United Rugby Championship: RG Snyman returns in thrilling 91 point Munster win while Glasgow pummel Zebre

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

RG Snyman made his long-awaited return from 18 months on the sidelines as Munster ran out 49-42 winners over Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship (URC) on Friday.

Snyman came off the bench in the 63rd minute, making his first appearance for Munster since October 2021. The World Cup winner managed to get through the rest of the match, completing five tackles and getting stuck into the rucks.

Munster scored seven of the game’s 13 tries, with Scarlets staying in the fight with six crossings in the 91-point thriller.

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The win keeps Munster’s bid for a top-four finish alive in the URC after outscoring Scarlets in a thrilling game.

The Irish province ran in four tries inside the opening 27 minutes. Munster’s entire back three got onto the scoreboard in the first 25 minutes with Patrick Campbell, Calvin Nash and Shane Daly all dotting down before Paddy Patterson got in on the try-scoring action. Joey Carbery added the conversions on all four tries.

Joe Roberts hit back for the Scarlets but Daly would double up before the break to give his side a 35-7 half-time lead.

The Scarlets sparked into life in the second half with Vaea Fifita, Sione Kalamafoni and Sam Lousi scoring before the hour mark, Gavin Coombes splitting Fifita and Kalamafoni’s scores with one of his own.

Nash would get another in the 65th minute but Scarlets would claim two bonus points from the match thanks to closing scores from Gareth Davies and Tom Rogers.

91-point thriller

Munster tore out of the blocks with two tries inside the opening 12 minutes, the first one from Campbell after Antoine Frisch’s slick offload out the back.

Lousi’s tap tackle denied Jean Kleyn from close range, but Patterson’s flicked pass back inside soon had Nash scampering in behind the posts.

Carbery converted both scores, and the possession-starved Scarlets, who lost Johnny McNicholl to injury, then watched Carbery and Nash feed Daly for his first of the night.

The quick-reacting Patterson stepped inside Steff Evans for try number four, converted again by Carbery to make it 28-0.

Following a sharp Johnny Williams run up into the Munster 22, Fifita used Sam Costelow’s skip pass to send Roberts over for a seven-pointer out wide.

However, a weaving Daly was put through a gap by Carbery, whose conversion reopened the 28-point gap at the break.

Into the second half, lock Fifita was sprung through by Kalamafoni’s inside pass for a 40-metre run-in. Costelow converted, leaving it 35-14.

Number eights Coombes and Kalamafoni then traded tries, the latter pinching a loose ruck ball to strike from a few metres out.

Lousi bagged their first bonus point from a quick-witted 60th-minute attack, but Nash trailed both Jack Crowley and Daly to complete his brace.

Dan Davis’ barnstorming break set up Davies for Scarlets’ fifth try, and a sixth followed when Costelow’s nicely delayed 76th-minute pass put Rogers over, but seven points is as close as they came.

Glasgow Warriors thrash Zebre

A first-half Johnny Matthews hat-trick helped Glasgow Warriors coast to a 50-8 United Rugby Championship victory over Zebre.

JP du Preez, McDowall, Josh McKay, Thomas Gordon, and Fraser Brown also went over for the Warriors.

Chris Cook scored the only try for the visitors.

Zebre flew out of the blocks and raced into a 5-0 lead before the game was two minutes old, with scrum-half Cook scuttling over from a quick tap-penalty.

Tiff Eden did not manage the touchline conversion, and the hosts recovered some composure to strike back through hooker Matthews at the back of a line-out maul which had rumbled 20-yards to the try-line.

George Horne added the extras to edge the Warriors into a two-point lead with 11 minutes played.

Zebre were in no mood to roll over, however, and it took some desperate cover defence from Sam Johnson and Ollie Smith to squeeze Luca Andreani into touch just a yard short of the line.

A side-entry penalty conceded by the Warriors just inside their own half allowed Jacopo Trulla to edge the visitors back into the lead.

Glasgow reverted back to the tried and tested, kicking a penalty to the corner for another line-out drive which was again finished off by Matthews.

That seemed to settle home nerves, and they struck again on the half-hour mark when Matthews latched onto a loose Zebre line-out and then fed Du Preez.

The giant South African swatted aside two tacklers on his way to scoring.

The home team were now well on top without really hitting their straps as an attacking force.

In the last play of the first half, Matthews claimed his hat-trick by once again adding the finishing touch at the end of a powerful line-out maul.

That meant the bonus-point was in the bag despite Glasgow having played well below their best.

Horne had missed his two previous conversion attempts but rediscovered his kicking antennae to nail the extra two points, which made it 24-8 at the break.

Second half

Warriors stretched further ahead after Scott Cummings charged-down Ratko Jelic’s box-kick clearance, and Rory Darge combined with Horne, who sent McDowall over.

McKay was next on the scoresheet, with the Kiwi winger racing home unchallenged on an overlap created by slick Warriors hands straight from a scrum.

With eight minutes to go, Gordon finished off a try under the posts following a powerful midfield surge from Sione Vailanu, and Brown powered home in the final play to bring up the half-century of home points.

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