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Glasgow 15 Munster 16: Drop goal extends Warriors’ slump to three successive defeats

The Glasgow and Munster packs lock horns at Scotstoun.
The Glasgow and Munster packs lock horns at Scotstoun.

Ian Keatley’s late drop goal consigned Glasgow to their third consecutive defeat in the Guinness PRO12 as Munster became the third team to beat the Warriors at Scotstoun this season.

The experienced stand-off coolly slotted the winner with three minutes remaining after tries from Ali Price and Mark Bennett turned the match around for Glasgow.

But Munster, despite offering nothing in an attacking sense other than a highly skilled kick and chase game, probably deserved the victory as they won the collisions and their physicality had Glasgow under pressure at the breakdown.

For an hour Glasgow looked pretty clueless trying to break down the Irish defence until Price and Bennett provided the spark, but having grabbed the lead they surrendered it too easily in the dying moments.

It’s the first time the Warriors have lost three successive games under Gregor Townsend, and have now lost three times at home in the PRO12 this season having lost only once at Scotstoun in the two previous seasons.

Another sell-out crowd hoping their team could get out of their November slump were left disappointed in the first half as the home team created little, suffered a key injury to Peter Horne and couldn’t cope with Munster’s pinpoint kicking game.

A hurried clearance by Peter Murchie led to an offside and an easy penalty chance for Ian Keatley to open the scoring, and after 12 minutes Munster seized on their only real possession of the half in the home 22 to score a try.

The Munster maul made ground from lineout ball and Keatley put in a fine cross-kick, Darren Sweetnam leaping above Murchie to knock it back for full back Andrew Conway to score.

The stand-off converted and Glasgow needed a quick lift, but instead despite a Horne penalty they lost their stand-off soon after, stretchered off with a left knee injury.

Munster repeatedly killed possession to stop any momentum from the home side and lost prop Dave Kilcoyne to a yellow card for taking out a lineout, but the Warriors messed up the maul from resultant lineout and came away with nothing.

Instead another high kick caused havoc for the home defence and resulted in an obstruction, Keatley booting the visitors ten points clear at half-time with the penalty.

Glasgow looked to be more direct at the start of second half but a serious injury to Rory Hughes requiring a second use of the stretcher took the wind out of their sails.

The home team looked to be toiling under just after the hour when Price produced a solo score of real quality.

A Rory Clegg kick pinned Munster back in their 22, Glasgow turned over the lineout and Price weaved his way through tacklers at pace to score at the posts, Clegg converting.

Then after a long spell of kicking and aimless play, Glasgow moved it wide, Tommy Seymour broke a tackle and sent Bennett streaking 60 metres for the try down the right touchline, with no Munster man able to get near him.

Clegg missed the conversion and Glasgow had the lead for the first time only for five minutes as Munster quickly worked position for Keatley to drop a goal to put them back in front.

Att: 7531

Glasgow: P Murchie; R Hughes, N Grigg, M Bennett, T Seymour; P Horne, A Price; G Reid, F Brown, S Puafisi; T Swinson, R Harley; J Strauss, C Fusaro, R Wilson.

Replacements: C Flynn for Brown 50, A Allan for Reid 50, D Rae for Puafisi 61, L Haupeakui for Strauss 57, R Clegg for Horne 22, L Jones for Hughes 44.

Munster: A Conway; D Sweetnam, J Taute, R Scannell, R O’Mahony; I Keatley, D Williams; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, J Ryan; J Kleyn, B Holland; P O’Mahony, T O’Donnell, J O’Donoghue.

Replacements: R Marshall for Kilcoyne 76, S Archer for Ryan 61, D Ryan for Kleyn 40, R Copeland for O’Mahony , T Toma for Williams 65, D Goggin for Keatley 76

Ref: N Owens (WRU)

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