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Hanrahan sparkles as Munster down Glasgow

Munster ended Glasgow’s 100 per cent record at the summit of the RaboDirect PRO12 as they overcame their fellow high-flyers 13-6 thanks to an inspired performance by JJ Hanrahan.

The Munster No.10 scored all of his side’s points as the Irish side produced a brave defensive performance to see off a determined and robust Glasgow pack.

Munster’s preparations were hindered in the warm-up as experienced Ireland and Lions lock Paul O’Connell suffered an injury, meaning he was forced to drop out and Billy Holland replaced him in the engine room.

The disruption seemed to affect the Munster performance in the opening minutes as it was Glasgow who started like an express train and claimed an early lead thanks to a third-minute penalty from fly-half Duncan Weir.

And it could have got worse just six minutes later as the Scotland international missed a second kick at goal to extend Glasgow’s lead, the ball striking the woodwork after Holland was penalised for coming in at the side of a ruck.

Weir was influential in the opening quarter as he took the aerial approach against Munster, putting a series of high kicks up to test the Munster back three.

Despite dominating possession and territory, Glasgow found themselves level with their visitors after 21 minutes as JJ Hanrahan kicked Munster level with a penalty.

In a tight and cagey affair, every opportunity to keep the scoreboard ticking proved crucial and that’s exactly what Weir did for Glasgow on 25 minutes as he struck over his second penalty to make it 6-3 on the 22 right in front of the posts.

After the interval JJ Hanrahan enjoyed an inspired opening seven minutes to the second-half – first he darted over for the opening score of the game, which he converted after a period of Munster pressure.

And then minutes later he left Glasgow with a mountain to climb as he struck over a penalty to turn the screw on the home side and leave the score at 13-6.

Glasgow refused to wave the white flag though and after a period of sustained pressure in the Munster 22 in which they just couldn’t quite get over the line – James Cronin was sin-binned for the visitors.

The home side turned down a kick at goal in favour of a scrum, with a numerical advantage but still they couldn’t break down brave Munster defending.

Glasgow enjoyed an avalanche of territory and possession in the second 40 minutes but they just couldn’t finish a killer pass to down Munster.

The rain started to come down in the final ten minutes, meaning quick handling was replaced with an arm wrestle up front and still Glasgow couldn’t find a way through desperate Munster defending.

In overtime, a Munster mistake saw Glasgow throw the kitchen sink at the visitors as they got within five metres of scoring a late try, they camped on the try-line for a period of time but the pressure proved fruitless.

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