Planet Rugby

O'Gara emerges to steer Munster

18th September 2010 21:47

Share:

SKY_MOBILE OGara R - Munster

Super sub: Ronan O'Gara

Munster promptly returned to the top of the Magners League standings on Saturday courtesy of a Ronan O'Gara-inspired 22-10 win over the Ospreys.

A 37th-minute penalty from replacement O'Gara was the sole score of a forgettable first half, but the second period burst into life as Doug Howlett and Tommy Bowe swapped tries.

O'Gara's right boot dominated the remainder as he added four penalty goals for a 17-point personal haul, making Richard Fussell's late try a mere consolation for the off-colour Ospreys.

There was plenty of added interest in this early season tussle, with Munster favourite Alan Quinlan winning his 200th provincial cap and the sides set to lock horns in the Heineken Cup in December.

Having already lost Denis Leamy to a rib injury prior to the match, Munster had to tweak their line-up early on when winger Ian Dowling's night was ended by a hip problem. O'Gara was brought in at out-half, with Paul Warwick moving to full-back.

Both Warwick and O'Gara missed kickable penalties in the opening 10 minutes and although Munster bossed play in the first quarter, the Ospreys were able to soak up the pressure.

A kick chase from Johne Murphy got Munster within sight of the try-line, and Ospreys full-back Lee Byrne was fortunate to avoid a yellow card for hands in the ruck as Tomas O'Leary prepared to pass.

Sam Tuitupou was a productive ball carrier in Munster's midfield, but any space was quickly closed down by the visitors. A hack downfield from Byrne was well chased by Shane Williams who gave Warwick no time on the ball.

The mistakes continued from both sides, most notably at lineout time and in contact. An ankle injury forced Ian Evans off, after he fell awkwardly in a lineout, and Howlett, Munster's captain for the night, lacked support as he jinked his way into scoring range.

O'Gara watched a long-range penalty effort fail to clear the crossbar, on the half hour, but he sent Munster into a 3-0 lead shortly before half-time, punishing the Ospreys for a scrum infringement.

Munster continued to force the issue in the second half, declining a shot at the posts before momentum from a scrum led to Warwick sending a skip pass out for Howlett to glide in at the corner. O'Gara struck a superb conversion for 10-0.

The Ospreys hit back in the 45th minute when Williams' deft pass invited Bowe into space over halfway and the Ireland winger had the pace to outstrip Warwick for the left corner, with Biggar missing the conversion.

Bowe was back on the defensive to thwart Felix Jones soon after, and Munster, holding the edge up front, began to turn pressure into points. With the Ospreys losing Marty Holah to the sin-bin for repeated ruck offences, O'Gara kicked four successive penalties - two of them while the visitors were down to 14 men.

With 10 minutes to go, Munster forwards had laid the platform for victory at 22-5. The Ospreys opened up in the closing minutes and Andrew Bishop almost made it over for a try.

Bishop was brought down close to the posts and Munster's Billy Holland was duly yellow carded for not rolling away.

After a series of scrums, Biggar scooped a long pass out to the right for replacement winger Fussell to score, but it was too little, too late.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Try: Howlett
Con: O'Gara
Pen: O'Gara 5

For Ospreys:
Tries: Bowe, Fussell

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Johne Murphy, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Ian Dowling, 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 Denis Leamy (capt), 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Alan Quinlan, 5 Donncha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Denis Fogarty, 1 Marcus Horan.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley,17 Wian du Preez, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Peter O'Mahony, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Ronan O'Gara, 23 Danny Barnes.

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Tommy Bowe, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Jamie Nutbrown, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Ian Gough, 20 Ben Lewis, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Gareth Owen, 23 Richard Fussell.

Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU)
Assistant Referees: Alan Rogan, Brian Macneice (both IRFU)
TMO: Dermot Moloney (IFRU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00