Planet Rugby

Munster too much for Ospreys

02nd November 2013 21:19

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Ian Keatley munster

Ian Keatley: Kicked three penalties

Munster got the better of the Ospreys 12-6 in a low-scoring Pro12 affair played out in poor conditions at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Munster remain at the top of the Pro12 after they secured a crucial victory over their fellow play-off contenders.

Two Ian Keatley penalties to Matthew Morgan's one saw the Irish province take a 6-3 lead over the Welsh region at the interval.

Keatley added a third three-pointer in the second half before JJ Hanrahan came on and duly sealed the win with his only attempt from the tee.

However, with time up, Morgan slotted a penalty to garner a potentially vital losing bonus-point.

In a confrontation between the league's top two sides, the first half unsurprisingly remained tight as the teams battled for forward supremacy.

Keatley got the hosts off to the perfect start with a penalty before adding another after 22 minutes as Rob Penney's men took a 6-0 lead.

Although Morgan responded with one of his own, the Ospreys went into the break 6-3 down and looking for a way of prising open a solid rearguard.

That almost came not long into the second period when Tito Tebaldi looked to have touched down but, after consultation with the Television Match Official, the Italian was penalised for a double movement.

Munster then proceeded to take control of the encounter and, despite missing a long range opportunity on 52 minutes, their fly-half was on target soon after.

Despite brief forays from deep, the Welsh side found it difficult to truly test the hosts' defence and, without front-rowers Adam Jones and Richard Hibbard due to international duty, they struggled at times in the scrum.

And with the home team controlling the encounter up front, Hanrahan had the chance to effectively seal the win, which the replacement pivot duly took.

But with the last kick of the game, Morgan rescued a bonus-point for the Ospreys via a penalty.

Scorers:

For:Munster
Pens:Keatley 3, Hanrahan

For:Ospreys:
Pens:Morgan 2

The teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Ivan Dineen, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 CJ Stander. 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Dave Foley, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley (c), 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Duncan Casey, 17 James Cronin, 18 John Ryan, 19 Billy Holland, 20 James Coughlan, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Cian Bohane.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Aisea Natoga, 13 Jonathan Spratt (c), 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Ben John, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Tito Tibaldi, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 James King, 4 Lloyd Peers, 3 Joe Rees, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Marc Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Rhodri Hughes, 20 Arthur Ellis, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Hanno Dirksen

Venue: Thomond Park
Referee: Giuseppe Vivarini (Italy)
Assistant referees:Gary Conway, John Carvill (both Ireland)
Citing commissioner: Eddie Walsh (Ireland)
Television match offial: Jude Quinn (Ireland)

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