Munster returned to winning ways at Irish Independent Park with a convincing bonus-point triumph over Ospreys in the Guinness PRO14. Following a heavy defeat to the Cheetahs on their tour of South Africa a fortnight ago, this 28-12 success will come as a welcome boost for Johann van Graan’s side.
Ospreys had entered this contest on the back of a morale-boosting victory over Benetton and although Luke Price contributed twelve points from the kicking tee, they ultimately lacked a cutting edge in attack.
An opening quarter that was characterised by sloppy handling errors on both sides was finally brought on life on 16 minutes. Following a Price knock-on, Munster were offered an attacking platform in the Ospreys half.
Dan Goggin subsequently made a powerful break up the right-wing and passed inside for loosehead prop James Cronin to touch down in fine style. Tyler Bleyendaal supplied the extras to give Munster some early breathing space in the Cork venue.
Despite losing Tom Botha to an early injury the Ospreys pack grew in confidence as the action progressed. Their persistence was eventually rewarded in the form of a close-range penalty. Price comfortably slotted this effort between the posts and he also found the target in the 40th minute.
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Munster were close to bagging a second try in stoppage-time, but superb maul defence ensured the visitors were only a single point in arrears at the break. The hosts were grateful for their slender advantage, having struggled to get their hands on the ball for large spells of the first half. They immediately put this right on the resumption, however.
After Ospreys flanker Sam Cross was sin-binned, quick thinking saw hooker Rhys Marshall crash over for his 14th try in a Munster shirt. Price kept the Welshmen in contention with his third penalty of the night, but their line was once again breached nine minutes into the second period.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 19, 2019
The impressive Mike Haley feigned a pass out wide on the right to winger Calvin Nash and instead broke over for a clinical five-pointer of his own. Another Bleyendaal conversion edged Munster a step closer to their third win of the new campaign – but Price added another place-kick just shy of the hour mark.
Yet, Munster were never in serious danger of letting their lead slip away and Arno Botha’s powerful finish secured maximum points right at the death.
– Press Association
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