Pro14: Glasgow Warriors 37-10 Munster
|Pro14: Glasgow Warriors v Munster|
|Glasgow Warriors (20) 37|
|Tries: Sarto, Jones, Grigg, Cummings Cons: Russell 4 Pens: Russell 3|
|Munster (5) 10|
|Tries: Scannell, Farrell|
Glasgow Warriors moved to the top of Pro14 Conference A with an attacking display against Munster at Scotstoun.
Stand-off Finn Russell was faultless with the boot, converting all four tries and knocking over three penalties for Dave Rennie's team.
Leonardo Sarto and Lee Jones went over for the Scots' first-half tries, while Rory Scannell replied for the visitors.
After the break, Nick Grigg and Scott Cummings ensured a bonus point, with Chris Farrell crossing for Munster.
After losing all four meetings against Munster last season, Glasgow were due a win against their Irish nemesis.
And this was a ferocious win, brutally physical at times, messy on occasion and thunderously good when Glasgow pinned their ears back and attacked with power and elan.
They went ahead early when Sarto, on the field as an early replacement for Rory Hughes, scampered away up his left wing and did Darren Sweetnam with his footwork to score in the corner.
Russell, who kicked like a dream all night, banged over the conversion and then added a penalty to take it to 10-0.
Given that in five of their past six meetings the gap at the end of the 80 minutes was never more than three points, this was quite a beginning for the Warriors.
Sweetnam's beautifully weighted pass and Scannell's fine finish halved the gap, but that was the extent of Munster's joy.
Before the deluge of points, there was a bout of aggravation in Glasgow's 22, an all-in pushing, pulling and dragging match. Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez need not be worried.
Referee Nigel Owens did, however, call all 30 players into a huddle and give them some verbals. "Unacceptable," he said, sternly. "Get on and play rugby."
It took a while - attrition triumphed over craft for a while yet - but when Glasgow took control they were supreme.
They played fast rugby last season. This season they want to play faster still. Rennie's mantra is all about tight-five forwards getting in behind defences with their handling and their footwork and offloading with the accuracy of the finest back.
This is precisely what he got just before the break. Glasgow countered close to their own 22, Tim Swinson and Cummings starting it all, then the excellent Callum Gibbins roaring up the right wing before giving the try-scoring pass to Jones. It was a joy of a try that Russell made the most of with another dead-eye kick.
Billy Holland, Munster's second-row, was sin-binned early in the second half and Glasgow made them suffer soon after, Grigg going over for another converted try. That made it 27-5, an unimaginable margin before kick-off.
Farrell intercepted George Turner to bring it back to 27-10, but that was just a respite rather than a sign of a recovery. Russell fired over another penalty to make it 30-10 - six out of six for the fly-half now - and then Glasgow struck for the bonus-point score.
It was a try that brought Scotstoun to its feet in acclamation of Sarto and Munster to their knees at the poverty of their defence. The big Italian bounced his way through five tackles before feeding Cummings who blasted over.
Frankly, such was Sarto's determination had he not decided to shift the ball he could have demolished the other 10 from Munster, the grandstand behind the posts, the leisure centre behind that and whatever other building that happened to stand in his way.
Russell added the extras and the gap was a whopping 27 points. Munster's misery carried on when substitute Fineen Wycherley was deservedly red-carded four minutes before the end for a shoulder to the head of the prone Swinson.
Rousing stuff from Glasgow. A match that signalled their quality and their threat in the season ahead.
Glasgow: Jackson, L Jones, Grigg, P Horne, Hughes, Russell, Price, Bhattie, Turner, Z Fagerson, Swinson, Cummings, Wilson, Gibbins, Ashe.
Replacements: Sarto for Hughes (3), Johnson for Russell (41), Allan for Bhattie (57), MacArthur for Turner (57), Rae for Z Fagerson (57), Harley for Ashe (57), Alainu-uese for Cummings (66), Pyrgos for Price (66).
Munster: Conway, Sweetnam, Farrell, R Scannell, Wootton, Bleyendaal, Williams, L O'Connor, Marshall, Archer, D O'Shea, B Holland, S O'Connor, O'Donnell, O'Donoghue.
Replacements: Zebo for Sweetnam (47), Taute for Bleyendaal (48), Hart for Williams (48), Cronin for L O'Connor (52), N Scannell for Marshall (55), Ryan for Archer (65).
Not Used: Copeland.
Sin bin: B Holland (44).
Sent off: Wycherley (76).
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales).