Munster squeeze past Glasgow Warriors

Date published: October 2 2015

Munster consolidated their position amongst the frontrunners on the PRO12 table after securing a hard-fought 23-21 victory over Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park on Friday.

Ian Keatley proved to be Munster's hero as his late penalty secured victory in dramatic fashion.

In a tight first half, Rory Clegg kicked three penalties for Glasgow but that wasn't enough to gain the lead at the break as Dave O'Callaghan touched down and Keatley added a pair of three-pointers for the Irish province. Clegg was just as imperious off the tee in the second period, kicking 12 more points, but BJ Botha's try and Keatley's three-pointer took Munster to their third win of the season. 

Gregor Townsend's men have been hurt more than most by the World Cup with the majority of their first team on international duty.

They duly lost their opening game against the Scarlets but managed to overturn Connacht in front of their own fans in round two of the competition.

However, the Scottish outfit have unsurprisingly struggled to find their fluency so far this season and, despite Clegg's early penalty at Thomond Park, the hosts had the better chances throughout the opening period. 

Keatley's three-pointer duly levelled the scores before their pack laid siege to the opposition line. The pressure eventually resulted in a yellow card for Tyrone Holmes and the home side took advantage of the extra man as O'Callaghan powered over from close range. 

To the Warriors' credit, they battled back and two Clegg efforts off the tee reduced the arrears before the Irish province's stand-off gave them a four-point buffer at the interval. 

Despite the absentees, the visitors refused to be shaken off and they controlled the early exchanges of the second period. Successive penalties from the fly-half took them ahead for the first time since the 12th minute and it was now up to Munster to respond. 

Reply they did. Once again, excellent continuity moved them to within inches of the line before Botha barged across the whitewash.

Clegg's drop-goal regained Glasgow's lead but Keatley was the match winner with a late three-point attempt that bisected the uprights.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: O'Callaghan, Botha
Cons: Keatley 2
Pens: Keatley 3

For Glasgow Warriors:
Pens: Clegg 6
Drop goal: Clegg

Munster: 15 Felix Jones (c), 14 Andrew Conway, 13 David Johnston, 12 Tyler Bleyendaal, 11 Gerhard van den Heever; 10 an Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jack O'Donoghue, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Dave Foley, 4 Mark Chisholm, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Jordan Coghlan, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Shane Monahan

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Rory Hughes, 14 Junior Bulumakau, 13 Hugh Blake, 12 Fraser Lyle, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Tyrone Holmes, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Rob Harley (c), 3 D’arcy Rae, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Alex Allan
Replacements: 16 Fergus Scott, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Kieran Low, 20 James Eddie, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Robbie Fergusson.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)