Sunday 17 November 2019

Ospreys clash a phoney war ahead of European showdown

Ronan O'Gara
Ronan O'Gara

Declan Rooney

It's hard to know what kind of a read supporters will take from tonight's game with Ospreys at Irish Independent Park, but certainly the two teams on show in the opening round of the Heineken Cup in three weeks' time will be drastically different.

Heavy defeats to Ulster and Leinster meant Ospreys got off to an awful start in this year's PRO14, but after they edged past Benetton by 24-20, they have managed to earn some points.

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The English Premiership started last weekend and Munster's pool rivals and defending champions Saracens were shocked on their home patch in Round 1, as Northampton Saints claimed a 27-25 win. Sunday's away trip to Leicester Tigers won't be any easier for Sarries, who are heavily weakened by the World Cup.

And in the Top 14, Munster's second opponents in Pool 4, Racing 92, were 12-6 losers in a penalty kick battle with Ronan O'Gara's (above) La Rochelle last weekend. Incredibly, that's Racing's sixth loss from eight games and they are now in the relegation zone in the top division, with no solace to be found until their Parisian derby with Stade Francais on November 10.

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