Glasgow pay price for red card as Munster stun Scotstoun to progress to URC semi-finals

Home was where the heartache was for Glasgow Warriors as their long, proud unbeaten run at Scotstoun was brought to an end by Munster.
Glasgow's Kyle Steyn is thwarted in his attempts to reach the Munster line.  (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)Glasgow's Kyle Steyn is thwarted in his attempts to reach the Munster line.  (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Glasgow's Kyle Steyn is thwarted in his attempts to reach the Munster line. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The Irish visitors defeated their 13-man hosts 14-5 and will now meet Leinster in Dublin in the semi-finals of the United Rugby Championship. Munster are the first team to win at Scotstoun since La Rochelle in January 2022, a run of 17 home games undefeated. They defended ferociously at times and withstood the loss of three key players in the opening 25 minutes, with Peter O'Mahony, RG Snyman and Conor Murray all departing injured.

Glasgow started brightly but couldn’t find a way through and when stand-off Tom Jordan was sent off after 25 minutes their chances were dealt a near fatal blow. They also lost Sione Tuipulotu to a yellow card late on. The Warriors conceded tries either side of the red card and, although they came back strongly in the second half, they had only a Kyle Steyn try to show for it.

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It was noisy off the pitch and physical on it, and as the game drifted away from the Warriors, the Fields of Athenry was sung loudly by the visiting supporters as they watched their team become the third from Ireland to progress to the semis. For Glasgow, the URC is over and they will now have a week to recover before their European Challenge Cup final against Toulon on May 19.

The home side dominated the opening quarter but had nothing to show for it. They won a couple of penalties close to the Munster line as the Irish side strayed offside but they opted to kick to the corner rather than take the points and found there was no way through the red wall. The game then unravelled for the Warriors during a five-minute spell midway through the half which saw them fall 14 points behind and reduced to 14 men. Munster scored a converted try either side of Jordan’s red card to turn the game on its head, leaving the hosts to rue their inability to breach the visitors’ defence which was resolute.

Unfortunately for Glasgow, theirs was not and Munster took the lead with their first attack of the game. They built the phases and Murray was patience personified before the ball was moved out to Jack Crowley and then Malakai Fekitoa who spun out of Steyn’s tackle to score. Crowley converted.

It was a classic sucker punch and worse was to come for Glasgow. Jordan, who had been struggling with a hamstring problem, went in far too high on Murray as he tried to halt the scrum-half on the left wing. His right shoulder hit Murray on the head and Italian referee Matteo Liperini felt there was no mitigation and showed Jordan the red card. With no stand-off on the bench for Glasgow, Stafford McDowall moved to 10.

Munster extended their lead two minutes later, Antoine Frisch powering over after a neat wraparound from Shane Daley. Crowley again added the extras.

The Warriors were clinging on at the end of the first half but they came out for the second 40 with renewed vigour. They pounded the Munster line, again using their tried and tested lineout maul, but the Irish side were equal to it. Glasgow changed tack, attempting to best their opponents at the scrum, but after initial success Munster repelled them and cleared the danger.

Glasgow kept coming and their second-half dominance eventually yielded the try it deserved with 13 minutes remaining. Ali Price and Huw Jones had come off the bench to pep up the attack and both were involved as the ball was spun wide, with Jones playing the final pass to Steyn to score in the corner. McDowall was off target with the conversion attempt and Glasgow found themselves pinned back in the closing stages. They ended the game with 13 men after Tuipulotu was yellow-carded in the 75th minute.



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