Five-try Munster put Glasgow to the sword

Date published: October 22 2016

Munster got their Champions Cup campaign off to a superb start when they claimed a deserved 38-17 victory over Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park on Saturday.

14-man Munster honoured Anthony Foley's memory in almost perfect fashion by outscoring their visitors by five tries to two.

The Irish province were inspired in the first half, despite Keith Earls receiving a deserved red card for a spear tackle on Fraser Brown. 

By that point Rassie Erasmus' men had moved 14-3 ahead through Tyler Bleyendaal and Jaco Taute tries. Finn Russell's penalty was sandwiched in between those scores but Glasgow were being outplayed by an emotionally charged side. 

Bleyendaal's three-pointer and Simon Zebo's touchdown duly increased the hosts' buffer as they went into the interval 24-3 in front. Munster started the second period in similar fashion, securing the bonus-point when referee Jerome Garces awarded a penalty try. 

Although Pat MacArthur and Mark Bennett went over for the Warriors, the home side aptly had the final word as Rory Scannell powered across the whitewash. 

Following the sad passing of head coach Foley, this game was likely to go one of two ways; either a wonderful performance full of passion or one where the players, having struggled to come to terms with the news last weekend, failed to spark. 

On the first half display, it proved to be the former as the 15 Munster players who took to the field set out with intent. They opened the scoring after just four minutes, Bleyendaal latching onto Earls' brilliant off-load to touch down, before Russell reduced the arrears from the tee. 

However, the Warriors, possibly struggling with the occasion, conceded again when Munster found the space to send Taute across the whitewash. Then came what could have been the turning point. Having been so controlled in the physical stakes, Earls overstepped the mark and took Brown above the horizontal. 

With the visiting hooker landing on his head, Garces had no option but to send off the Ireland international. Unperturbed, the Irish province went again and earned a penalty which their stand-off converted. 17-3 soon became a 21-point buffer as Scannell scythed through the heart of the Glasgow rearguard and fed Zebo, who raced down the left to score. 

The Warriors needed a response but Munster continued to pressurise the opposition defence and sealed the bonus-point when a series of scrums ended in them being awarded a penalty try. 

Despite being down a man, it was game over, even if the Scottish team did cross the line with 15 minutes remaining through MacArthur. 

Bennett then touched down as the Irishmen began to run out of steam, but they mustered enough energy to garner a fifth try through Scannell and complete the win.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Bleyendaal, Taute, Zebo, Penalty try, Scannell
Cons: Bleyendaal 4, Keatley
Pen: Bleyendaal
Red Card: Earls

For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: MacArthur, Bennett
Cons: Hogg 2
Pen: Russell