Munster close the gap on Glasgow with win in Cork

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Calvin Nash on the attack against Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

MUNSTER moved to within 12 points of Glasgow Warriors at the top of the Guinness Pro14 Conference A after beating the Scottish side 21-10 at Irish Independent Park.

Tries from Niall Scannell and James Cronin as well as 11 points from the boot of Tyler Bleyendaal saw Johann van Graan’s side to a deserved victory.

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All 10 of Glasgow’s points came in the second-half with out-half Adam Hastings kicking a penalty and he also converted George Horne’s try.

However, it wasn’t all good news for Munster as both Scannell and Chris Cloete left the field injured in the second-half. Cloete’s in particular looked extremely serious.

After a scrappy opening 10 minutes it was Munster that came close to scoring through Cloete’s effort off a lineout.

Munster had to settle for three points moments later after Sam Johnson strayed offside. Bleyendaal, aided by a stiff breeze made no mistake from the kicking tee.

James Hart had another chance from long range soon after but slipped when making contact and his effort skewed wide.

Munster finally made their pressure tell on 25 minutes through a lineout maul that saw Scannell score. Bleyendaal added the extras to stretch Munster’s lead to 10.

Glasgow almost struck back before the break after Matt Fagerson breached the Munster defence but they were denied when the ball was recycled by a superb Alex Wootton tackle.

Munster soon took advantage with Cloete earning a now trademark penalty at the breakdown and Bleyendaal nailed his effort from 35 metres to his side 13-0 up at half-time.

The Scottish outfit started the second-half much better with a Sam Johnson break from his own ’22 that led to a Hastings penalty. Cloete left the field after that score after hurting himself in attempting to tackle the Glasgow centre.

Glasgow soon brought Munster’s lead back to just three points when a Lee Jones break and offload saw Horne finish from close range. Hastings duly obliged with the easy conversion.

Munster’s response was swift as Rhys Marshall kicked the ball through a ruck inside Glasgow territory.

Cronin then hacked ahead and got to the ball ahead of Jones to put Munster 18-10 in front with 50 minutes on the clock.

The home side pushed hard for another try and came close to doing so through Calvin Nash but his acrobatic finish was ruled out after the TMO showed that he had a foot in touch.

Bleyendaal added another penalty just after the hour that proved to be the last score in Munster’s 21-10 victory.

MUNSTER: Simon Zebo; Calvin Nash, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton; Tyler Bleyendaal, James Hart; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Dave O’Callaghan, Chris Cloete, Robin Copeland; Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, Brian Scott, Gerbrandt Grobler, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Darren Sweetnam.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: Ruaridh Jackson; Lee Jones, Sam Johnson, Brandon Thomson, Ratu Tagive, Adam Hastings, George Horne; Oli Kebble, James Malcolm, Siua Halanukonuka; Kiran McDonald, Scott Cummings; Rob Harley, Matt Smith, Matt Fagerson; Replacements: Grant Stewart, Alex Allan, Zander Fagerson, Lewis Wynne, Chris Fusaro, Henry Pyrgos, Richie Vernon, Niko Matawalu.

REFEREE: Marius Mitrea (Ita)