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Munster clinch home semifinal

MATCH REPORT: Munster secured a home United Rugby Championship semifinal after beating Ospreys convincingly at Thomond Park in the quarterfinal on Friday evening.

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Munster got the start they wanted as they were five points up in the first two minutes of the game when Simon Zebo got on the outside and forced his way over. Jack Crowly converted and the hosts were up 7-0.

But Ospreys came back with a magnificent response and burnt Munster defensively and Keegan Giles ran into the pocket to score.

Owen Williams converted and the score was 7-7 after five minutes of play.

Munster clearly backed their line-out prowess with a man like RG Snyman at lock, and after going for touch twice, they scored their second try, this time it was Niall Scannell diving over.

Crowley converted and the home side stretched ahead to 14-7.

Munster camped close to the Ospreys line and a ruck penalty conceded by Ospreys gave Crowley an attempt at three points from the kicking tee, taking Munster to 17-7.

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Five minutes before halftime Ospreys had an opportunity to score opting to find touch.

Two infringements by Munster’s Tadhg Beirne in the line-outs for jumping across the gap gave Ospreys more attacking options.

The visitors were in a good attacking position five metres out from Munster’s try-line but they just could not work their way through the defence.

An intense first half came to a close and Munster would have been relieved to have held out under significant pressure from the Ospreys before the break.

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The Welsh side will rue not capitalising on their territory and possession in the last ten minutes but was still very much in this game.

Halftime saw Munster leading 17-7.

The second half started with Munster pummelling the Osprey’s line but the visitors were standing firm.

A series of carries and a lot of pressure were on display but desperate defence from Ospreys held out and RG Snyman eventually knocked the ball on.

It was great defence from Ospreys.

After an hour of play, Crowley maintained his accuracy from the boot and scored the first points of the second half with two penalty kicks in succession.

Munster 23-7 Ospreys.

Ospreys struggled to get out of their own half but continued to battle in the dying moments of the game.

Munster just tightened their grip on the second half and didn’t allow the Ospreys to play. They’re a team that knows how to get the job done and that’s what they did.

 

Munster clinch home semifinal

Man of the Match: Jack Crowley – played the right game for knock-out rugby.

Scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Zebo, Scannell
Cons: Crowley 2
Pens: Crowley 3

For Ospreys:
Tries: Giles
Cons: Williams

The teams:

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Antoine Frisch, 12 Seán O’Brien, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 John Hodnett, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Tadhg Beirne (c), 4 RG Snyman, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Jeremy Loughman
Replacements: 16 Diarmuid Barron, 17 John Ryan, 18 Oli Jager, 19 Jack O’Donoghue, 20 Alex Kendellen, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Tony Butler, 23 Mike Haley

Ospreys: 15 Max Nagy, 14 Luke Morgan, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Keiran Williams, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Justin Tipuric (captain), 6 Jac Morgan, 5 Huw Sutton, 4 James Ratti, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Dewi Lake, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Rhys Henry, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Morgan Morse, 21 Luke Davies, 22 Luke Scully, 23 Harri Houston.

Referee: Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Andrea Piardi (Italy) and Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)

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