Planet Rugby

Honours even at Thomond Park

02nd March 2013 20:27

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Jonathan Thomas Ospreys v Biarritz Heineken Cup Liberty Stadium

Got a try: Jonathan Thomas

Munster and the Ospreys fought out a 13-13 draw in their RaboDirect PRO12 clash at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Kickers Ronan O'Gara and Matthew Morgan traded two penalties each in the first-half as the two sides went into the interval level at 6-6.

Damien Varley crossed early in the second period for the Irish province before Jonathan Thomas responded, but neither team could find a winning score.

In a match between two play-off contenders, the opening period was unsurprisingly tight. But it was the hosts who took an early advantage. O'Gara has taken criticism over recent weeks for his performances in an Ireland shirt, but he slotted a penalty here as they went into a 3-0 lead.

However, the visitors hit back when Morgan, standing in for Dan Biggar, scored a three-pointer of his own to level matters. The fly-half was then on target again after 25 minutes as the Ospreys led for the first time.

Munster's fly-half did equalise just before the break and the match remained finely poised at half-time. But the Irish province raised the intensity in the second period and duly broke the game's try-scoring duck when Varley powered over.

Ill-discipline was an issue for the home side, though, and Stephen Archer saw yellow for taking the man without the ball. And they paid for that indiscretion when Thomas touched down from a driving maul.

Despite both teams' attempts to move the ball wide, solid defence and mistakes at crucial prevented them from adding to the score.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Try: Varley
Con: O'Gara
Pens: O'Gara 2
Yellow Card: Archer

For Ospreys:
Try: Thomas
Con: Morgan
Pens: Morgan 2

The teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (c), 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Denis Hurley, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 James Coughlan. 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Ian Nagle, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Damien Varley, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Ivan Dineen.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tom Habberfield, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Tom Issacs, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 James King, 5 Lloyd Peers, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 Ian Gough, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Arthur Ellis, 22 Rhyss Webb, 23 Tom Grabham.

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton, Eanna O'Dowd (IRFU)
Television match official: Dermot Moloney (IRFU)

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