Glasgow 13-27 Munster: Wilson’s yellow card costly as Warriors make worse start in 15 years

The last time Glasgow lost five matches out of six at the start of a season was 15 years ago, and Danny Wilson’s men will be particularly frustrated by this one because they were right in the contest until the final 10 minutes, when Ryan Wilson got himself a cheap yellow card to throw away the momentum his team had worked so hard to build up.

Glasgow Warriors' Rob Harley (left) and TJ Ioane battle with Munster's James Cronin. Picture: Craig Williamson / SNS

Munster powered in two late tries after that to secure the bonus point and bolster their position at top of Pro14 Conference B. Glasgow, meanwhile, languish fourth in Conference A, eight points of the play-off placings. Their season is not dead yet, but they are in desperate need of some positive energy.

Munster took an early lead when captain Billy Holland powered over from a line-out drive, and Ben Healy fired home the tricky conversion, but Glasgow bounced back in fine style when Tommy Seymour came off his wing to pierce the defensive line, Robbie Nairn did well to pick up a loose pass and suck in four men, and Glenn Bryce finished the sweeping attack off.

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Pete Horne couldn’t manage the touchline conversion, but Munster sent the restart straight out, and Warriors then forced a penalty from the scrum in the middle park, which Brandon Thomson – on for Nick Grigg who suffered an early head knock – fired home from halfway to put the hosts ahead.

Glasgow continued to press for the next 10 minutes but couldn’t hold onto the ball in the strike zone, which was in contrast to Munster who were deadly the next time they got in range, repeating their earlier trick of kicking a penalty to the corner for blindside flanker Fineen Wycherley to rumble over, although Healy couldn’t manage the supplementary two points this time, so the gap was just four points at the break.

Munster had three kickable penalties at the start of the second half – one for a high tackle by TJ Iaone, and two against their under-pressure scrum – but Healy managed to send only one over the bar, meaning Glasgow were still in touch when they finally made it out their half after about 10 minutes of the second period through an excellent kick int the corner from Bryce.

A series of penalties conceded by Munster on their own line led to a yellow card for Holland, and Warriors finally got their reward when Grant Stewart was propelled over the line.

Brandon Thomson couldn’t manage the conversion so Warriors still trailed by two with 15 minutes to go, and home skipper Ryan Wilson didn’t do his team any favours when he flew into Munster scrum-half Craig Casey on the ground and picked up a deserved yellow card. Munster took full advantage with No 8 Gavin Coombes piling over for his team’s third try 30 seconds later – which took the game away from Glasgow.

Munster secured the bonus point with two minutes left to play when Jean Kleyn peeled off another maul in the corner and bustled over the whitewash.

Glasgow Warriors: G Bryce; T Seymour (N Matawalu 30), N Grigg (B Thomson 9), R Fergusson, R Nairn; P Horne, S Kennedy; A Seiuli (A Allan 52), G Stewart, E Pieretto (D Rae 52), L Bean (H Bain 70), R Harley, R Wilson, T Gordon, T Ioane (F Lokotui 53).

Munster: M Haley; C Nash, R Scannell, D de Allende, M Gallagher (D Goggin 70); B Healy (J Hanrahan 70), C Casey (N McCarthy 77); J Cronin (J Wycherley 68), K O’Byrne (R Marshall 61), S Archer (K Knox 68), J Kleyn, W Holland, F Wycherley (J O’Donoghue 61), J O’Sullivan (T O’Donnell 68), G Coombes.

Referee: A Jones (Wales).

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