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Gregor-Inspired Glasgow Dump Munster

Gregor-Inspired Glasgow Dump Munster

Munster are still at the Celtic League’s summit despite slipping up against a Glasgow Warriors side, inspired by stand-in fly half Colin Gregor, at Thomond Park on Saturday.

…Munster skipper Anthony Foley gets over for the game’s opening try under pressure from Glasgow captain Jon Petrie…

Munster are still at the Celtic League’s summit despite slipping up against a Glasgow Warriors side, inspired by stand-in fly half Colin Gregor, at Thomond Park on Saturday.

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CELTIC LEAGUE: Saturday, February 18

MUNSTER 20 GLASGOW WARRIORS 26, Thomond Park (Att: 5,000)

Scorers: Munster: Tries: Anthony Foley, Stephen Keogh, Anthony Horgan; Con: Mossie Lawlor; Pen: Lawlor

Glasgow: Tries: Sam Pinder, Colin Gregor; Cons: Gregor 2; Pens: Gregor 4

Gregor guided Glasgow to a famous double over Munster as the province slumped to only their second defeat in 26 home games.

Gregor, deputising for the Scotland-tied Dan Parks, scored 21 of Glasgow’s points – including a crucial converted try and two penalties just after the break – to allow them hang on for a famous victory over the league leaders.

Having scored three first half tries through captain Anthony Foley, Stephen Keogh and Anthony Horgan, Munster were left shell-shocked when Gregor single-handedly doubled Glasgow’s first half tally for a 26-17 lead, just 11 minutes into the second half.

Laying siege to the Glasgow line, Munster were left frustrated as a sequence of knock-ons and loose passes prevented them for getting a fourth try – a score that would certainly have won it for them late on, after fly half Mossie Lawlor had closed the gap to six with a 72nd-minute penalty.

Having earned their first ever win (32-10) over Munster at Hughenden in September, Hugh Campbell’s men travelled south with a degree of confidence, helped by the presence of six members of the Scotland 6 Nations squad in their match-day 22.

Munster began in fine style when inspirational number eight Foley, who was named as Limerick’s Person of the Year last week, followed up on flanker Keogh’s surge from a ruck to score in the left corner after only three minutes. Lawlor missed the conversion.

However, Munster’s lead was short-lived – just four minutes later, Gregor combined with his captain Jon Petrie to put scrum half Sam Pinder over behind the posts for a converted try.

Gregor added a penalty on 13 minutes, but Munster bullied their way back in for a 17-13 lead at the interval.

Keogh lunged over from a close range ruck for the hosts’ second try on 31 minutes and while Gregor kicked his second penalty, Barry Murphy, who made the initial and telling incision, and John Kelly both made the hard yards for winger Horgan to cross the whitewash in injury-time.

Gregor, though, left Munster punch-drunk after the restart when he sandwiched a 47th-minute try, set up by new centre Spencer Davey, in between two penalties to establish a nine-point buffer for Campbell’s men.

Munster dug deep to try and muster a comeback but the Glasgow defence shut up shop for the closing half-hour. The visitors lost winger Mike Roberts to the sin-bin for a high tackle, five minutes from time, but the Scots hung on for only their second win in eight games.

Delcan Kidney’s men were left counting the cost of some unforced errors – a loose pass from Tomas O’Leary to Kelly, with a try very much on the cards on the right flank, and a knock-on after a lineout take by lock Mick O’Driscoll, just five metres from the Warriors’ line, only added to the province’s frustrations.

MUNSTER: Shaun Payne; John Kelly, Barry Murphy, Trevor Halstead (Gary Connolly 80+2), Anthony Horgan; Mossie Lawlor, Tomas O’Leary; Frankie Roche, Denis Fogarty, Federico Pucciariello, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll, Stephen Keogh, John O’Connor (John O’Sullivan 52), Anthony Foley (capt).

Replacements not used: Eugene McGovern, Damien Varley, Trevor Hogan, Mike Prendergast, Barry Keeshan.

GLASGOW: Rory Lamont; Hefin O’Hare, Graeme Morrison, Spencer Davey (Graydon Staniforth 68), Mike Roberts; Colin Gregor, Sam Pinder; Kevin Tkachuk, Fergus Thomson (Scott Lawson half-time), Euan Murray (Lee Harrison 72), Dan Turner, Craig Hamilton, Steve Swindall, Jon Petrie (capt), Gregor Hayter (James Eddie 60).

Replacements not used: Stuart Corsar, Iain Monaghan, Iain Kennedy.

Sin Bin: Roberts (Glasgow) (75 mins)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)