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)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 10 10 0 0 48
Munster 10 7 0 3 36
Cheetahs 10 6 0 4 29
Cardiff Blues 10 4 0 6 19
Connacht 10 3 0 7 18
Zebre 10 3 0 7 16
Ospreys 10 2 0 8 11
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 10 8 0 2 40
Leinster 10 8 0 2 37
Ulster 10 7 1 2 35
Edinburgh 10 6 0 4 28
Treviso 10 3 0 7 15
Dragons 10 2 1 7 13
Kings 10 0 0 10 4