Munster’s brilliant start to the PRO14 season continued in Glasgow with a deserved sixth victory on the trot in a bruising encounter.
They were forced to dig deep but once again had the composure to not only carve out the win but then push on and seal a third bonus point victory to ensure their best ever start to a season.
Man of the match Gavin Coombes backed up his hat-trick last week with the bonus-point try this time out. “I’m just getting lucky," he said. "As I said last week the lads are putting me in that position and I’m just finishing them. Every week we want to win, we want to get the five points, so in terms of the league table this is massive.
“At half-time we said win the set-piece and that would win the game for us and we went out in the second half and did that,” said Coombes.
This was the first meeting between these sides in the league in over two years and a wet and windy night in Scotstoun made conditions very difficult.
And while Munster came into this on the back of a five-match winning start to the campaign, a depleted Glasgow side found themselves 30 points adrift of Leinster in their conference, with just one win so far.
Glasgow coach Danny Wilson had just 23 senior players available for selection and their problems increased in the opening half when they lost Nick Grigg and Tommy Seymour to injury.
Munster may have also been without their internationals but Johann van Graan’s better resources saw them lead 12-8 at the break, having played into the wind and rain.
Both tries came off penalties to the right corner and both were scored by the locks Billy Holland and Fineen Wycherley.
Holland got the opening try after 11 minutes — only his sixth in 234 appearances — with Ben Healy, who came into this one with a 91% kicking success, somehow landing the conversion from the right wing, the ball just reaching over the top of the crossbar.
Glenn Bryce pulled back a try for Glasgow three minutes later after being set up by Robbie Cairn in the left corner and they hit the front when replacement Brandon Thomson landed a penalty from halfway.
But Munster, with Craig Casey and Healy on top at half-back, pushed forward and Wycherley got his third Munster try eight minutes from the break after another good drive off a lineout. Healy’s conversion came back off the woodwork.
Healy missed penalties either side of extending Munster’s lead with a kick from 40 metres after 47 minutes.
Glasgow hit back and when Munster conceded a string of penalties inside their own 22, Holland was unlucky to be the one picked out for a yellow card. Glasgow eventually made them pay after another couple of penalties, getting a drive off a lineout for hooker Grant Stewart to score to make it 15-13 after 64 minutes with Thomson unable to convert.
Glasgow skipper Ryan Wilson was binned for a cynical tackle on Casey and Munster made them pay with a lineout drive which was finished by Gavin Coombes for his sixth try of the campaign. Healy added the conversion from the left to lead by nine after 69 minutes.
They weren’t content with just the win and two minutes from time another good maul after a penalty to the left saw Jean Kleyn peel away on the outside to score in the corner.
JJ Hanrahan, making his 100th league appearance, was unable to convert from the touchline.
Scorers: Glasgow Warriors: Tries: G Bryce, G Stewart. Pen: B Thomson Munster: Tries: B Holland, F Wycherley, G Coombes, J Kleyn. Cons: B Healy (2). Pen: Healy.
Glasgow Warriors: G Bryce; T Seymour (N Matawalu, 30), N Grigg (B Thomson, 9), R Fergusson, R Nairn; P Horne, S Kennedy; A Seiuli (A Allan, 52), G Stewart, E Pieretto (D Rae, 52); L Bean, R Harley; R Wilson, T Gordon, TJ Ioane (F Lokotui, 53).
Munster: M Haley; C Nash, R Scannell, D de Allende, M Gallagher (D Goggin, 71); B Healy (JJ Hanrahan, 71), C Casey (N McCarthy, 78); J Cronin (J Wycherley, 67), K O’Byrne (R Marshall, 61), S Archer (K Knox, 67); J Kleyn, B Holland; F Wycherley (J O’Donoghue, 61), J O’Sullivan (T O’Donnell, 67), G Coombes.
Referee: A Jones (Wales).