Friday 22 September 2017

Munster pack lift Reds to third win on the spin

Ospreys 16 Munster 21

Chris Farrell of Munster is tackled by Ma'afu Fia, left, and Justin Tipuric of Ospreys. Photo: Sportsfile
Chris Farrell of Munster is tackled by Ma'afu Fia, left, and Justin Tipuric of Ospreys. Photo: Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Munster survived a late fightback from the Ospreys to seal a third straight Guinness PRO14 victory at the Liberty Stadium.

Tries from Jean Kleyn and Darren Sweetnam were enough to ensure Rassie Erasmus' men came out on top despite Sam Davies kicking the home side into contention in the second half.

Driving rain in Swansea didn't make for a classic, but Munster hung on and their margin of victory could have been greater had Tyler Bleyendaal kicked his goals. Skipper and out-half Bleyendaal booted a conversion and three penalties, but it was his pack's physical dominance which paved the way for their hard-fought victory.

James Hook scored the Ospreys try and Davies ended the game with 11 points, but Bleyendaal's late kick sealed things.

Munster started with a bang, but Bleyendaal missed two simple kicks at goal and Jaco Taute's clean run to the try line was ruled out for a forward pass.

Bleyendaal was successful at the third time of asking, but on their first attack the Ospreys scored the game's opening try. Hook was the man to come up trumps, dancing through some poor Munster tackling. Davies converted.

Hook's solo effort had come against the run of play and Munster soon restored their dominance. Lock Kleyn powered over from close range and Bleyendaal added the extras.

The first half turned into a scrappy affair until a clean break from Chris Farrell brought the game to life. Sean O'Connor was in support and although he was hauled down, the ball was spread to give Sweetnam an easy finish. Bleyendaal's off day with the boot continued, but an eight-point half-time lead was one Munster deserved.

Davies kicked two penalties to one from Bleyendaal on the resumption. And although the wet conditions suited Munster's power game, they couldn't pull clear on the scoreboard.

Davies's third penalty set up a nail-biting finish. Munster kept the ball in the forwards and it paid off. Bleyendaal's third penalty sealed the win and although there was no bonus point, this success would have pleased Erasmus no end.

Scorers - Ospreys: Hook try; S Davies con; S Davies 3 pens. Munster: Kleyn, Sweetnam try each; Bleyendaal con, Bleyendaal 3 pens.

Ospreys: Evans (Biggar 78); Giles, Allen ( Fonotia 54), Hook, Hassler; S Davies, Habberfield; James (Smith 40), Parry (Baldwin 40), Fia (Jones 75), B Davies, Ashley (Beard 52), Lydiate (Mercer 52), Tipuric (capt), Baker.

Munster: Conway (Zebo 64); Sweetnam, Farrell, Taute (R Scannell 55), Wootton; Bleyendaal (capt), Williams; L O'Connor (Cronin 52), Marshall (N Scannell 52), Archer (Ryan 52); Kleyn, Holland; S O'Connor (Copeland 66), O'Donnell, O'Donoghue.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa).

Sunday Indo Sport

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport