Planet Rugby

Ospreys outclassed by Munster

23rd February 2014 17:46

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Munster centre James Downey on a run

Scored: James Downey

Munster reclaimed top spot in the RaboDirect PRO12 standings after they beat the Ospreys 25-11 on Sunday.

The Irish province went into the interval with a 13-8 advantage thanks to Sean Dougall's try and the accurate boot of Ian Keatley.

Despite a slow start, where they found themselves ten points down early on, the Welsh region gradually grew into the game and responded with Ashley Beck's touchdown and a Sam Davies' penalty.

Steve Tandy's team had most of the territory after the break but Davies' three-pointer was their only score of the second half as Zebo and James Downey sealed the victory for Munster.

In a game between two of this season's standout PRO12 sides, it was the visitors that controlled proceedings in the opening exchanges. Their set-piece was proving powerful and Rob Penney's men also dominated the contact area.

It was no surprise to see them score first when a driving maul resulted in Dougall going over. Keatley converted and added a penalty soon after to take them 10-0 ahead after 16 minutes.

Although Davies reduced the arrears from the tee, Munster continued to have the majority of chances and their fly-half restored their ten-point cushion.

Beck provided the prefect tonic for the Ospreys just before the break as he slipped through Keatley's tackle to touch down.

But Zebo dashed the hosts' good work when the winger pounced on a loose ball and showed impressive pace to go over for the away side's second try after the interval.

The Ospreys had their chances to get back into the match, most notably when Scott Baldwin had a score ruled out for a double movement, but Munster's rearguard remained strong.

In the end, Davies' penalty was all they had to show for their pressure in the second half as a late Downey effort eased the Limerick-based outfit to an impressive win.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Try: Beck
Pen: Davies 2

For Munster:
Tries: Dougall, Zebo, Downey
>Con: Keatley, Hanrahan
Pen: Keatley 2

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Aisea Natoga, 13 Jonathan Spratt (c), 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Jeff Hassler, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 James King, 4 Perry Parker, 3 Dan Suter, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Joe Rees, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Hanno Dirksen, 23 Richard Fussell.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 James Coughlan (c), 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Tommy O'Donnell, 5 Dave Foley, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Ger Slattery, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Denis Hurley.

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ire)
Assistant referees: Wayne Davies, Jon Mason (both Wal)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wal)

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