Munster snatch victory from jaws of defeat in clash with Ospreys
Munster snatched a Guinness PRO12 victory from the jaws of defeat as Dave Kilcoyne's late try saw them secure a 25-23 success over the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.
OSPREYS 23 MUNSTER 25
In a tight encounter, Hanno Dirksen and Kieron Fonotia had exchanged first-half scores with Jack O'Donoghue and Francis Saili with Sam Davies and Tyler Bleyendaal booting the rest of the points.
It meant the Ospreys went into the break 20-18 ahead and Davies' second-half penalty looked like giving them the win but Munster refused to go away and incessant late pressure saw them finally find a way over the line as prop Kilcoyne dotted down for the game's vital score.
The try made it 25-25 and Bleyendaal's conversion ensured Munster moved back to the top of the table.
An all-action start saw Munster move ahead with an early penalty from skipper Bleyendaal before the Ospreys hit back in style.
Winger Dirksen finished off a flowing team move in the corner. Flanker Sam Underhill was the creator, smashing through midfield and finding James King in support.
King, one of seven members of Wales' Six Nations squad to start for the Ospreys, then put Dirksen away for him to scorch over the line.
Davies converted and then added the extras to a simple effort from Fonotia, the centre barrelling through some poor Munster tackling to cross to the right-hand side of the posts. Davies converted once more and then swapped penalties with opposite number Bleyendaal.
With the Ospreys perhaps playing a little too much with ball in hand, Munster hit back. The Irish side profited from the home side's mistakes, number eight O'Donoghue finding his way to the line off the back of a visiting line-out. Bleyendaal missed the conversion, but did add the extras to a try just before the break from centre Saili.
A half-time lead of just two points didn't reflect the Ospreys' performance, and the start of the second period was a lot tighter than the first had been. Ashely Beck, who had had a first-half effort ruled out for a forward pass, then had another effort chalked off by Italian TMO Stefano Penne after being tackled into touch by Saili.
It was a moment of luck for the Munster centre, who made no attempt to use his arms in his tackle attempt on Beck. The Ospreys were at least consoled by a Davies penalty just before the hour mark, but the game was now a tactical battle with territory the key factor.
Both teams flooded the pitch with replacements and it was Munster, buoyed by their fresh faces, who finished the stronger. Bleyendaal thought he had scored, only for his effort to be ruled out once again by the TMO. The decision saw the Liberty erupt, but Munster's incessant pressure eventually paid off.
Kilcoyne was the man to get their try, Bleyendaal's extras ensuring the Ospreys lost a game they really should have won.