James Cronin scores Munster's second try in their 21-10 win over Glasgow Warriors in the Guinness Pro14 at Musgrave Park
CLINICAL Munster inflicted just a second defeat on Glasgow Warriors this season in the Guinness Pro14 when scoring a hard fought 21-10 victory at a sold-out Musgrave Park on Friday night.
Tries in either half from Niall Scannell and James Cronin, together with 11 points from the boot of New Zealand out-half Tyler Bleyendaal, helped second-placed Munster down the runaway Conference A leaders before a sell-out attendance of 8,002.
The large crowd who turned out to bid farewell to full-back Simon Zebo, who was playing his last game in Cork before his summer departure to Racing 92, will be pleased with Munster’s response to their disappointing defeat away to Cardiff Blues six days earlier.
Second-placed Munster who have now won their last seven Pro14 fixtures in Cork trail Conference A leaders Glasgow Warriors by 12 points.
Wind-assisted Munster led 13-0 at half-time, thanks to Scannell’s 25th minute try from close range and a conversion and two penalties from Bleyendaal.
However, it took a superb cover tackle from winger Alex Wootton to prevent Glasgow flanker Matt Smith from scoring what would have been a crucial try for the visitors.
Glasgow stormed back after the break with out-half Adam Hastings landing a penalty goal and converting a well-taken try from scrum-half George Horne. Munster’s lead was suddenly cut to three points, 13-10.
However, an opportunist try from Cronin on 48 minutes settled the home side’s nerves, before Bleyendaal sealed Munster’s win with a further penalty goal on the hour mark.
Munster number eight Robin Copeland was awarded the Man of the Match accolade, in a game which saw Billy Holland captain the side in his 180th appearance for the province.
MUNSTER: Simon Zebo; Calvin Nash, Sam Arnold, Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton; Tyler Bleyendaal, James Hart; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (capt), 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 (c), Matt Smith, Matt Fagerson. Replacements: Grant Stewart, Alex Allan, Zander Fagerson, Lewis Wynne, Chris Fusaro, Henry Pyrgos, Richie Vernon, Niko Matawalu.
REFEREE: Marius Mitrea (FIR)