Planet Rugby

Munster finish with a flourish

12th May 2007 19:43

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Munster ended their Magners League campaign with a resounding 38-20 victory over Glasgow on Saturday, finishing sixth in the overall table of a disappointing season.

The Munstermen were in fine form, outscoring the Scots by five tries to two.

Two of those tries went to flanker Alan Quinlan who looked hungry for work ahead of Ireland's tour to Argentina later this month.

Pacy centre Lifeimi Mafi got the scoring underway with a 16th-minute touchdown, while Denis Leamy and the fit-again Shaun Payne completed Munster's try haul.

With Glasgow's attacking threats largely nullified and little but pride to play for after a poor first half, two penalties from league top scorer Dan Parks were all the visitors had to show for their efforts until John Beattie and Graeme Morrison got over for two late tries.

The competitiveness of this tie belied the fact that the sides were only scrapping for a top-six finish. Aiming for their fifth straight win, Glasgow travelled with some well-founded confidence - Sean Lineen's men had beaten the three other Irish provinces plus the title-winning Ospreys in their previous four games.

Add in the fact that the Scots had overturned Munster in their previous three encounters, including a three-try 21-10 win at Thomond Park in October, and the hosts had plenty of reason for revenge.

It was just over a year ago that Munster were preparing for a Heineken Cup final and while this season had been largely one to forget, the performances of Mafi and home debutant Denis Hurley, who slotted in well, at full-back will give coach Kidney hope for the future.

The match could well have had a different outcome had Glasgow turned early pressure into points. Their pack were within range of the Munster line on the quarter-hour mark, but a quick turnover and a five-man move, begun by Ronan O'Gara under his posts, led to Mafi's excellent score.

O'Gara converted and while Parks landed his first kick soon after, a tide of Munster pressure led to Glasgow leaking a further ten points before the interval, with Quinlan being mauled over for his first try.

Parks opened the scoring in the second half, pinging over another penalty, but Munster put the result beyond doubt with two tries close to the hour mark.

Their third try of the evening was the most noteworthy as Hurley started it from the rear, linking well with replacement Mossie Lawlor, and some great continuity led to Quinlan notching his second of the evening. Leamy added some gloss with his seventh try of the season.

The scorers:

For Munster:

Tries: Mafi, Quinlan 2, Leamy, Payne

Cons: O'Gara 4, Manning

Pens: O'Gara

For Glasgow:

Tries: Beattie, Morrison

Cons: Parks, Gregor

Pens: Parks 2

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Anthony Horgan, 13 Barry Murphy, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Ian Dowling, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 Anthony Foley, 7 Denis Leamy, 6 Alan Quinlan, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Mick O'Driscoll, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Frank Sheahan, 1 Federico Pucciariello

Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Frank Roche, Donncha O'Callaghan, John O'Sullivan, Brian O'Meara, Jeremy Manning, Mossy Lawlor

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Francisco Leonelli, 14 Rory Lamont, 13 Graeme Morrison, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Thom Evans, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Graeme Beveridge, 8 John Beattie, 7 Donnie Macfadyen, 6 Steve Swindall, 5 Alastair Kellock (c), 4 Andy Newman, 3 Moray Low, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Justin Va'a

Replacements: 16 Fergus Thomson, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 James Eddie, 19 John Barclay, 20 Andrew Wilson, 21 Colin Gregor, 22 Hefin O'Hare

Referee: Hugh Watkins (Wales)

Touch judges: Alan Rogan (Ireland), David Wilkinson (Ireland)

Assessor: Bertie Smith (Ireland)

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