Biggar kicks Ospreys to victory
Published 25/04/2010 | 05:00
The Ospreys recorded their first ever win in Limerick last night to leave Munster's Magners League play-off hopes hanging in the balance.
Dan Biggar kicked a perfect five from five for the visitors who are now firmly paced to secure a home semi-final, at Munster's expense.
Both sides came into the match level on 43 points apiece and the opening exchanges were typically tense.
O'Gara knocked over an easy penalty on 10 minutes but missed his next two. Biggar was unerring with the boot and kicked two from two as the atmosphere inside Thomond Park grew increasingly edgy.
Munster's general play was incisive enough but lacked composure at critical times. De Villiers, Mafi and Wallace all broke the line on separate occasions but each time the support play let them down or the final pass went astray.
Munster also had problems in the scrum, losing two against the head in the Ospreys 22, and the Welshman grew in confidence as the half wore on with Biggar playing the corners well. They went into the break with a deserved 6-3 lead.
Biggar continued his good form with three more penalties after the break as Munster, frustrated by their own shortcomings, began to infringe with alarming regularity. James Coughlan was then sent to the bin for failing to heed the referee's advice.
Down to 14 men, Munster coped quite well and worked two kickable penalties, one of which was converted by O'Gara. Ryan Jones then received his marching orders as Munster turned up the heat.
O'Gara then set up a grandstand finale when he found space down the blindside to touch down for a try, but it was too little too late and they had to be content with a losing bonus point.
Scorers -- Munster: O'Gara try; O'Gara 2 pens. Ospreys: Biggar 5 pens.
Munster: P Warwick (D Hurley 60); L Mafi, T Gleeson, J De Villiers, S Deasy; R O'Gara capt, T O'Leary (P Stringer 67); M Horan (J Brugnaut 67), J Flannery (D Varley 67), J Hayes; D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll; A Quinlan, D Wallace (N Ronan 65), J Coughlan.
Ospreys: L Byrne (S Parker 65); T Bowe, A Bishop, J Hook, S Williams; D Biggar, M Phillips; P James (R Bevington 77), H Bennett, A Jones; I Gough (A Wyn Jones 40), J Thomas; J Collins, M Holah (F Tiatia 76), R Jones capt.
Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU)