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Munster set up date with Leinster

14th May 2011 20:25

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Keith Earls Munster 2010

On their way: Earls and Munster

Munster will take on rivals Leinster in the 2010/11 Magners League Final after they overcame the Ospreys 18-11 at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Young centre Danny Barnes scored two tries, his first seeing him on the end of a sweeping move before he charged down Richard Fussell's attempted clearance for the game's decisive moment.

The early exchanges set the tone for the majority of the match as the hosts dominated. Fly-half Ronan O'Gara got Munster's first points on the board with a penalty before missing an opportunity to extend that advantage when his next attempt hit the post.

Despite controlling possession and territory, Munster struggled to break through a stubborn Ospreys defence.

But they finally ground down the tenacious visitors in the 32nd minute when slick hands from wing Doug Howlett and full-back Felix Jones sent Barnes clear. O'Gara failed to add the conversion but they still led 8-0.

The Ospreys then reduced the arrears through a penalty from fly-half Dan Biggar before Munster flanker David Wallace was held up with the last move of the half.

The hosts continued to assert their authority in the second period and Ospreys' substitute Richard Hibbard was only on the field for a minute before he was sin-binned.

O'Gara and Biggar then traded penalties to take the score to 11-6. But straight from the restart, Barnes charged down Fussell to touch down under the posts.

Fussell went over for a late try but they couldn't snatch an undeserved winner, and Munster will now face arch-rivals Leinster in the final.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Barnes 2
Con: O'Gara
Pen: O'Gara 2

For Ospreys:
Try: Fussell
Pen: Biggar 2

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 David Wallace, 6 Donncha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell (capt), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Marcus Horan.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Niall Ronan, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Paul Warwick, 23 Simon Zebo.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 James Hook, 11 Nikki Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones (capt), 4 Ian Gough, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Jerry Collins, 20 Tom Smith, 21 Marty Holah, 22 Tom Isaacs, 23 Ashley Beck.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Kevin Beggs (Ireland)
Television match officials: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

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