Glasgow Warriors 11 Munster 11
MUNSTER came to Firhill seeking to improve their position in the Magners League but in the end the red-shirted Irishmen had to settle for a draw at the end of a hard contest.
A draw was a fair result in a match where neither forward pack gained any real ascendancy and in which both back lines refused to yield in defence. Munster had chances to win the game but Paul Warwick’s goal-kicking lacked the consistency to provide victory.
Munster looked lively in the opening exchanges and had a real opportunity from a line-out 10 metres from the Glasgow try line, only for the home side to disrupt quick possession. But referee James Jones had spotted a midfield offside allowing Warwick to post three points.
Another Warwick contribution, a penalty kick from hand, gave
Munster another prime attacking position but the subsequent throw-in missed the intended target and it was the Glasgow flanker John Barclay who came away with the ball.
Then when Munster turned over ball at the breakdown Glasgow showed their attacking skills with a break by Scotland centre Andy Henderson. No try ensued but Glasgow were rewarded with a penalty, converted cleanly by Scotland out-half Dan Parks to level the scores.
Almost immediately Glasgow struck again, this time from a clever kick from Parks. Winger Brian
Carney appeared to have the situation in control when he gathered the ball in front of his own posts but his pass to Stringer went astray.
Glasgow centre Daryl Gibson then nailed Stringer and when the ball spilled loose, winger Lome Fa’atau gathered cleanly before diving over for the game’s opening try. Parks’ touchline conversion attempt, however, drifted wide.
Then another Warwick kick at goal strayed off target. And yet another chance went a-begging when Munster failed to convert a driving maul into points from a penalty created line-out but from at the next scrum, Glasgow were penalised leaving Warwick with a simple kick at goal to narrow the Warriors’ lead to just two points at the interval with the scoreline delicately balanced at 8-6.
Munster started the second half with the clear intention of using the boot to gain good field position but two misjudged kicks by Stringer put holes in the tactic.
The Reds’ position was further undermined by giving away a needless penalty, forged into three points by the boot of Parks to extend Warrior’s lead to five points.
The Glasgow out-half then created panic in the Munster defence with a towering kick to earn his side a scrum just outside the visitors’ 22m area. But in the subsequent attack Glasgow spilled the ball giving Munster the chance to counter.
Alan Quinlan led the charge as Munster tested the Glasgow defence to near destruction with wave after wave of attack. Glasgow tackled everything until centre Rua Tipoki finally found a way through before supplying the scoring pass to fellow midfielder Lefeimi Mafi to level the scores.
Warwick had the chance to put his side ahead with the conversion but again the out-half put his kick wide of the posts. At the other end Parks missed with a long range kick after Tipoki had been shown the yellow card for illegally preventing Glasgow from winning the ball at a ruck.
Then with two minutes of the game remaining Glasgow were penalised for advancing within 10 metres at a line-out. Replacement Jeremy Manning lined up the difficult kick five metres in from touch but his effort drifted wide of the posts.
Glasgow had a late chance to break the stalemate with a delicate chip and gather by Parks but replacement prop Mike Collins was unable to hold his outside half’s inside pass and a priceless opportunity was lost.
In a final fling Munster went all out for victory but drop goal attempts by Manning and Payne failed to secure the winning points leaving the teams level after a bruising encounter.
Scorers Glasgow Warriors Tries Fa’atau Pens Parks (2) Munster Tries Mafi Pens Warwick (2)
GLASGOW WARRIORS: B Stortoni; L Fa’atau, A Henderson (S Barrow 74), D Gibson, T Evans (H O’Hare 73); D Parks, C O’Young (S Pinder 72); E Kalman (M Collins 60), F Thomson, M Low, A Newman (D Turner 78), A Kellock (captain), S Swindall (J Beattie 11), J Barclay, K Brown
MUNSTER: S Payne; B Carney (K Earls 40), R Tipoki, L Mafi , I Dowling; P Warwick (J Manning 76), P Stringer; T Buckley (M Horan 29), F Sheahan (J Flannery 48), J Hayes, D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll, A Quinlan, D Wallace, A Foley (captain).
Referee J Jones (Wales)
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