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Ospreys make most of Munster's ill-discipline

Munster's hoodoo against the Ospreys continued at the Liberty Stadium as Damien Varley saw red.





Ronan O'Gara and Ian Keatley slotted 15 points between them but it was not enough as the reigning RaboDirect PRO12 champions claimed tries through Richard Fussell, Richard Hibbard and their powerful scrum.

Munster's woes were then compounded when Varley was given his marching orders after losing his cool and kicking out at Alun Wyn Jones in the closing stages.

The Welsh region completed a hat-trick over Munster last season, as they marched to the PRO12 title, and made it four on the bounce by outmuscling the men from Limerick.

Dan Biggar opened the scoring for the hosts on nine minutes and he quickly doubled their lead after Simon Zebo blocked Hanno Dirksen from chasing his grubber.

A Peter Stringer box kick was charged down midway through the half and put the visitors in major trouble. The Ospreys snaffled possession and Bishop sliced through the red midfield.

Stringer scragged the centre but the ball was recycled and Fussell crashed over despite the best efforts of Keith Earl.

Biggar expertly converted from the touchline to establish a commanding 13-0 lead but Ronan O'Gara quickly reduced that with Munster's first points.

They continued to build pressure and laid siege to the Ospreys line but they were unable to break the Welsh region's defence and left empty handed.

But the hosts undid their hard work, with Dirksen's clearance charged down by Zebo and Munster were awareded a penalty following the ensuing melee, which O'Gara converted.

The veteran out-half quickly got the scoreboard ticking following the restart, after Ryan Jones was penalised at the breakdown, to reduce the deficit to four points.

But Munster's flying start to the half was brought to a halt when Tommy O'Donnell was sent to the sin-bin for pulling down a powerful maul and Biggar slotted the penalty.

And the Ospreys swiftly made Munster pay for their indiscipline. They launched wave after wave of attacks and after being awarded a five-metre scrum they made the weight of their numerical advantage count with a penalty try.

The try forced Penney to ring the changes and he called into action an entirely new front-row in the mass substitution.

A spill from Denis Hurley almost cost Munster dearly but Earls scrambled back to make a try-saving tackle on Fussell.

Ian Keatley hit-back with a penalty but the Ospreys instantly responded with their third try through Hibbard to put the result beyond doubt.

Munster continued to battle but their frustrations boiled over when Varley was sent off for retaliation.

Munster now turn their attention to rivals Leinster, when the provinces square off in the Aviva next Saturday.

Scorers -- Ospreys: R Hibbard, R Fussell try each, pen try; D Biggar 3 pens, 3 cons Munster: R O'Gara 4 pens, I Keatley pen

Ospreys: R Fussell (R Jones 2, R Fussell 10, R Jones 68); H Dirksen, A Bishop, A Beck, T Isaacs; D Biggar, K Fotuali'i; R Bevington, R Hibbard (S Baldwin 68), A Jarvis (A Jones 57), AW Jones (capt), I Evans, R Jones, J Bearman (J Thomas 57), J Tipuric.

Munster: D Hurley, D Howlett (cpt), K Earls, C Laulala, S Zebo (J Downey 70), R O'Gara (I Keatley 58), C Murray (P Stringer 2, Murray 12, P Stringer 14); W Du Preez (D Kilcoyne 53), M Sherry (D Varley 53), S Archer (BJ Botha 53), D O'Callaghan, B Holland (D Ryan 53), T O'Donnell, N Ronan, P Butler (P O'Mahony 53).

Referee: D Phillips (Ire)

Sunday Indo Sport