Munster hold off Ospreys
PRO14 REPORT: Munster withstood a resilient Ospreys effort as Mike Haley’s try proved enough to keep the province at the top of Conference A with a 19-13 win.
Haley’s second-half effort gave Munster a narrow lead with time running out, and they held off a late Ospreys charge to emerge from the Liberty with the points.
Darren Sweetnam made early Munster pressure tell after six minutes of the contest, converting good territory into an overlap out left, with the 25-year-old taking a pass wide before cutting inside two Ospreys men to cross.
But Ospreys steadied the ship, holding out Munster before springing an attack of their own, Keelan Giles making ground before touching a lovely grubber into danger.
Reece Marshall tried to gather under pressure, but could only knock the ball backwards and into the path of Hanno Dirksen who gathered and dived over to level the scores.
Luke Price gave the hosts the lead from the tee, but Munster hit back as they peppered the Ospreys line before Tadhg Beirne looked to touch the ball at the post, but it was swatted away by Sam Cross.
After a look at the TMO, Cross was sent to the bin and a penalty try awarded to give the visitors the lead at the break.
Munster looked to control the game in the second half, and did just that for the first 20 minutes, but another Price penalty brought the deficit to just a single point.
But the visitors dug in, putting together phase after phase with excruciating patience before Haley found space out wide and flung himself into the corner to give Munster relief, but JJ Hanrahan’s missed conversion left Ospreys with hope.
But Munster stole an Ospreys line-out in last-chance saloon and saw out the contest.
Pens: Price 2
Tries: Sweetnam 2, Penalty try
Yellow card: Sam Cross (Ospreys, 36)
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Luke Price, 9 Matthew Aubrey, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Sam Cross, 6 Olly Cracknell (captain), 5 Bradley Davies, 4 James King, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Jordan Lay.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Rowan Jenkins, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Lloyd Ashley, 20 Will Griffiths, 21 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Luke Morgan.
Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Dan Goggin, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Darren Sweetnam, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Neil Cronin, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Fineen Wycherley, 5 Billy Holland (captain), 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Jeremy Loughman.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Liam O’Connor, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Darren O’Shea, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Bill Johnston, 23 Rory Scannell.
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Adam Jones (Wales), Manuel Bottino (Italy)
TMO: Ian Davies (Wales)