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Munster hold on to defeat Glasgow Warriors

Stuart Hogg scored a late try but it was not enough for Glasgow Warriors as Munster held on to claim a vital 10-7 victory to move a step closer to the Guinness PRO12 semi-finals.

James Cronin crossed early for the Irish side in a tense, low-scoring affair – but it was Glasgow who enjoyed possession for large parts of the first half without adding to the scoreboard.

Munster pushed for a vital try in the second half, but they squandered two golden opportunities.

And when Hogg crossed, it looked they would be made to pay, but some expert defending secured another major victory this season.

Munster had to do without key trio Keith Earls, Conor Murray and CJ Stander due to injury, but Ireland veteran Peter O’Mahony returned to the bench.

Meanwhile, Glasgow made three changes, with Nick Grigg, Ali Price and Sila Puafisi all coming into the side.

But it was the Irish team who hit the front early at a raucous Irish Independent Park as prop Cronin muscled his way over from a couple of yards out as the Munster pack battered the Glasgow defence.

Glasgow surged forwards, commanding territory and possession but they could not find a way through Munster’s stern back line.

The hosts quickly went up the other end, but a dropped pass cost them a glorious chance of adding to their score.

Finn Russell and Hogg bombarded Muster with the high ball, but Andrew Conway was reliable underneath – as the hosts continued to deny the visitors try-scoring chances, even though Glasgow threw all they had towards the end of the half.

After the break, Munster thought they had added a second score when they drove forward menacingly from a five-metre scrum. But just as cheers went round the stadium, the referee blew for a Glasgow penalty.

The Warriors were hanging on as Munster flew forward, Jaco Taute supplying a perfectly-weighted pass for Ronan O’Mahony to cross in the corner – but the TMO ruled it out after reviewing O’Mahony’s grounding.

Rory Scannell sent a penalty sailing through the posts minutes later though, increasing their lead to ten points.

But Glasgow got back into it as Hogg crossed after a delightful chip and chase.

However, that was as good as it got for the Warriors, as Munster closed out the game with some last-ditch defending.

The Guinness PRO12 Final takes place on May 27 at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. 
Fans can guarantee their place by booking their tickets via www.ticketmaster.ie

Further information: www.pro12rugby.com/final

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