Munster dealt heavy blow in Pro12 final defeat

Munster dealt heavy blow in Pro12 final defeat

MUNSTER fell at the final hurdle of the Pro12 Championship, enduring an 18-point defeat by Glasgow Warriors in Belfast.

The Irish outfit challenged Gregor Townsend's men, but did not come close to posing any real threat at the Kingspan Stadium.

Rob Harley, DTH van der Merwe and Henry Pyrgos, handed Glasgow their three first-half tries, while Finn Russell secured victory with a fourth.

Andrew Smith crossed for Munster, but this was not enough to narrow the point’s difference.

An error from a Munster throw at a lineout awarded Glasgow an opportunity to score first, with flanker Harley overpowering Felix Jones to land a touch down.

Russell's conversion led Glasgow to a seven-pointer, before a penalty from Munster’s Ian Keatley cut their lead.

A second try came from winger Van der Merwe after a stunning pass from Leone Nakarawa, with Russell again adding the points to establish Glasgow a 14-3 scoreline.

Glasgow scored a third try six minutes later through a midfield attack by Pyrgos, and a third Russell conversion extended their lead to 18 points.

Munster responded before the break with Smith just getting over the line, before Keatley made it a seven-pointer.

The fly-half added another three points as the second half kicked off.

Munster’s fate was inevitably decided when Russell sealed Glasgow’s fourth try, and the following conversion.

Duncan Weir’s late penalty drew greater cheers for Glasgow as Munster were dealt a further blow.

For Paul O’Connell, it’s a disappointing end to a tremendous career.

He stepped onto the field in replacement for Nakarawa in the 67th minute, marking his final game for Munster.