Glasgow Warriors 29 Munster 43
Glasgow Warriors put up a brave fight before being overwhelmed by Magners League leaders Munster in the second half at Firhill tonight.
The home side made undefeated Munster work for their bonus-point win, but once the Irish outfit nosed ahead with a two-try blitz early in the second half there was an inevitability about the result.
Munster had taken a first-half lead thanks to tries from Denis Leamy and Johne Murphy but it was the second-half scores from Niall Ronan and Murphy again that broke the home resistance. Ronan O’Gara’s boot was responsible for 23 points.
Glasgow had taken a first-half lead thanks to contrasting but well-worked tries from winger DTH van der Merwe and scrum-half Colin Gregor plus five penalties and two conversions on his debut from teenager Duncan Weir.
Stand-off Weir, 19, had three penalty chances in the first seven minutes to get his Glasgow career off to a good start.
They were all from the same area of the pitch, however he could manage only the third to give Glasgow an early lead.
An open but scrappy game developed with plenty of further penalties.
O’Gara and Weir each missed before Glasgow conjured up the first try of the night after 18 minutes.
With play taken to the visitors’ line on the left, Weir hoisted a cross-kick that was knocked down by Bernardo Stortoni to Van der Merwe who touched down. Weir converted from by the touchline.
Four minutes later Leinster registered their first try. Driving from a line-out, prop Tony Buckley got very close for number eight and captain Denis Leamy to finish off and O’Gara to kick the simple conversion.
With O’Gara and Weir exchanging a penalty each, the score stood at 16-10 when the Munster.pack at last got into gear.
Working their way into the home 22, the ball was released left and winger Murphy skidded over through a half tackle for the try that O’Gara converted to put Munster a point ahead.
However the lead was short-lived and Glasgow went in leading 26-17. A clever Weir kick produced a penalty that he successfully booted.
One penalty too many saw Donncha O’Callaghan sin-binned, allowing the Glasgow pack to put on pressure with Gregor darting over and Weir converting.
Munster found another gear after half-time and within 10 minutes not only were they back ahead but they had the try bonus point.
Firstly Leamy picked up from a close-in scrum and sent in flanker Niall Ronan for a textbook score.
O’Gara converted that one and set up the next try for Murphy with a perfect side-footed kick, and again converted to put Munster 31-26 up.
That was a winning position they were to comfortably maintain with O’Gara nudging over four more penalties against one from Weir.