Munster outclass Ospreys to reach final

Sat, 20 May 2017 18:00
Large full time   munster v ospre

PRO12 REPORT: Munster will play Scarlets in the final of the PRO12 after a 23-3 win over  Ospreys in the semifinals at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Munster had led at the break following Frances Saili’s 26th-minute score, while Dan Biggar and Tyler Bleyendaal traded penalties as both sides took stock of what was at stake.

Indeed that mentality carried right through to the second half, right until a moment of Munster magic saw Simon Zebo make it 15-3 with just 18 minutes left on the clock.

And it proved too much for Ospreys to come back from as Andrew Conway scored late on, with the PRO12 table-toppers now through to face another Welsh outfit in Scarlets, bidding for their fourth title against the final debutants.

Ospreys dominated the opening stages, and the reward for their endeavours came in the form of a penalty from Dan Biggar, with just seven minutes on the board.

But from there the game hit parity as the two sides cancelled each other out with some ferocious hits, though big mauls from Munster saw them wrestle the initiative.

That proved profitable in the form of the first score of the afternoon, with Rory Scannell making the hard yards, keeping the ball in play to allow Saili to mop up, crash over and give his side the lead.

Once again the teams maintained their evenness, but Bleyendaal ensured his Munster side were to lead by five come the interval, dissecting the posts with the final play.

The tight nature continued into the second half, with a Thomond Park semifinal record crowd of 18 332 kept on tenterhooks as the distance between the two was kept close throughout.

Ospreys looked likelier to score when on the Munster five-metre line, though solid defence – as it has all season – was worth its weight in gold for the home side as they cleared the lines to remain with just 34 tries conceded this term.

It seemed like a moment of magic would be enough to settle this game, and it came from the Munster backs midway through the half – enough to have the home crowd on their feet with an exceptional score.

Pouring forward, it looked as though the Irish province had lost their chance to score, especially when a defensive clearance caught the back three scampering back in retreat of the ball, just moments after they had been held up.

But a breathless minute of rugby was to follow, with Keith Earls, Saili, Conor Murray and Zebo all involved before the latter finished the score.

Crisp passing sent them away down the left wing, with Earls twice involved in the length-of-the-field effort, a try deserving of the subsequent Bleyendaal conversion.

His boot was to once again do the damage five minutes later, kicking a penalty to invoke a 15-minute lead with ten minutes on the clock.

Ospreys looked to have clawed a score back when Scott Otten chipped, chased and dotted down, only for the effort to be hauled back for a knock-on earlier in the piece.

And from there the deficit was too much for the Welsh region, with Andrew Conway adding gloss to the scoreline late on to secure a final for Munster, with the final to come at the Aviva Stadium in seven days’ time.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries:
Saili, Zebo, Conway
Con: Bleyendaal
Pens: Bleyendaal 2

For Ospreys:
Pen:
Biggar

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Tommy O’Donnell (c), 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16, Rhys Marshall, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Jaco Taute

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Keelan Giles, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Tom Habberfield, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 James King, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Underhill, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Paul James, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Lloyd Ashley, 20 Olly Cracknell, 21 Jay Baker, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Josh Matavesi

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Matthew O’Grady (England), Wayne Falla (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 20 15 1 4 75
Munster 20 13 0 7 67
Cheetahs 20 11 0 9 58
Cardiff Blues 20 11 0 9 53
Ospreys 20 8 0 12 40
Connacht 20 6 0 14 34
Zebre 20 6 0 14 32
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 20 14 1 5 70
Scarlets 20 13 1 6 65
Edinburgh 20 14 0 6 64
Ulster 20 12 1 7 60
Treviso 20 11 0 9 54
Dragons 20 2 2 16 20
Kings 20 1 0 19 11