Ospreys win at Thomond Park

Date published: September 27 2014

Dan Biggar kicked 14 points as the Ospreys won a fourth straight Guinness PRO12 game, away at Munster 19-14.

These two teams are expected to challenge for the top four and it was therefore no surprise that the first half remained tight, with the Welsh region going into the break 10-8 ahead through Jeff Hassler’s converted try and Biggar’s penalty.

The Irish province’s response came from Gerhard van den Heever’s touchdown and Ian Keatley’s three-pointer before the fly-half took them into the lead in the second half from the tee.

Biggar and Keatley then traded penalties to give the home side a 14-13 advantage, but the Ospreys controlled the final quarter and their pivot sealed the victory.

Despite a shock opening day defeat to Edinburgh, Anthony Foley’s men responded well to that setback in rounds two and three, winning matches against Benetton Treviso and Zebre.

However, they were expected to overcome the Italian teams comfortably and a truer test came in this match against the Welsh region.

A youthful Ospreys side went into this encounter having won three games from three, but Munster opened the brighter and went into a 5-0 lead through van den Heever’s try.

That didn’t last for long, though, as the visitors manufactured a position for Canadian wing Hassler to go over in the corner.

Biggar expertly converted before the stand-off added a penalty to take them 10-5 ahead after 32 minutes.

Keatley reduced that deficit at the break with a three-pointer of his own and regained Munster’s lead two minutes into the second half with another successful kick.

Rynier Bernardo was then sin-binned for the visitors but the hosts were unable to take significant advantage as the respective fly-halves traded penalties while the lock was off the field.

That was to prove costly as the Ospreys gradually assumed command and successive Biggar efforts from the tee gave them a deserved win.

For Munster:
Tries: van den Heever
Penalties: Keatley 3

For Ospreys:
Tries: Hassler
Conversions: Biggar
Penalties: Biggar 4
Yellow Cards: Bernardo

The teams:

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Ivan Dineen, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray(c), 8 CJ Stander, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Paul O’Connell, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Andrew Smith.

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 James King, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Hanno Dirksen.

Referee: Neil Hennessy