the Munster defence on the hop with a quick tapped penalty before Dan Parks linked with Evans, who left his markers for dead with a slight jink inside and remarkable change of speed.

His elusiveness created the time and space for Fa’atau to celebrate his return from injury by cruising to the line.

As so often happens, the side who scored let their concentration level drop and almost immediately the Irish side snatched the initiative.

Ronan took advantage of a sloppy tackle attempt by Kelly Brown and powered to the line, giving Paul Warwick a simple conversion.

Brown the villain became Brown the hero as he made instant amends with a gutsy solo try – awarded on the advice of the video referee.

However, another piece of slack defending allowed Munster to retake the lead with Keith Earls the man who finished in style – Warwick again slotting the goal.

At the other end, Parks was having a wretched time with the boot, missing four straightforward attempts.

But he rediscovered his touch a couple of minutes from the interval with the penalty that closed the gap to a single point.

Munster were a man down at the restart, having had James Coughlan yellow-carded for killing the ball in the incident which led to the Parks kick.

Then came the moment of cruel luck which set Glasgow back on their heels.

A freak ricochet enabled Munster to claim a scrum five metres from the line, and again it was Ronan who wriggled through the tight gap to notch his double.

And even better was to come from Ronan as he completed his treble when the pack rumbled over, with Warwick converting to make the final gap 13 points.

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