The Courier

Glasgow 25 Munster 10: Warriors ride the wind to victory over Munster

Adam Hastings takes on Munster's John Ryan.

Glasgow Warriors rode the Scotstoun breeze to a 22 point lead at half-time and then held on against it with some smothering defence to beat Munster and start their Guinness PRO14 season with two wins from two.

With Adam Hastings playing a major role at playmaker with two assists, the Warriors scored three first half tries from Callum Gibbins, Stuart Hogg and Adam Ashe and allowed Munster barely a touch inside their half.

The second half brought only a sole penalty strike from Hogg with six minutes to go, but plenty of commitment and aggression in defence held the Irishmen at bay at the cost of just a penalty and a try.

It was a much more coherent performance than the opening weekend at Connacht, with Hastings turning in a man of the match performance just edging Ashe, who brought a real focus with his ball-carrying and turnover ability before leaving injured.

The scrum and maul were again hugely effective, with a now fully-fit Oli Kebble destructive against an experienced Munster front row.

It means Glasgow head to South Africa for two games with two wins and nine points under their belts, looking more and more like the side that dominated the first half of the last PRO14 season.

With the customary Scotstoun wind-tunnel at their backs, the Warriors flexed their muscles to build an impressive lead in the first half.

Munster managed two setpieces in the Glasgow half for the first 40, surrendered a couple of scrum penalties and had enormous difficulty stopping the Warriors’ new favourite toy, their well-drilled lineout maul.

Peter Horne could even afford to miss the first of two penalty chances, but on 23 minutes Hastings was involved three different times in a succession of phases that ended with Callum Gibbins sliding over in the corner for an unconverted try.

The young stand-off then produced the second try when after a series of power drives had Munster hanging on, his deft grubber in behind found Stuart Hogg quickest to the ball for the second score.

Hogg converted himself and added the extras to a gift just before half-time, JJ Hanrahan fumbling a pass on his own line as he shaped for a clearance kick and the outstanding Ashe pounced for the score as Glasgow reached the break 22-0 ahead.

Hanrahan didn’t return for the second half and replacement Joey Carbery  put Munster on the scoreboard with a simple penalty, and the Irishmen were predictably much more effective with the wind at their backs.

The Warriors were forced into a huge defensive stand in the shadow of their own posts until Munster lock Fineen Wycherley fumbled, and then Warriors replacement hooker George Turner made key turnover of Tadhg Beirne when the big lock burst through.

The Warriors finally wilted for a try from replacement hooker Rhys Marshall with ten minutes left but smart work by Ali Price at the base of a scrum won a penalty which Hogg kicked for some breathing space.

The Warriors thought they had a bonus point after a thrilling breakout by Niko Matawalu, on for a limping Hogg, but the referee spotted an illegal steal before Peter Horne went in, but a solid victory over one of their conference rivals was reward enough.

Att 7351

Glasgow: S Hogg; T Seymour, N Grigg, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe; A Hastings, G Horne; O Kebble, F Brown, Z Fagerson; R Harley, J Gray; R Wilson, C Gibbins, A Ashe.

Replacements: G Turner for Brown 51, J Bhatti for Kebble 60, D Rae for Z Fagerson 64, S Cummings for Ashe 55, M Fagerson for Wilson 70, A Price for G Horne 55, A Dunbar for Hastings 64, N Matawalu for Hogg 74.

Munster: M Haley; D Sweetnam, S Arnold, R Scannell, S Daly; J Hanrahan, N Cronin; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, J Ryan; J Kleyn, B Holland; D O’Callaghan, T O’Donnell, A Botha.

Replacements: R Marshall for Sherry 49, J Cronin for Kilcoyne 56, S Archer from Ryan 40, F Wycherley for Holland 26, T Beirne for O’Callaghan 40, D Williams for N Cronin 35, J Carbery for Hanrahan 40, J Taute for Scannell 65.

Ref: B Whitehouse (WRU)