Jack Crowley steers Munster past Cardiff while Scotland wing scores hat-trick in Glasgow procession

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Munster fly-half Jack Crowley clapping fans.

Munster fly-half Jack Crowley clapping fans.

A try and 10 points off the tee from Jack Crowley helped Munster edge past an impressive Cardiff side 20-15 in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday.

Crowley’s 15-point haul and a try from Ireland team-mate Tadhg Beirne saw Munster come out on top but the Welsh region were more than a match for the champions.

Ben Thomas and Thomas Young scored Cardiff‘s tries while Tinus de Beer and Jacob Beetham added extras with the boot as they left Limerick with a losing bonus-point.

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A lone Crowley penalty had Munster leading 3-0 at half-time, with the hosts frustrated by nine handling errors across the opening 35 minutes.

Munster captain Beirne and Thomas swapped tries, with the latter running in a fine intercept effort, before Young profited from John Ryan’s sin-binning to score from a maul.

Player-of-the-match Crowley scrambled over and finished with 15 points, albeit replacement Beetham’s late penalty gave Cardiff a deserved bonus point.

Cardiff flanker Ellis Jenkins was the first half’s dominant figure, showing his trademark ability at the breakdown but also spearheading some promising attacking phases.

Back from leading Ireland to Six Nations glory, Peter O’Mahony was involved in an early scuffle which got the home crowd fired up.

Jenkins and Mackenzie Martin forced penalties at the breakdown to thwart Munster and a Mike Haley knock-on ruled out a 20th-minute try for John Hodnett.

It was end-to-end stuff at times and with the error count still high, Crowley punished a Tinus de Beer offside to kick the first points in the 38th minute.

Having blown a lineout opportunity before the interval, the Munster pack were rewarded eight minutes into the second period when Beirne burrowed over after back-to-back penalties.

Crowley’s conversion was followed by more cohesive attacking, yet a 10-phase attack was ruined by Thomas swooping on a Craig Casey pass to speed clear and score under the posts.

With De Beer adding the extras, Cardiff held on to the momentum and skipper Liam Belcher was lifted in a dangerous cleanout by Ryan who saw yellow.

A strong lineout drive saw Young make it 12-10, only for 14-man Munster to respond quickly as Crowley evaded a couple of tackles and muscled his way over beside the posts.

The Ireland fly-half topped off his own try and Munster tightened up their defence, forcing a key knock-on near their own line before Crowley split the posts with the decisive penalty.

The result moved Graham Rowntree’s men back above the Stormers into fourth place but Beetham’s long-range kick made sure 12th-placed Cardiff pocketed a point on the road.

Rampant Glasgow Warriors thump Scarlets

Elsewhere, Glasgow Warriors crossed the whitewash on seven occasions as they crushed Scarlets to climb to second in the United Rugby Championship standings.

The win moves the Warriors above the Bulls and to within five points of leaders Leinster, with five rounds of the regular season to go.

Kyle Rowe (3), George Hiddleston, Scott Cummings and Johnny Matthews crossed the whitewash, with Duncan Weir converting four of those tries, and there was also a penalty try.

Ioan Lloyd kicked a penalty for Scarlets, who lost three players to the sin-bin.

Kieran Hardy led out Scarlets on his 100th appearance for the region but his side quickly suffered a blow when Tom Rogers was yellow-carded for taking out Rowe in the air.

Glasgow immediately capitalised with Rowe collecting a long pass from Weir to out-flank the cover defence and score.

Rogers returned from the sin-bin and in time to see Tomi Lewis’ electric run take Scarlets into the opposition 22 from where Lloyd put them on the scoreboard with a straightforward penalty.

That score was against the run of play as the Scots looked the sharper and it came as no surprise when they secured a second try, with Hiddleston finishing off an unstoppable driving line-out.

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An error from Lloyd nearly gifted Glasgow their third try. The outside half took too long to clear his lines and his side were forced to concede a five-metre scrum but resolute defence from the hosts kept their line intact to trail 14-3 at the interval.

At half-time an injured Lloyd was replaced by Dan Jones and his first touch saw his clearance charged down leaving Cummings to collect and score.

There was no way back for Scarlets as Rory Darge and Tom Jordan made clean breaks to split the defence before Glasgow were awarded a penalty try after the home side collapsed a maul with Dan Jones yellow-carded.

Scarlets’ woes continued when Sam Lousi became the third player to be sin-binned for a dangerous tackle, with the visitors taking immediate advantage with a try from Matthews.

Rowe strolled over for a sixth and a seventh to leave Scarlets to reflect on a sobering experience.

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