Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Glasgow 12-14 Munster

Ali Price on the attack
Ali Price makes a break for Glasgow Warriors vs Munster in the European Rugby Champions Cup at Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow. © Alastair Ross | Novantae Photography

Old Pro 12 rivals Munster came to Scotstoun on Saturday for Glasgow Warriors’ penultimate European Champions Cup Group A fixture. The Irish side were top of the table after their bonus point win against Racing 92 in Paris last week, but Glasgow knew their fate was still in their own hands – 2 wins this weekend and next, and they would qualify. A full fifteen of Scotland capped players started for the Warriors, with the whole 23 man squad eligible for the national side.

Glasgow started with an aggression and determination matched only matched by the quality of their opponents’ defence. Munster were flying out the line smashing bodies backwards, but the Warriors were the ones doing the pressing. It took 13 minutes for the first chance for points though, with Finn Russell slotting a simple penalty to give the home side a deserved lead.

A feature of this match was that every time the Warriors scored, Munster would come straight back up and level it up. Tyler Bleyendaal, so influential in the reverse fixture thumping earlier in the season, missed his first attempt from 51m but was not to be denied much longer, with a much easier attempt levelling the scores up at 3-3 after 20 minutes. Fingernails were in short supply even at this early point.

Glasgow, perhaps surprisingly given Munster’s traditional skill set, were having a great time at the breakdown, winning plenty of turnover ball and disrupting the Munster possession. Furthermore, a clear tactic of ensuring Conor Murray ‘knew he was in a game’ was visible, with a number of borderline hits on the scrumhalf, timed to be early enough they couldn’t back out and so mostly legal, but late enough the intent was clear. Frustrated, Murray moaned and gesticulated like a footballer, but for the most part got up and on with it.

The breakdown superiority was ensuring Glasgow had a tonne of possession, but the Muster defence continued to look untroubled. The next points came from a 54m penalty from Stuart Hogg, which had another 15m left on it easily, but as before, Bleyendaal immediately evened it up to 6-6.

With 5 minutes of the 1st half remaining, Hogg had another attempt from halfway, this time after a bit of a comical mix up where the referee moved the ball back in the middle of Finn Russell’s kick preparations prompting the change of kicker – apparently Finn fancies 47m, but not 50. The kick sailed wide and at halftime there was plenty of positives, but definitely not enough points on the board to represent the Warriors possession and territory.

HT Glasgow 6 – 6 Munster

As with the first 40, the Warriors came flying out of the traps, roared on by some incredible noise coming from the Scotstoun fans, and this time they seemed to be finding more gaps in the defence. Russell and Tim Swinson in particular seemed to be causing the most problems for the Irish side. Another 3 points for Finn on 47 minutes seemed scant reward for their domination, especially when that man Bleyendaal again levelled us up on 50 minutes through Glasgow indiscipline.

At 9-9 Munster definitely fancied their chances, with their bench on paper a lot stronger than Glasgow’s which contained very little experience for the most part.

Glasgow had not had to work very hard in defence up to this point, with a few high balls being lost but tackles and breakdown work very solid. Russell added another 3 points on the 60 minute mark, and this time they managed to hold onto the lead for a period of time. It seemed for a while like a real turning point, but Munster were not finished yet.

To this point I have not mentioned the new World Rugby directives on high tackles and contact with the head. This is surprising, given the ferocity with which the Munster defence in particular had been setting about the Warriors attack, but it had to intervene at some point.

With 70 minutes on the clock, Munster finally mounted an attack that didn’t involve sending the ball high into the Scotstoun skyline. Stuart Hogg positioned himself to make the tackle on Andrew Conway, and as Conway quickly changed direction inside, against Hogg’s momentum, all Hogg had left to block him was a flailing arm. Those are the breaks with this new law and so Stuart was shown the yellow card leaving the Warriors with 14 men for the rest of the game.

From the resulting penalty, which Munster put in to the corner, they recycled the ball, spun it wide and Francis Saili dived over in the corner after a lovely pivot from public enemy number one Keith Earls drew Tommy Seymour in, leaving a big hole inevitably around the spot where Hogg would have been. Frustrating!

The conversion was missed though, meaning a 3 point penalty or drop goal could still win it for Glasgow with 9 minutes remaining.

From the restart the Warrior could not believe their luck. Swinson, who had put in one of his best displays in a Warriors shirt, broke free down the flank, getting the Glasgow side into position about 15m out. Russell lined up for the drop goal, but for some reason the ball was never sent back to him in the pocket, continuing through the forwards for 7 phases before a knock on cost Glasgow the chance at victory. Presumably whoever made the call not to go for the drop will need to have a very robust reason on Monday, when they review that phase of play to avoid a dressing down from management.

Munster played out the rest of the time comfortably, and only the unsavoury scenes at the end, with Conor Murray celebrating in the Warriors players faces (they were admittedly in his face in the first place after yet another late hit) and almost getting a thumping from D’arcy Rae for it, marred what had been a terrific match.

One for the purists, but that’s no bad thing. Glasgow must now go to Welford Road to face a Leicester side who have nothing but pride to play for, having lost to Racing 92. The mathematicians among the Warriors support will be out in force this week working out the possibilities.

The rest of us will hope that such a promising European campaign doesn’t fizzle out.

FT Glasgow 12 – 14 Munster

SRBlog Man of the Match: I can’t believe I agreed so much with Stuart Barnes, but Tim Swinson was head and shoulders above every player on the park, on either side. His work in both attack and defence was outstanding, and he clearly showed why the management wanted him signed up for another 3 years. Honourable mentions go to Josh Strauss, who finally looked in good form with ball in hand, and Zander Fagerson, who anchored the scrum well and won a couple of turnovers with some excellent breakdown work. Final word goes to the Scotstoun crowd, who were incredible from 1st minute to last. Lead well from the East stand, the songs and chants were clear and powerful! Glasgow need this for the rest of the season if we are going to make the playoffs.

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Lee Jones, Finn Russell, Ali Price; Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Jonny Gray (capt), Rob Harley, Ryan Wilson, Josh Strauss.
Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Alex Allan (for Reid, 78), D’arcy Rae (for Z Fagerson, 78) Matt Fagerson, Chris Fusaro (for Strauss, 68), Grayson Hart, Nick Grigg (for Bennett, 63), Peter Murchie.
Yellow card: Hogg (71)
Munster: Simon Zebo, Andrew Conway, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls, Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Donnacha Ryan; Peter O’Mahony (capt), Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, James Cronin (for Kilcoyne, 54) Thomas Du Toit (for Ryan, 60), Dave Foley (for O’Mahony), 74), Billy Holland (for Kleyn, 54), Duncan Williams (for Murray, 65-71), Ian Keatley, Francis Saili (for Taute, 57).

Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)
Attendance: 7,251

71 Responses

  1. Glasgow =4 or 5 basic mistakes -v- Munster =1 basic mistake. that’s top class rugby for you. Glasgow NEEDED a win & NEEDED Munster to get 0 points that’s why they went for a try when DG was on offer.
    Munster defence tremendous.
    Think Glasgow really miss Pete Horne.
    Why was Hogg wearing a scrum cap?

    1. Agree mistakes at key key moments. No confidence they could get over the Munster line. Drop goal opportunity went begging

      1. Could put this in any spot, but now you know why Cotter prefers Laidlaw! Think the last ten might have had a slightly different pattern, especially as a drop goal would have been enough. Plus IIRC it was Price’s off target box kick that eventually led to the YC and try.

        Russell didn’t cover himself in glory, but I do not want to go back to the one dimensional dross we used to have to endure. Plenty of guys used to rage at Toonie in his time. Russell is young enough yet.

        Ah well.

      2. Too right Mike. Russell is good and will get better. He’s still on a learning curve but if Laidlaw was there he would have told him to line up for a f-ing drop goal.

      3. Not sure it would have been any different with Laidlaw! See Australia in the Autumn test. The depressing thing is that this back line should have cut through any defence. The only decent carries were from Strauss and Swinson.

        Try try and all that stuff!

  2. All that said I’ll take the loss here if we can’t just beat the f ing Irish on 6 nations Day 1.

    What are the permutations now? Any real chance left of getting out the group?

    1. Absolutely, win at Leicester next week and we are through. Lot of other groups second side hasn’t done too well, exception being the group with Zebre. As I type this Leicester are being hammered by Racing so they will have no further interest.

    2. Ok, Pool 4 cannot do better than Glasgow should they win, and there would need to be some against the odds wins in pools 3 and 5. Pool 2 runner up will be better.

      All to play for at Welford Road.

  3. Slightly depressed after watching the Glasgow game so have been letting off some steam on a couple of blogs. One or two Irish folk didn’t like Murray being targeted.
    Slightly improved mood after hearing about the good Edinburgh performance that wasn’t expected (by me anyway).
    Glasgow always seem to lose these tight arm wrestles (remember Toulose, Toulon) where they can’t break the shackles of the other teams defence.
    A seriously tight and intense affair.
    Plaudits for Swinson, Strauss and Harley, but the entire pack stood up and traded punches all night.
    Hinesight is heinous, but they should have gone for the drop goal. Passing the ball about in the rain was not the height of ‘clever’. Not sure who decides when to pull the trigger on these occasions.
    Both Glasgow and Munster played well, and all is not yet lost for Glasgow.
    A 4 or 5 point win next week against Leicester would keep them in the running for an away QF.
    Glasgow are good enough if they play well. If they can squeeze through to the QF’s, they can still give anyone a hard game, and teams won’t like playing them.

    1. I’m slightly depressed too. We essentially had our international team out there and they couldn’t get it done at home. Feels v familiar

      1. Only 5 of that Glasgow side would be in the first choice Scottish XV at the moment.


  4. I know the Munster defence was pretty much offside all game, but how could Price, Russell, Hogg, Bennett not make a break through? Phase after phase of nothing, followed by a kick and hope or knock on. Same old.

  5. It doesn’t matter how many initiatives there are, losing games like that keeps rugby in The doldrums. Ive had my Guinnesses and that’s that

  6. Here is how i see the final 8 presuming glasgow can get 4-5 points next week.

    Pool leaders
    Group 1. Munster – Glasgow
    Group 2. Wasps – Connacht
    Group 3. Saracens – No Runner Up
    Group 4. Leinster – No Runner Up
    Group 5. Clermont – Ulster

    I dont think you can have 3 teams from one pool qualify ? else id be tempted to say Tolouse would go through in 3rd for group 2.

    Here is some of my thinking on this and already definitive information.

    1. impossible for a team to qualify from group 4

    2. Toulon could potentially be runner up in Group 3 but they would need 5 points tomorrow (likely) but then have to beat Saracens away (unlikely).

    3. Wasps last game is away to Zebre so i cant see anything other than 5 points their to take them to 22 points. Connacht could potentially beat that but they would need 5 points away at Tolouse. For the runner up connacht only need 2 points to Guarantee and most likeoy still get through with a losing bonous point, i think they will end up with 19.

    4. Leicester just got crushed at Racing so they are out of the running, im confident if Glasgow play with the same intensity they did today they will get at least 4 points. 5 will guarantee it. 4 should be enough though.

    5. Pool 5 , Both bordeux and Ulster are on 9 points with 2 games to go. Bordeux would need to win tomorrow at Home to Clermont then Travel away to Ulster and come away with at least 9 points, Ulster will need to win away at Exeter tomorrow then beat Bordeux at home to following week. I feel Ulster would edge this if it comes down to that last game and why i have given the runner up spot to them.

  7. A very gutsy performance by Glasgow, both sides played with passion and a massive turnaround from the slaughter in Cork. The crowd were fantastic. Fell strangely proud but empty. Our forwards were outstanding and out backs gave it their all. I cannot fault that.

    This one game sums it up, Glasgow have latent talent but lack the maturity that brought Munster through. Against lesser sides they might have got away with it, however this was the one factor which differentiated them.

    One card was always going to be costly and the only shortfall in the skills of our last man in defense was exposed. Enough said..The difference is that Munster were savvy and did not concede a penalty in the closing minutes

    I am not sure that we were ever in the right position for a drop , however I get the impression that a DG is a tactic Glasgow do not work on…..yet.

    On one hand I applaud FR’s honesty to say he should have had a crack at it (good for him), and on the other frustrated that he could not say what stopped him. I am sure he will be pondering this now.

    All in all I think it is better, however , if not now, then when?

    Getting out the pool as a runner up while not ideal, would be another stepping stone to driving that character and maturity. I do not want to think how damaging it will be not to progress.

  8. Been trying to work out what to post after being at the game last night. Very disappointed at final whistle and more so seeing the yellow card again at home. Appreciate what the laws are for but surely they are not meant to catch scenarios like Hogg’s? A penalty- fair enough but a yellow card….

    That was the difference between the sides so a good performance ftom glasgow against one of the form sides in europe. We were not out muscled, fronted up to Munster and looked like the side try to play the most expansive rugby.

    Russell will have good and and bad moments in games, much as nakarawa had- he knocked on a lot but people put up with that due to the potential from his offloads.Russell will make wrong decisions at time (chip ahead for me was not a great decision) but is the best fly half we’ve had in a long time. I’m a big fan of Price but I think pyrgos controls the game (and by extension Russell) better.

    Good news is we got a point and therefore hopefully don’t need to chase a BP against Leicester. Big ask against them but they are a club in transition and hopefully are focusing on other things.

    There is still hope!

      1. Due to today’s results it may even be possible to lose and still progress with a LBP. I think we better win to make sure though!

  9. Munster defended tremendously well & the luck of the bounce (that Scotland benefited from in the AI) didn’t favour Glasgow.

    Bennett hasn’t been the game changer we have become accustomed to this season.

    In tight games like this I see Du Preez & his ability to off-load in heavy traffic worth its weight in gold (Scotland perspective here)

  10. Well well well Glasgow. Yet another example of Scottish players, and their inability to make match winning decisions in critical situations.

    Either that or a referee making a match resulting critical decision in a closely contested match that really matters.

    Desperately frustrating….yet again. SRU top level coaching staff have needed to address this for over a decade and it’s still an issue. Can’t say I’ll be releived to hear of Peter Horne continuing his career at Glasgow as he’s been the worst culprit for this (e.g penalty kick to touch Vs Italy 2015, missed tackle on Kuridrani, etc). He should leave Glasgow and develop that aspect of his game.

      1. Apologies, but the boy is hardly being constructive, more like a character assassination; Horne may have missed touch but the ball was cleared to half-way and he had suffered cramp in the act of kicking it, he did not cause the Try.
        Peter Horne was excellent in that match and will be going nowhere. Most sensible Glasgow fans will relish that when it is announced.

      2. Peter Horne played like a man inspired that day and the missed kick was due to exhaustion. Peter Horne while not the most showy of lads is consistant and reliable. Every side needs one of them and ours is in the upper quartile.

  11. I would like to hear the ‘official’ Glasgow rugby view of the ‘non drop-goal’.
    GT always goes into ‘accentuate the positive’ mode after games so that there is no criticism of individual players, so it makes it difficult to know what he and the management think.
    If they simply allow the players to make ‘on the hoof’ decisions on important strategic and season defining incidents (possibly), without any advice or input, then that is a serious mistake.
    It’s all very well saying that “you have to back yourself”. But anyone with half a brain could see that they were unlikely to get another opportunity against a very good Munster defence, and they should have played the probabilities on this occasion and taken a pot shot. I wouldn’t give anyone a hard time if they’d missed it, but I would give them a hard time for not attempting it. There is also a ‘did Fin bottle it’ question to be answered here?
    I think it should be the captains call on these occasions, and I wonder if Johnny Gray didn’t either get involved or think this one through.

    1. I wonder if Russell had just got in the ‘pocket’ if that might have triggered a rush of blood to the head from Munster even if he hadn’t been successful. We will never know.

      At least there is a second bite at the cherry next week. Welford Road should hold no fear if the forwards play with the same level of intensity.

  12. Next item on the agenda…any injuries? High intensity, physical game, i’d be surprised if everyone came through unscathed, hopefully just bumps and bruises, I assume Glasgow will issue an update in due course. Fingers crossed!

  13. I followed this game on Glasgow’s very well-written twitter commentary. At the end of the match I felt utterly drained, just as I used to feel as a player when our team had lost! In the early stages, when Glasgow seemed very much in control in both territorial and possession terms, I was dismayed the referee decided that our driving maul had been set up illegally and we were penalised on two separate occasions.. If there was any means likely to allow us to breach the Munster defence it was the driving-maul.
    One assumes that this phase of play is practised exhaustively by the Glasgow pack and it was hugely effective against the Blues in the previous match. Why suddenly were we detected committing line-out illegalities on two occasions in this crucial match?
    Nothing, absolutely nothing, must stop us from gaining victory against Leicester next week

    1. Quite right. I don’t think from memory we have ever gone into the last pool game knowing a win will guarantee progress. Thanks to today’s results that is the case. Can’t think of a greater motivating factor.

      Hope the injury front is OK, and certainly Big Brian will be available from suspension could there be any back from injury?

      1. Bath, no? We would have progressed had we beat them, or had Maitland’s arms been three inches longer….

  14. Such is the format of The Champions Cup is you can come third and lose out with more points than some winners of groups. You can also be put in a stinker of a group like Glasgow have and struggle. They haven’t struggled except against the inspired Munster once, after losing their coach tragically. So u could argue they are just behind the form team in Europe. So if they get through then who’s to say they can’t beat all the other teams that get through. They won’t play Munster till the final. I reckon they’ll win next week with something to spare. I also back Scotland to be going to Twickenham hoping to preserve their unbeaten six nations 2017 record.

  15. See Munster are getting investigated for their handling of Murray’s head knock. From the replays I thought he was out cold. The ref doesn’t normally stop the game immediately and gesture for a stretcher unless its bad.

    1. I wasn’t sure if he was maybe milking it a bit? Aware he’d caught an elbow from Swinson and knowing that drawing the refs attention to the incident and “exaggerating” it’s impact on him might sway the ref to a card / pen decision. He seemed pretty sprightly when he got up. Hope I’m wrong as the new rules could see it ending up like football and credit to the referee for sticking to his guns.

      1. It’s the wrong way to milk it if he did. You’d want to roll about in mock agony (like Jonny Sexton did a few years back). Anyone that goes down and stays stock still is going to be a HIA at minimum or taken off permanently – which is what is supposed to happen if there is any suspicion he was out cold.

  16. Many bloggers have commented in the past on Munster’s illegal tactics, for which referees seem to allow them carte blanche. Nathan Hines’ tweet-with-video gives a good instance of this. A ruck has formed with the ball emerging on Munster’s side. Meanwhile the Munster no.2 charges diagonally out of the line and tackles the Warriors no.7 off-the-ball and well BEYOND the ruck as he (no.7) attempts to reach the ruck area. This allows Munster complete freedom on the fringes of the ruck. Why was there no penalty for Glasgow when the ref was clearly looking in the direction of the illegal tackle? It seems Munster’s success is largely based on illegal defence.

    1. Has been for years but refs have inexplicably allowed them to do this without sanction. Leinster and Ulster are as bad. You don’t see it anywhere near as often in France or England so it’s clearly an Irish coaching thing.

      1. Ireland are fantastic at these “dark arts” bits of play; only NZ can match them. I really wish Scottish teams could become adept at it too, however every time we try something we seem to get pinged >:(

      2. Was about to say the same Doddies…not sure who “invented” it, but ABs mastered it through the McCaw/Carter era.

        They have their ‘aura’ but not sure why Ireland so able to deceive.

        Practise or perception?

      3. For some strange reason we in Scotland take the moral high ground over these dark arts and complain as Ireland or Wales give us a going over by cheating us off the park (I remember the Wales scrum being an incredible penalty miking machine in a game a few years back). The game on Saturday was one of the first times we have fought fire with fire with our borderline illegal roughousing.

        The next step for Munster will be to master the ducking into tackles. They will be the first club in Europe to adopt it in their coaching sessions.

      4. Andy, that Wales game still makes me furious thinking about it now! The Welsh front row weren’t engaging or “taking the hit” as it were so our guys fell forwards and got constantly pinged for collapsing. I could see it a mile away on the TV and our guys were moaning like hell about it but to no avail. The thing that annoyed me most that despite knowing exactly what their game was our front row continued to do exactly the same and continue getting penalised, a bit of street smartness was required and I think (for all the rights and wrongs) it is something that is a bit lacking in Scotland’s game.

        It depends on your ethos on the game, do you play properly and fairly or do you adopt the “it’s only cheating if your caught” mentality.

      5. Re: 1.8T – when the Scottish Front row eventually cottoned on and went for a counter soft hit, the Welsh Scrum Half had the ball in within miliseconds and the Welsh front row ploughed into our guys who weren’t leaning into it at all. Result – Scottish scrum gets obliterated and trampled on, Welsh Penalty. It was the perfect cheating performance by the Welsh forwards that day, and I’m pretty sure there was some review afterwards by the IRB and referees such was the scale of the mugging off by the Welsh.

  17. Andy, most players duck into tackles anyway. It is all sounding a bit holier than thou after the late shots that murray took, so keen to get it in the sub prop even have to get it in after the game ended!

  18. Just reading the posts I have a few observations.

    There is a recognition that the drop goal was possible but was not taken and some posts refer to the failure to close. Glasgow must have confidence to use this tactic. Is that the only issue we need to consider ?

    There is very little comments on close to the 70th minute when we were ahead and Munster were marching towards our line. Stuart Hogg was the last line in the defense and not the first ? So what went wrong there ? Why leave him on his own !

    No one has stated his card was unjustiifed , which it was not IMO, but the point being that this error of judgement was as big an issue as the no show drop goal. It is difficult not to lose points when you drop to 14 men.

    We seem to all be clear that Mark Bennett is still to get back to his post Rio form. It comes to me that we often justify the investment in 7’s as a major training benefit, yet one of our ‘World Class’ players is still in a low post the event.

    Is this sufficent, as an experiement, to say that , perhaps the assertion on the benefits of 7’s might need reviewed.

    Now here is food for thought : that funding could buy another pro team or build on bringing LS up to Premiership Standards.

    1. 7s funding is nowhere near enough to run a pro-team. Most travel etc. is paid by sponsors, the core squad is less than 10 people and they are on lower salaries than ther colleagues in 15s. If there were any fat to take it would have been sucked off them by now, London title or no London title!

      1. Bang on. A pro side needs about five mill as a minimum and the sevens cost the SRU a fraction of that. I also don’t hold with throwing money at London Scottish. they get a big wedge from the RFU to ensure their team is predominantly English. The SRU would need to match than and then some to bring that side up to Prem standards and look how that ended for London Welsh!

      2. FF / AL thanks for your thoughts

        I am not clear on actual costs and wages but believe it is not accurate to say all are paid less than 15’s counterparts. There is also admin, coaching, insurance to pay as well.

        While it might not fund a side for me the cash spend on 7’s regardless of the size in £’s is dead money, Spending it elsewhere could give a better return with the obvious bonus of developing talented scots.

        The costs of running a pro 12 side are high so the 7s may be a fraction of a high cost base, what if it was a lower cost base with greater income.

        Glasgow and Edinburgh are bound to be even higher than most pro 12 sides as they need bigger squads, higher rotation numbers, more contribution to the national XV than competitors and less attendance than most pro 12 or premierships sides.

        Here is some facts to ponder:

        The pro 12 have 5 teams with over 100k attendance per season. Glasgow get 67k per annum and Edinburgh 53K.

        The premiership have 9 teams with over 100K attendance. The worst attended of the 12 sides have 67k per annum, same as Glasgow.

        Premiership sides have big sponsors and higher gate returns and can spread their costs over these economies.

        The LS ground capacity is 4500 and 11 home league games alone that is 50K plus non league and cup games.

        However if they were to become premiership and increase attendance , gain premiership sponsorship deals ? How much better could that be ?

        London Irish obtained 130K attendance last year.

        It will need a bit more to help me change my mind on this one.

  19. Many intelligent points being made about why Glasgow were unable to win. Can I mention the depth of quality on the bench. Glasgow currently have a huge injury list, where a significant impact of the bench is a hallmark of most sides. With players like Horne, Favaro,Hughes and Peterson missing along with others the ability to change the game from the bench was missing. The need to have a sufficiently strong squad is now so important that the bench Glasgow had available was just not good enough when rugby is definitely a 23 man game nowadays.

    1. Bruce, I dont miss the point on the injury list . We could go on and mention the SRU rotation policy and the significant disruption to Glasgow by the AI ‘s and forthcoming 6N, however while I think these have downsides , there is also upsides such as the extensive Glasgow squad numbers to compensate.

      I think the big concern yesterday is that Glasgow were actually in touch throughout the match, not outsmarted in every depeartment or trounced. They were right there.

      With reluctance , the best side won. Yes they are hardened professonals and the appear to cheat, however like these posts say, we will be unable to change that however we can decide how we respond to that. They were the better side mostly because they are ruthless finishers.

      Glasgow ahead on the scoreboard, had a crisis and Hogg got himself carded. We lost a try and with only 14 men progressed to Munster’s 22 where their defense was so good Glasgow never broke the gain and lost ground right up to the final whistle. There was an optimum time to take a drop and that diminished as ground was lost thereafter. That is the issue, even with a poor bench (if you say so ) they were right there.

      1. Bulldog, what you say is very true, in the match into the final few minutes with chances to score. My concerns are based around the ability to change the game based on who is available off the bench. I maybe wrong but I didn’t think anyone who was introduced as a replacement upped the quality of the team, or change the dynamic of the team.

      2. Hopefully should be seeing some of the injured players back soon, of all you’ve mentioned I’ve noticed Sarto is missing, and when he’s fit, he’s opposite Tommy for a starting winger spot in my view. Big lad, so aerial battles hold little fear, strong as an ox, defends ok and was fitting in nicely to the Warriors mould. Had his, pitch-stretching, exquisite break from Finn’s tap and go against Leicester ended in a try, our search for Try of the Season could’ve ended right there. And he still scored twice.
        I never expect Favaro to play 2 games in a row, launching yourself into tackles with such ill-regard for your own safety is bound to lead to knocks (don’t ever change Simone) but there’s plenty of top-class back-row cover for the Warriors (and Scotland too, maybe more on that later) which can’t be said of the wing. I like Jones and Hughes, but when you consider they’re recent replacements for the likes of DTH, Nico, Maitland, and Hell-mend me for saying it, even Big T, who could put in a performace when the mood took him, they don’t instill that same level of fear or doubt in the opposition. The legendary DTH, sneaky Nico, clinical Maitland, power-house Taqele; opportunist, game-winners, who can win a tight match like Saturday’s given a sniff. Jones and Hughes? Not quite there yet.

      3. Yes I like your points and in particular the reference to some of the quality that has moved on, That said I was proud of them on Saturday and thought they gave their all. The evidence is that Munster only turned Glasgow over in the 75th minute and they were never overwhelmed by 14 men like they were in the first leg at Cork

        I suspect the biggest motivation for Munster was Stuart Hogg being off the pitch.

        Now that made me consider if we had better replacements would we have put them on sooner ? If we had would the yellow have happened at all if they were on sooner ? Fatigue does play a part in the incidents leading to the yellow and the subsequent try.

        I am surprised no one is stating the obvious , we were down to 14 men.

      4. Huge injury crisis at Warriors:

        Peterson, Cummings, Uanivi at lock all out, putting too much onus on Jonny to play probably too much rugby.

        Favaro massively missed for his wrecking ball defence.

        Horne and Vernon adding some quality and aggression to the midfield.

        Hughes and Sarto big ball carriers out wide.

        If even half of those had been available Glasgow would possibly have gotten over the line.

  20. Just looking at the weekend ahead – there is a possibility that we could already have qualified by the time we kick off at 5.30pm on Sat.

    Friday night, Montpellier, Castres and Northampton are all able to overhaul the current Glasgow point total of 14. For us to remain in the top 8, we need Leinster to defeat Castres, and Northampton to defeat Montpellier (but not a bonus point win). If that works out OK, then it’s on to Saturday….

    …..First up is Ulster at home against Bordeaux – we need an Ulster win, but no try bonus point, then we need Clermont to do the business at home against Exeter. If we survive this, then it’s onto the mid affternoon games….

    ….Sale need to beat Scarlets at home. Saracens vs Toulon is irrelevant in this scenario, as both already have more points than Glasgow. If all that comes together, then we’re home and hosed on 14 pts before we even kick a ball

    1. Andy – you are of course correct, but I think it’s rather unlikely that all those results will come out in Glasgow’s favour.

      Rather, the real benefit is the fact that Glasgow will know exactly what they need to achieve results-wise before they play on Saturday evening (e.g. whether they still need to win or whether a draw or losing bonus point will do).

      Of course, it’s never a good policy to play for a draw (or losing BP) in rugby. But in terms of decision making in the final 5/10 minutes, it could make all the difference. For example if the results earlier in the day dictate that a losing BP will be sufficient, and the Warriors find themselves in a situation where they are, say, 3 points down towards the latter part of the match, the best decision would be to kick for 3 points if they have the option, rather than kicking to touch in order to force the victory. That is a luxury the teams playing earlier in the day won’t have…

  21. Some have asserted that Munster was the better side (there can’t be a “best” side when only two teams are involved) but I would contend that all Glasgow’s attacking flair was bound to be blunted by a team allowed to get away with illegalities like the example I cited earlier. The Munster player should have been penalised on two counts: one, he was well ahead of the ruck and completely disengaged from it; two, he was tackling a Warrior off-the-ball. The referee seemed to be looking directly at this incident…….but play was allowed to continue. If a team is given carte blanche to create mayhem, it will always be difficult for their opponents to manage any continuity.

    1. Alexander, thanks for the grammar tip. Really helpful. As to your main point, I agree that Munster (and the Ireland XV) do seem to get away with a lot of monkey business. I really hope referee and IRU panels are watching and learning from the replays of all this stuff. Could be very important on 4 Feb.
      I said a few days ago that Murray gets wound up under legitimate pressure. That proved to be the case on Saturday and I hope it’s proved again, to Scotland’s advantage, in the 6N.

    2. You need to play the referee as well. I generally think Glasgow are getting much better at this.

      1. I disagree that the Munster players were any more illegal than the Glasgow forwards and “got away with it” at the breakdown. The hassling of Conor Murray was a case in point – if I was a Munster fan I’d have been furious that Glasgow were getting away with four or five slightly late hits – all on the same man. That being said it was a good tactic and one I’m sure we’ll see on 4th Feb. Expect the Irish forwards to be a lot more protective at the breakdown, legally or otherwise.
        The big reason we lost last Saturday was a couple of naive options from our “stars”. Firstly Stuart Hogg leaving a trailing arm – instinctive as this might be it should be trained out of them. Even before the new directives about high tackles that was still a penalty and possibly a penalty try. Then Finn Russell going for a chip over the top in the dying minutes, giving the ball away when you’re a man down is misconduct, to use a workplace term. In the last few minutes of a game it’s irresponsible and reckless – gross misconduct. When you only need a penalty or drop-goal to win this counts as a sackable offence – I was furious.
        Our two best players making schoolboy errors does not bode well for the 6N. My only hope is they will learn from it. Maybe Gregor should give them lines.

      2. At last, a fellow realist, so many excuses to avoid facing up to our stars letting their colleagues down.

        Well done , at last, some honesty. It is no wonder we are where we are.

        At least Finn was honest enough to say he should have gone for it. By admiting it he is accepting he needs to learn.

        Do not be concerend about the 6N. Hogg will have a great tournament his Lions place depends on it.

        The yellow card was justified all day long and would have been justified under to old regulation.

  22. Glasgow failed to deal with the Munster box kicking and this was the deciding difference between the teams, it gave Munster easy territorial gain and retained possession.

    1. Another good input, amazing what we get when the honesty comes out and the excuse culture is extinguished.

  23. Just to underscore one point in John’s report. The crowd at Scostoun played their part 100%.

    I feel sure there will be some big pressence in Leicester .

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