Their 14-5 loss to the Irish side in the United Rugby Championship quarter-finals on Saturday night was their first at home since January 2022 and their cause was critically damaged by first-half red card for Tom Jordan. The stand-off’s high tackle on Conor Murray also ended the Munster scrum-half’s game prematurely, one of four Munster players forced off with head injuries in a ferocious contest. Kyle Steyn, the Glasgow captain, consoled Jordan in the changing room afterwards and felt there was no malice in his team-mate’s challenge.
“Yes, I have spoken to Tom. I said I hoped he wasn’t beating himself up,” said Steyn, whose second-half try gave the Warriors a glimmer of hope. “He was obviously fired up for the match. I don’t think he was reckless, I don’t think he has gone out there to try to hurt someone. For me, his attitude and his intent was what we want out there. That’s the way rugby goes – sometimes you get it wrong.”
Jordan’s right shoulder caught Murray in the head and he must now wait to discover if he will be suspended for the cup final at the Aviva. Munster were already a try to the good by the time Jordan left the fray in the 25th minute but to say Malakai Fekitoa’s opening score was against the run of play would be an understatement. Glasgow bombarded the visitors in the opening 20 minutes. As has been their policy all season, the Warriors turned down the chance of an easy three penalty points on a couple of occasions as they sought the opening try. Franco Smith insisted afterwards it was the right thing to do. “No regrets,” said the Glasgow coach.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but getting some points on the board in the opening quarter would have been more pragmatic. The absence of a stand-off on the bench also came back to bite Glasgow, who had to switch Stafford McDowall from 12 to 10. Munster’s second try, scored by Antoine Frisch, left the home side 14-0 down and with 14 men after 27 minutes, but they showed great fortitude. They dominated for long spells in the second half but couldn’t add to Steyn’s 67th-minute try and it is Munster who will face Leinster in the URC semi-finals on Saturday.
Glasgow now have the best part of a fortnight to regroup ahead of arguably the biggest game in the club’s history. All roads lead to Dublin. “We’ve got a couple of days off now which will be good to let boys process this, mentally as much as physically,” said Steyn. “That will get boys back fresh, and back on the horse, and then it’s about marching as many Glaswegians to Dublin as we can. It’s a first European final for the club, and above and beyond that we’ve got guys like Ryan Wilson leaving. We couldn’t get the job done for him on Saturday night, or for Richie Gray on his 100th game. The motivation you can tap into is endless. If we get this trophy against Toulon, everything falls into place.”