Munster 35 - 29 Glasgow: Stuart Hogg’s heroics earn a bonus

THREE tries from Stuart Hogg were not enough but a losing bonus point just keeps Glasgow Warriors in the top four of the RaboDirect PRO12 after a six-point defeat to Munster at Musgrave Park last night.

The bonus was sealed with the late hat-trick try from Hogg, but head coach Sean Lineen was annoyed with his side’s lack of aggression in the first half.

“It was a frustrating day for us, our discipline wasn’t good at all. Munster challenge you around the discipline area and you need to make sure you watch yourselves and we didn’t do that,” said Lineen.

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“They are a very streetwise side and we paid the penalty; I think we conceded 14 or 15 penalties. We look at it now and we look at our discipline and defence weren’t good which are usually strengths of ours.”

Munster, with tries from Luke O’Dea, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray and six Ian Keatley penalties, had too much class for the Warriors who desperately need a win against Treviso next week to get their campaign back on track.

Yet the Warriors got just the start they needed when ten minutes in Munster tight-head Stephen Archer was penalised for flying off his feet by Welsh referee Nigel Owens and Jackson slotted the kick from 30 metres for the lead.

But Glasgow soon found themselves level pegging as they were caught offside, Keatley slotting the simple kick.

And it looked like he would have to line up a conversion eight minutes later when Felix Jones looked a certainty to score in the corner but Peter Murchie’s crunching hit on the Irish international saw him held up across the line.

Yet from the subsequent five-metre scrum Munster developed the phases and academy star O’Dea was on the end of a move featuring Mike Sherry and Donncha O’Callaghan, to dive over in the right corner.

Keatley was narrowly askew with the conversion but straight from the restart the home side’s advantage was cut when they were penalised from obstruction.

Jackson made no mistake with the kick from the left as the Warriors pulled within two points, but Tony McGahan’s men were in no humour to lie down and after Keatley punished Glasgow for another offside infringement, they struck for their second try.

A typical Munster driving maul saw O’Mahony bat away the Warriors’ defence to stretch for the touchdown as Munster held a 18-6 lead at the turnaround.

Glasgow’s chances of a rare win in Cork were increased when Hogg showed admirable speed to run around Lifemi Mafi and score in the corner after a collision in midfield allowed Jackson to spray the ball wide.

Jackson hit the upright with the conversion attempt, but Keatley made sure from the tee three minutes later to push Munster back into a 21-10 advantage.

But Hogg wasn’t satisfied and crossed for his second of the half after an exchange of passes with Colin Shaw freed the nippy centre down the left in the 47th minute.

Replacement fly-half Duncan Weir kept Warriors in touch with a 57th minute penalty in between successful Keatley penalties as the Munster lead edged out to eight points.

Conor Murray pushed Munster clear with six minutes remaining, but Lineen was chuffed for Hogg, who completed his hat-trick in the final minute.

“Stuart Hogg was outstanding, as an individual effort in attack he was fantastic, it was just disappointing that we couldn’t back it up with a good defensive display,” he said.

“We showed some tremendous character in that second half to come back and take a losing bonus point, but Stuart took his tries really well .

“To take that away from Munster is a great display and it gives us a lot of positives to work on going into Treviso next week,” said Lineen.