Sunday 18 March 2018

Foley looks to bury bogey venue

Munster's head coach Anthony Foley
Munster's head coach Anthony Foley

John Fallon

Munster coach Anthony Foley has called on his men to deal with a bogey away fixture and chalk up their second win of the campaign away to Ospreys on Sunday.

Munster have only won three of their 13 league ties in Swansea and Foley is hoping that they can back up their opening day win over Treviso when they make their first trip to Wales this season.

"It is a tough place to go, it has been for a number of years. It doesn't matter what Munster team goes over there. When we played Neath, the Gnoll was a tough place to go, St Helen's was a tough to go when we played Swansea.

"We are three wins for the Liberty so it is not the most inviting place for Munster to go. But, it will be a good test for the boys this weekend," said Foley.

Ospreys did the double over Munster last season but the Reds gained revenge when it mattered most, winning the Pro12 semi-final 21-18 at Thomond Park.

Munster won 25-11 in Liberty Stadium two seasons ago and they were also victorious in in 2010-11 (22-20), with their first win at the venue coming in the 2008-09 season when the Reds won 25-21.

But Ospreys have won 10 of their 13 clashes in Swansea. That dominance sees them on top in the meetings between the sides, with the Welsh winning 14 of the 27 meetings, Munster coming out on top twelve times there has been one draw between them.

Munster's biggest win over Ospreys came in 2005-06 when they scored a 37-10 home win, while their biggest loss came in the Pro12 semi-final in Tony McGahan's final game in 2012 when the Welsh romped home 45-10.

That game wasn't the highest scoring between them, with Ospreys winning 33-26 in their first meeting in 2003, while the lowest scoring contest was in 2008 when Munster edged home 9-8.

Munster's biggest score against Ospreys was in 2005 when they won 37-10. Neither team has ever failed to score against each other, although Munster did suffer a 16-3 loss in 2008.

Ospreys go into the match having suffered a 28-6 loss away to Ulster at the weekend and on Sunday will be trying to extend their unbeaten Pro12 run at Liberty Stadium to 15 matches, with Munster the last team to beat them there.

Irish Independent

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