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Munster edge Glasgow in classic European tie

Munster and Glasgow played out a tense Champions Cup tie where the visitors prevailed 14-12 in Sc...

Munster edge Glasgow in classi...

Munster edge Glasgow in classic European tie

Munster and Glasgow played out a tense Champions Cup tie where the visitors prevailed 14-12 in Scotstoun and booked their place in the quarter-finals. 

The home side dominated territory early in the match and kicked in behind the Munster defence on numerous occasions. They also put the visitors under pressure in the line-out and won two early turnovers from Niall Scannell throws.

Munster conceded a scrum penalty which Finn Russell converted to give Gregor Townsend's side a 3-0 lead.

Munster won a scrum penalty of their own but Tyler Bleyendaal's effort from the half-way line dropped short. He did level the match minutes later when he converted a penalty after a high tackle on Keith Earls.

Munster's Tyler Bleyendaal kicks a penalty. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Stuart Hogg and Bleyendaal traded penalties late in the half to bring the scores out to 6-6. Hogg had a chance to give the Scottish side the lead again but his effort drifted wide after Donnacha Ryan was pinged for a high tackle. 

Glasgow kept the pressure up after the break and only for a timely Earls interception close to the Munster line, the home side would have surely crossed the whitewash. 

The Scots came attacked again and a last gasp Andrew Conway tackle, followed by a professionally slow roll-away gave Russell the opportunity to give them a 9-6. Bleyendaal replied for Munster shortly after when the home side were penalised for not releasing after a tackle.

Russell gave Townsend's side the lead again when the usually flawless CJ Stander impeded at a maul around the 22. 

Then came a pivotal moment in the match when Josh Strauss went off injured with just over ten minutes remaining. He was a huge physical presence for the home team and his withdrawal appeared to lift the visitors.

Scrum-half Ali Price then kicked a ball straight into touch just outside his 22. Munster smelled blood. From the resulting line-out they pounded the Glasgow line and Andrew Conway almost got over in the corner but was held up over the line despite shipping a high tackle from Stuart Hogg.

Hogg received a yellow card for the tackle and Munster went for the kill. They won the resulting line-out and eventually spread the ball wide to Earls who cut back against the grain, drew three defenders to him before passing back outside to Francis Saili who took the ball at pace and dotted down in the corner.

Munster's Francis Saili scores a try. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Blyendaal missed the conversion from out wide and Munster led 14-12 with time running out.

Glasgow made their way back into Munster territory and with Russell in position in front of the posts decided to pass the ball out wide instead of taking the drop-goal. Munster repelled the assault and saw out the game with booked their place in the quarter-final.  

Speaking to Sky Sports afterwards, Simon Zebo said: "We made tough work of it out there but it was a grinding battle and it certainly went down to the last 10 minutes and thankfully our character shone through. The forwards put in a big display and got us over the line."

Looking ahead to the final match against Racing Metro next week, he said: "It's going to be a tough fixture. ROG is going to have those boys well up for it and we have to go out and preform in front of our home fans and ensure we get the home quarter-final."

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