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Jack Crowley shines as Munster beat Ospreys to earn home URC semi-final

By PA
Limerick , Ireland - 7 June 2024; Jack Crowley of Munster after his side's victory in the United Rugby Championship quarter-final match between Munster and Ospreys at Thomond Park in Limerick. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Jack Crowley kicked 13 points as Munster overcame eighth-place finishers Ospreys 23-7 at Thomond Park to earn a BKT United Rugby Championship home semi-final.

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Niall Scannell’s maul try and a Crowley penalty gave Munster a 17-7 half-time lead, after Simon Zebo and Keelan Giles had swapped two slick early scores.

In front of an attendance of 14,072, two more Crowley place-kicks made it 10 league wins in a row as the defending champions move on to host either Glasgow Warriors or the DHL Stormers next weekend.

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Damian de Allende talks about the plaudits heaped on him by his teammates

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Damian de Allende talks about the plaudits heaped on him by his teammates

It was a rapid-fire start from both teams, with Gavin Coombes releasing Zebo on his outside to extend his all-time Munster record to 73 tries. Crowley converted from the right.

Ospreys hit back with a high-quality seven-pointer when Reuben Morgan-Williams’ deft kick was fastened onto by Owen Watkin, who combined with Morgan Morris to send Giles flying over on a brilliantly-angled 40-metre run.

Munster’s powerful maul drew them back into range by the end of the opening quarter, and hooker Scannell scored under Keiran Williams’ challenge with Crowley converting again.

Ospreys held firm off the next maul, although Crowley punished his opposite number Owen Williams for not rolling away to make it 17-7 in the 27th minute.

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The Welsh side got on top approaching the interval, but Dewi Lake was tackled into touch from a lineout, and a late bout of pressure ended with Munster winning a scrum penalty.

As the rain came down, Ospreys number 8 Morris did well to deny Coombes an early second-half try. Captain Justin Tipuric led their next defensive stand to keep the margin at 10 points.

Despite Ospreys holding out again near the hour mark, the resulting scrum saw Munster force a close-in penalty which Crowley sent over for a 20-7 advantage.

Crowley raised the flags again after Huw Sutton had infringed at a ruck. He dropped a long-range effort short in the 68th minute.

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A week on from their round 18 heroics, Ospreys were struggling to get out of their own half, and despite Luke Davies’ blindside break and kick chase, Munster gave very little away.

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Turlough 12 days ago

Crowley playing better. Ospreys set play off penalty advantage in midfield to score their try in first half is worth a watch. Expect to see more of these ‘advantage’ moves in coming months. Throwing a few high risk passes and kicks wont cut it anyome when a team can have a high risk set move after a regathered kick as Ospreys had.

For Ireland and SA fans the draw means there could be a Bulls-Leinster semi final in Loftus road. Bulls will be happy to play them there but Erasmus may be irked by the heads up it will give Ireland ahead of …..gulp…..this day 4 weeks!

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Shaylen 4 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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