Ospreys end Munster's unbeaten run
URC REPORT: Ospreys ended Munster’s unbeaten run in the United Rugby Championship with an 18-10 win in Swansea on Saturday.
The Welsh side headed into this big fixture against the Irish province on the back of a dogged and triumphant performance out in Treviso and sitting in fifth place in the URC table.
Ospreys flyhalf Stephen Myler, and Munster flyhalf Jack Crawley exchanged penalties in the opening skirmishes. Both sides had a crack at the other’s lines but neither were able to cross the whitewash, although Munster’s hooker Niall Scannell came close, denied by miscommunication at the line-out.
Myler added a second penalty in the second quarter to edge his side into the lead and added a third a few moments later after referee Hollie Davidson awarded the hosts a penalty.
Munster had an opportunity to retaliate in the dying minutes of the half, but an outstanding defensive play from the Ospreys first drove the Munster pack into reverse at the scrum before securing the ball and hoofing the ball into the stands to end the half.
The second half was just as physical and bruising as the first, with Myler getting the scoreboard ticking early in the half with a fourth penalty.
Munster struck back and eventually got their maul over the whitewash, allowing Munster scrumhalf Craig Casey to plunge over the line and narrow the deficit to just two points.
Munster’s ill-discipline cost them another six points in the latter stages of the game, with Myler converting both opportunities from the tee to extend Ospreys’ lead to eight points with less than ten minutes remaining.
Two long-range efforts from replacement flyhalf Ben Healy were unsuccessful, and Munster had no answer to the Ospreys pressure. The Irish side would return to Limerick with nothing to show for their efforts, and their winning streak broken on the Swansea soil.
Pens: Myler 6
Ospreys: 15 Max Nagy, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Keiran Williams, 11 Mat Protheroe, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Rhys Webb (captain), 8 Ethan Roots, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Sam Cross, 5 Rhys Davies, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Elvis Taione, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ifan Phillips, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Rhys Henry, 19 Jack Regan, 20 Morgan Morris, 21 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 22 Joe Hawkins, 23 Dan Evans.
Munster: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Liam Coombes, 12 Dan Goggin, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Jack O’Donoghue, 7 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 Fineen Wycherley, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Jeremy Loughman.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Josh Wycherley, 18 Keynan Knox, 19 Gavin Coombes, 20 John Hodnett, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Ben Healy, 23 Damian de Allende.
Referee: Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Adam Jones (Wales), Dewi Phillips (Wales)
TMO: Mike Adamson (Scotland)