Glasgow Warriors knock out holders Munster to reach URC final

Glasgow Warriors knock out holders Munster to reach URC final

Glasgow Warriors upset the odds to beat defending champions Munster 17-10 at their Thomond Park fortress to reach their first BKT United Rugby Championship final since 2019.

The Warriors will play the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria in next Saturday's title decider, having boxed clever after losing two players to the sin bin and making the most of limited scoring opportunities to stun a Munster side who were on a 10-match winning streak.

Warriors captain Kyle Steyn's opportunistic 23rd-minute try came when team-mate Richie Gray was in the bin while Matt Fagerson also saw yellow but the visitors still led 7-3 at half-time, with Munster's response coming from a lone Jack Crowley penalty.

Despite having 63 per cent possession and 71 per cent territory during the first half, a try eluded the Irish province and they fell further behind when Sebastian Cancelliere surged over in the 50th minute to help make it 14-3.

Antoine Frisch pulled back seven points with a converted try, but the hosts had Alex Nankivell red carded and George Horne's resulting 74th-minute penalty kick proved enough for the Scottish side.

Following an early Crowley miss from the tee, a Sione Tuipulotu break had Franco Smith's men pressing close in for the opening score of the match.

Mike Haley came to Munster's rescue, and when they advanced again from successive penalties, Gray's yellow for offside preceded Crowley's 11th-minute penalty as the holders drew first blood in the semi-final.

Glasgow hit back in though when, after the ball went loose between Frisch and Nankivell, Steyn swooped in to score from halfway and Horne converted.

The Warriors were also now winning the breakdown battle and Munster were frustrated by the away side's defence, which was brilliant at times.

Huw Jones tackled Simon Zebo into touch, and Scott Cummings and Tom Jordan both earned turnovers.

Fagerson's high tackle on Peter O'Mahony drew another yellow card for Glasgow, but Munster needed captain Tadhg Beirne to twice thwart the Warriors in quick succession.

Glasgow would not be denied 10 minutes into the second half, though, as they moved further clear.

Following a Horne penalty miss, Glasgow ran a Crowley kick back with interest and the fast-breaking Jones fed Argentinian Cancelliere for a slick finish. Horne supplied the extras from the right.

With the game slipping away, Munster earned themselves a lifeline when prop Jeremy Loughman's impressive run paved the way for Frisch to score in the left corner. Crowley's classy conversion brought it back to a four-point game.

However, an error-strewn Munster failed to kick on and when Nankivell made contact with Horne's head at a ruck, it allowed the scrum-half to book Glasgow's flight to South Africa.

BKT United Rugby Championship Player of the Match

Scotland centre Sione Tuipulotu stood out in the semi-final. He made some key interventions in defence, helping Glasgow to keep Munster out, and carried powerfully in attack, also notching an early try. Between him and Huw Jones, they outplayed the highly-rated Munster midfield.

Play of the match

With half-an-hour remaining, Glasgow countered brilliantly from a Crowley kick. Jones injected pace, getting through a gap between Sean O'Brien and Simon Zebo, and the supporting Sebastian Cancelliere stayed clear of the latter to crash over the line with Mike Haley for company.

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