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Courageous second half just not good enough for Munster in Scotstoun

Guinness PRO14 Championship:
Glasgow Warriors 25, Munster 10
THEY put in a decent shift in the second period, but Munster will have to do a lot better in this competition if they are to compete for the title at the end of the season. They had an awful opening 40 minutes, failing to get close to the Glasgow line and trailing 22-0 at the short whistle.
The second half was a different story. Munster emptied the bench with Carbery, Beirne, Archer, Taute and Marshall all coming on, but the scoreboard told its own story with the meagre 12 points by the Irish province not enough to give them even a losing bonus point to take back on the flight home.
A penalty by JJ Hanrahan gave Munster their first points of the game on two minutes into the second half and while they had the bulk of territory and possession, they had to wait another 25 minutes before Rhys Marshall forced his way over and Joey Carbery kicked the conversion. That set up the chance of a losing bonus point at least but just when it appeared that another seven pointer would present us with a thrilling finale, the reds coughed up a penalty in front of their posts and Stuart Hogg gobbled up the gift like a plate of haggis. It was Glasgow who came closest to a final try but they were whistled back for a penalty, the final pass coming from a player in an offside position.
Johann van Graan will have something to ponder over the coming week. His aim was to take at least a point from every game but on this, their first away fixture, the home side fully deserved the laurels.
It was a nightmare first half for Munster and on the run of play they could count themselves fortunate not to have trailed by more than 22 points. It was probably the worst 40 minutes that we have seen from the reds for many seasons. They were completely out-played and had it not been for some heroic self sacrifice in their defensive duties by the visitors, Glasgow could have been home and hosed in the home stable at the break.
To add to their woes, Munster added to their problems with a series of turnovers and very little in the way of coherent attacking strategies while the loss of Neil Cronin and Billy Holland in a ten minute period was hardly in the game plan. The Scottish side battered the visitors’ defences right from the start and after Peter Horne had missed a sitter of a penalty in front of the posts the same player found his range ten minutes later to put the Warriors 3-0 in front. Some neat hands by Adam Hastings opened up the Munster defence on 22 minutes and Callum Givens got in for a try to increase the Glasgow lead to 8-0 and when Hastings threaded a delicate bouncer inside the cover Stuart Hogg had read it perfectly for try number two, Hogg also adding the conversion for a 15-0 advantage with 30 minutes played.
Munster continued to struggle and JJ Hanrahan spilled the ball on his line, allowing the chasing Adam Ashe in for a simple touchdown, converted by Stuart Hogg as Glasgow pushed their lead to 22-0.
We have seen Munster come back from situations like this, but not this time. Tadhg Berne made a difference, Joey Carbery but in a few jinking runs and varied his attacking game well and you had to admire the way that the entire 15 reacted in the second half. Next Friday night, 7.35, it’s the Ospreys in Irish Independent Park in Cork where we can expect a backlash of some intensity after this performance.
Glasgow Warriors: 1, Oli Kebble, 2, Fraser Brown, 3, Zander Fagerson; 4, Rob Harley, 5, Jonny Gray; 6, Ryan Wilson, 7, Callum Gibbins, 8, Adam Ashe; 9, George Horne, 10, Adam Hastings; 11, DTH van der Merwe, 12, Peter Horne, 13, Nick Grigg, 14, Tommy Seymour; 15, Stuart Hogg.
Replacements: 16 – George Turner, 17 – Jamie Bhatti, 18, D’Arcy, 19 – Scott Cummings, 20 Matt Fagerson, 21 Ali Price, 22, Alex Dunbar, 23 Niko Matawalu.
Munster (15-9: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Neil Cronin; (1-8) Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (C); Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne, Duncan Williams, Joey Carbery, Jaco Taute.

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