On a freezing cold evening in Thomond Park, it took a Rory Scannell penalty kick in the 81st minute of the game to warm up the Munster Rugby fans and give them what seemed a most unlikely victory over Conference leaders Glasgow Warriors.
The least-experienced referee appointed to Guinness Pro14 action this weekend, Dan Jones, saw his credentials tested as early as 65 second into the game as Niall Scannell and Peter O’Mahony were involved in a altercation with Glasgow captain Callum Gibbins, before a general a general melée was witnessed on the pitch. The Welshman took immediate charge of the game, showing his authority as he spoke to both captains, before both sides settled down to play rugby.
Minutes later, James Cronin and Callum Gibbins were involved in a dust-up after the Glasgow captain seemed to have lead with his arm as he tackled Cronin. The Scottish outfit already had a penalty awarded to them but the referee reversed his decision and gave the home side the penalty with which Hanrahan found touch.
The deadlock was broken in this game in the 9th minute when a penalty against Glasgow for offside saw JJ Hanrahan kick for touch. The home side comfortably won the throw in and brought the ball from the right to left of midfield before front-rower James Cronin, with the strength of John Ryan pushing him forward, touched down. Hanrahan dissected the posts to add the extras and put his side 7-0 ahead.
09: TRY Munster!
Great start for @Munsterrugby at Thomond as James Cronin powers over.
LIVE now on eir sport 1! #GuinnessPRO14 pic.twitter.com/BgJ7tZ72gp
— eir Sport (@eirSport) October 27, 2018
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Glasgow’s nervy start to the game was clear as Ruaridh Jackson decided to run the ball from behind his own goal posts, but when Munster pressurised, the Scot fell and touched down, giving van Graan’s men a five-metre scrum, which eventually saw the home side disappointingly lose possession.
Despite Munster being in a strong position in terms of possession, George Horne was at the end of a move which began in Glasgow half of the pitch, and resulted in his side’s opening score. The Scottish side showed pace and skill bursting through the Munster’s attempts to stop the move, with winger Rory Hughes and Peter Horne, who would go on to miss the conversion attempt, all involved. George Horne crossed the line despite the best defending efforts of Keith Earls in the 24th minute. The referee sought confirmation from his TMO about the validity of the touch down, before the officials decided the try was legitimate.
Glasgow were awarded a penalty when Mike Haley was adjudged to have been off his feet. Peter Horne, who had missed his earlier kick at the posts, saw his left-footed kick again go left and wide of the posts – similar to his previous kick.
George Horne brought up his brace when the No. 9 was one of a couple of support runners as the Glasgow juggernaut headed for the Munster line. This time Peter Horne didn’t make any mistake and kicked his first successful kick of the evening minutes, leaving the score 12-7 to Glasgow at the interval.
Chris Cloete was yellow-carded for a tackle off the ball when driving Adam Ashe into touch as Ruaridh Jackson attempted to touch down for his side’s third five-pointer of the evening. The Glasgow fullback lost control as the TV pictures showed. The Scots didn’t have to wait long for a score, however, as Matt Fagerson came off of the back of a scrum to score. With Peter Horne again missing the conversion, Munster trailed 17-7.
JJ Hanrahan’s break for the posts, as he side-footed lock Scott Cummings, was held up by both Ruaridh Jackson and George Horne, the referee deciding he had a clear enough view and didn’t require assistance from the TMO.
Hanrahan had his second successful kick at goal minutes later when Munster battered Glasgow in the scrum. The Kerryman’s kick reduced the deficit to 7 points with 55 minutes on the clock.
Peter Horne soon claimed his side’s bonus-point try when two-try scorer George Horne kicked the ball ahead from the back of a Glasgow scrum. Peter Horne read the move and despite Alex Wootton’s efforts, touched down for the Scots fourth try of the game. When converting his own try, Horne pushed his side 24-10 clear.
Mike Haley set up Alex Wootton on the touchline as the former Munster ‘A’ man gave his side come hope of resurrecting something from this game with 24 left to play. The difficult conversion attempt from Ian Keatley from the touchline saw the effort draw wide and left of the uprights, leaving Johann van Graan’s men needing more than a converted try.
Alby Mathewson stretched for the line to bring his side within four points of Glasgow’s lead following an initial rampaging run from replacement Arno Botha. Ian Keatley make it a two-point game when converting and set up a grandstand finish with 6 minutes still to play.
And a grandstand finish it was. Glasgow conceded a penalty just inside their own half with the clock in red. Rory Scannell, yes Rory Scannell, came forward to kick for the posts, and to the delight of the Thomond Park crowd sent the ball over from about 55m out for a 25-24 victory to Munster.
Motorsport Ireland Weekend Roundup – Weather Plays Havoc
Monday March 04, 2019
The weather played havoc with the weekend’s motorsport schedules, with two major championship events having to be curtailed or abandoned. The opening round of the Parts for Cars National Rallycross series at Mondello Park was halted before any of the... Continue Reading →
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Rory Scannell pic.twitter.com/ggbzMz26Ww
— eir Sport (@eirSport) October 27, 2018
15. Mike Haley, 14. Darren Sweetnam, 13. Sammy Arnold (Alex Wootton 39’), 12. Rory Scannell, 11. Keith Earls, 10. JJ Hanrahan (Ian Keatley 62’), 9. Alby Mathewson (Neil Cronin 77′).
1. James Cronin (Dave Kilcoyne 46’), 2. Niall Scannell, 3. John Ryan (Stephen Archer 58’), 4. Jean Kleyn (Fineen Wycherley 77′), 5. Billy Holland, 6. Peter O’Mahony (captain), 7. Chris Cloete (Arno Botha 60’), 8. CJ Stander.
15. Ruaridh Jackson, 14. Niko Matawala, 13. Nick Gregg, 12. Sam Johnson (Stafford McDowall 23’), 11. Rory Hughes, 10. Peter Horne, 9. George Horne.
1.Oli Kebble (Jamie Bhatti 37’), 2. Grand Stewart, 3. D’arcy Rae, 4. Rob Harley, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Adam Ashe, 7. Callum Gibbins (captain), 8. Matt Fagerson.
Kevin Bryce, Petrus du Plessis, Greg Peterson, Chris Fusaro, Nick Frisby, Brandon Thomson.
Tries: James Cronin 9’, Alex Wootton 66’, Alby Mathewson 73′
Conversions: JJ Hanrahan 10’, Ian Keatley 74′
Penalties: JJ Hanrahan 56’, Rory Scannell 81′
Tries: George Horne 24’, 36’; Matt Fagerson 49’, Peter Horne 59’
Conversions: Peter Horne 37’, 60’
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