Munster finish Euro campaign in style
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Munster may have failed to qualify for the Champions Cup quarterfinals but they finished this season’s campaign in style with a 33-6 bonus-point victory over winless Ospreys in Pool Four.
Ospreys initially took a six-point lead thanks to a couple of Luke Price penalties but the hosts took control after the half-hour mark.
CJ Stander firstly burrowed over the line for the game’s opening try, with JJ Hanrahan converting. Right on the half-time whistle, Stephen Archer touched down at the base of the right-hand post, giving Hanrahan a simple task with the boot.
An early injury to wing Andrew Conway was the only fly in the ointment for the hosts – and Ireland – ahead of the Six Nations.
Conor Murray crossed for Munster’s third on 47 minutes and after Rory Scannell inexplicably dropped the ball when touching down what should have been a fourth try, Munster did claim a further five points through youngster Craig Casey’s first-ever try for the club.
European debutant Jack O’Sullivan and Calvin Nash almost added a fifth, but that honour in the end went to CJ Stander, getting his second of the game after peeling off the back of a surging scrum.
Tries: Stander 2, Archer, Murray, Casey
Cons: Hanrahan 4
Pens: Price 2
Yellow card: Olly Cracknell (Ospreys, 75)
Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Calvin Nash, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jack O’Donoghue, 6 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Fineen Wycherley, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 John Ryan, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jack O’Sullivan, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Ben Healy, 23 Dan Goggin.
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 George North, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Luke Price, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Justin Tipuric (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Scott Otten, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Gheorghe Gajion, 19 Lloyd Ashley, 20 Olly Cracknell, 21 Sam Cross, 22 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 23 Cai Evans.
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Pierre Brousset (France), Sébastien Minery (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)