Glasgow Warriors creep into maiden RaboDirect PRO12 Final
Replacement Gordon Reid grabbed the decisive try as Glasgow Warriors edged past Munster 16-15 to reach their first ever RaboDirect PRO12 Final.
The Warriors, who were beaten at the semi-final stage in each of the last two years, recorded their ninth straight win in the competition and will meet Leinster or Ulster in the final.
The Munstermen had scored tries through Damien Varley and Sean Dougall but the boot of Glasgow fly-half Finn Russell carried them through at Scotstoun.
Munster asserted much of the early dominance, driving towards the hosts’ line, and they were rewarded when captain Varley squeezed his way over, Ian Keatley navigating the breeze to add the extras.
Russell looked to reply from the tee on the quarter-hour mark but he sent a penalty wide – but he made amends with a second penalty minutes later, after Munster failed to roll away.
Keatley was quickest to take the initiative following the penalty and his accurate kick pegged the hosts back into their own 22 but more sloppy work at the breakdown allowed Glasgow to clear.
The match slipped into something of a lull, as Munster applied the brakes and began to frustrate their hosts but a streaky Dougall run soon had their tails up.
The flanker was brought to the ground inside the Warriors’ 22 and after it was recycled Simon Zebo forced his way across the line, only for the TMO to rule out the try.
Grateful for the reprieve, Glasgow looked more energised and quickly earned a penalty. Russell moved his side to within one point and when Varley was penalised at the breakdown the fly-half sent his side into the break 9-7 up.
Glasgow began the second half as the ended the first but with even better results as early pressure saw first-half replacement Reid crash over the Munster line, with Russell converting.
Munster replied immediately as Conor Murray orchestrated a persistent attack on the Warriors line which resulted in Dougall shunting his way over, but Keatley’s conversion flew wide.
With Glasgow’s advantage now just four points and they had pressure inside the Munster 22 but Rob Penney’s side escaped and Keatley made it 16-15 from the tee after 67 minutes.
The Munstermen struggled in vain to break down their resilient hosts and it was Leone Nakarawa who broke clear from inside his own half in search of a game-settling score five minutes from time.
Tommy Seymour then caught a vital interception as the Warriors continued to counter-attack only for Zebo to track him to prevent another try – but that was the final input.
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