Guinness PRO14 Friday wrap: Munster upset Warriors as Leinster hit the perfect ten

Ross Lawson
24 February 2018

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Friday night in the Guinness PRO14 was action-packed with drama as Munster became just the second team to inflict a Championship defeat on the Glasgow Warriors.

Meanwhile Leinster enjoyed a sumptuous night with a ten-try showing against the Southern Kings while a win also came Edinburgh Rugby’s way, though they had to hold off a comeback threat from the Dragons.

  • Thirteen wins from 15 games was Glasgow Warriors’ record heading to Munster but a rapid start from the home side saw them 13-0 up at the break thanks to Niall Scannell’s score.
  • The Scots fought back through George Horne’s second-half score but within minutes the Irish province crossed themselves, James Cronin’s effort proving crucial in the 21-10 success.
  • Tight margins were not the order of the day at the RDS Arena as Leinster scored ten tries against the Southern Kings in a 64-7 win, a tally which included doubles for Bryan Byrne, Nick McCarthy and Barry Daly.
  • Dave Kearney, man-of-the-match Ciaran Frawley, James Lowe and Jordan Larmour also scored against the South Africans, who themselves crossed in the first half through Michael Willemse.
  • There was a rare outing to Eugene Cross Park for Dragons but the change of scenery couldn’t force a victory against Edinburgh Rugby, for whom Duncan Weir and Cameron Fenton’s late try secured a bonus point.
  • Prior to that late salvo, Dragons had threatened a comeback when Rynard Landman crossed for a double – all after Neil Cochrane and Chris Dean had the Scottish side motoring.

What they said: 

Munster fullback Simon Zebo said: 

“I’m very happy with the result, it was a good performance in tough conditions that were very, very windy.

“They’re a tough side and it’s only the second time they’ve lost so it’s very encouraging, the boys dug in and there were some old, wise heads under the post giving direction for the team.

“It was an incredible atmosphere, great to have a sellout and to see so many fans at the end there waiting for pictures and autographs was really special.

“It was an amazing end but there’s plenty more games for us to improve on. It’s encouraging and hopefully can build momentum towards the business end of the season.”

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said:

“It was a big opportunity for a lot of players and they performed really, really well.

“Before the game they were a bit nervous so I’m glad they started well because it settled them into the game, you could see they knew it was a great chance.

“They played right to the very end and that was the most pleasing thing, sometimes with a lot of substitutions you can lose the flow, but they sorted that themselves.”

Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman said:

“The crowd were good, we just didn’t give them enough.

“We were dominated in the first half and on a cold night we needed to get them going with our actions on the pitch.

“If we had played really well and lost, that would be fine but the reality is that we didn’t fire and that’s frustrating because we wanted to do something better than that.

“We were very disappointed so were looking to make a plan because we missed an opportunity.”

Top of the tweets:

 

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start from just €35 for adults and €10 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

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