De Villiers try seals Munster victory
March 26, 2010
Jean de Villiers scored the vital try at Thomond Park
© Getty Images
A late try from Springbok centre Jean de Villiers proved vital for Munster as they overcame Magners League play-off rivals Glasgow Warriors 27-19 at Thomond Park.
De Villiers struck with six minutes to go, following up an early try for the home side by wing Denis Hurley. Ronan O'Gara returned from Ireland duty at fly-half and slotted 17 points from the kicking tee in a hard-fought game.
Glasgow too welcomed back their international contingent and named the impressive 'Killer Bs' back-row of John Barclay, Kelly Brown and Johnnie Beattie in their starting line-up. Barclay took the captain's armband for the game and scored Glasgow's only try while Scotland fly-half Dan Parks kicked 14 points a week after denying Ireland a Triple Crown at Croke Park.
O'Gara and Paul Warwick probed at the Glasgow back-three with a couple of well judged kicks in the opening exchanges but Canadian international wing DTH van der Merwe was equal to the task.
O'Gara missed his opening shot at goal but Munster were soon celebrating a try. De Villiers and his centre partner Lifeimi Mafi tore through Glasgow in midfield, with wing Ian Dowling supplying the scoring pass for Hurley to go over in the corner.
O'Gara sent the conversion cannoning off the posts before trading penalties with Parks but the fly-half's evening took a turn for the worse when his pass was picked off by Barclay on the Glasgow 22. The rangy openside had the gas to score at the other end despite a last-ditch tackle from Mafi.
O'Gara's next penalty secured a one-point half-time lead but Parks edged Glasgow ahead after the break despite Munster's pack stepping up a gear and helping to dominate territory. The home side continued to press though and O'Gara was able to kick three penalties in quick succession to open up a seven point lead. Glasgow lost replacement prop Kevin Tkachuk to the sin-bin for a ruck offence but the sides were level when Niall Ronan saw yellow for a similar infringement.
Parks closed the gap to a point with two more penalties but Glasgow were powerless to stop de Villiers sealing the win. He powered past Max Evans on the Glasgow 22 and had the pace to make the corner, from where O'Gara slotted a touchline conversion to deny the visitors a losing bonus-point.
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league