United Rugby Championship: Munster frustrate 14-man Glasgow Warriors to book semi-final date with Leinster

Planet Rugby
Munster centre Antoine Frisch

Munster will face rivals Leinster in the United Rugby Championship (URC) semi-finals after they beat Glasgow Warriors 14-5 at Scotstoun on Saturday.

The Warriors played the majority of the game with 14 players after fly-half Tom Jordan was red-carded for a dangerous tackle on Munster’s Conor Murray.

His sending-off left Glasgow hampered as they looked to fight their way back into the game, with the Irish province ultimately grinding out a famous win.

Malakai Fekitoa and Antoine Frisch grabbed Munster‘s tries, with Jack Crowley converting both, but injuries during the contest have soured the victory.

Glasgow‘s only points of the match would come late on through captain Kyle Steyn as his try proved in vain, with the Warriors’ URC season now over.

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The home side started well and dominated possession and territory over the 80 minutes, but their hopes of reaching a second final this season were undone in a five-minute spell.

Glasgow could not make their early pressure count, and Fekitoa crossed in the 22nd minute in Munster’s first attack of the game.

Jordan was sent off three minutes later after smashing his shoulder into the face of Murray on the touchline and Frisch soon went over to increase Munster’s lead further.

Steyn gave Glasgow hope with a 66th-minute try, but the 14 men could not build on their opening score.

The first quarter of the game offered little indication of the final outcome.

Glasgow had some promising line breaks from Sione Tuipulotu and Steyn in particular, but the final pass was missing.

Munster survived some sustained pressure after the Warriors kicked a penalty into the corner before Jack Dempsey was later held up on the line.

The visitors continued to defend well despite losing captain Peter O’Mahony early on to an arm injury and lock RG Snyman to a head injury. Murray would soon go off as a result of Jordan’s challenge.

Munster’s first meaningful foray into the Glasgow 22 resulted in Fekitoa spinning out of Steyn’s tackle and touching down.

Jordan saw red after the officials studied footage of his dangerous tackle, and the Irish side quickly used their numerical advantage, winning a penalty and then working the ball to Frisch to cross.

Crowley added his second conversion of the game to give Munster a 14-point half-time lead which might have been greater had Franco Smith’s side not stood firm under some relentless late first-half pressure.

The Warriors restarted the game on the front foot and won a couple of penalties deep in Munster territory, which allowed them to pile on the pressure, but Richie Gray’s spillage and some stubborn defending kept the visitors’ clean sheet intact.

Glasgow regained the ascendancy after a brief respite for Munster and finally made their pressure count in the 66th minute when substitute Huw Jones set up Steyn to go over in the corner.

Stafford McDowall missed the conversion to leave the Warriors needing two scores, and Munster spent the remainder of the game deep in home territory.

All comeback hopes evaporated when Tuipulotu was yellow-carded following a head-on challenge which forced Fekitoa off with a head knock.

The Warriors will now focus on preparing for the European Challenge Cup final against Toulon in Dublin on May 19.

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