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Munster thrash Ospreys behind Gavin Coombes hat-trick

By PA
Munster celebrates another try. Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Munster showed no mercy as Gavin Coombes’ hat-trick of tries inspired a thumping 58-3 win over an off-colour Ospreys in their United Rugby Championship clash at Thomond Park.

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The hosts dominated a first half which saw each team have a player sin-binned, with Coombes, Malakai Fekitoa, Antoine Frisch and Joey Carbery all scoring tries to put Munster 27-3 up.

Stephen Myler’s third-minute penalty proved to be Ospreys’ only score, as they were held tryless for the first time this season.

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Paddy Patterson, Coombes (2), Simon Zebo and Shane Daly completed a nine-try annihilation, while Carbery kicked a penalty and five conversions to finish with 18 points.

Huw Sutton’s interception and charging run had quickly sparked Ospreys into life. Shane Daly saw yellow for a cynical infringement and allowed Myler to open the scoring.

A Morgan Morris turnover kept Munster scoreless until Carbery kicked them level in the 12th minute.

Ospreys then fell 10-3 behind, lock Bradley Davies catching Roman Salanoa with a high tackle for a yellow card before Jean Kleyn’s inside pass put Coombes galloping over for a converted score.

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That was followed by Fekitoa’s first try in Munster colours as he finished off some fine work from centre partner Frisch.

The pair combined again in the 29th minute, Fekitoa’s return pass – out of a double tackle – putting Frisch over to widen the margin to 17 points.

Despite losing skipper Jack O’Donoghue to injury, Munster continued to dominate and a dummying Carbery darted over in the 36th minute.

John Hodnett poached possession from Iestyn Hopkins to prevent Ospreys from responding.

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Barely 40 seconds into the second half, Hodnett bounced off a tackle and fed Patterson to run in his fourth try in five games.

Apart from getting some joy at scrum time, Ospreys continued to struggle. Number eight Coombes swatted away a tackle to double his tally from close range.

Zebo got in on the act in the 62nd minute, fending off Morris after Daly’s inside pass. The latter cruised in behind the posts just six minutes later, having linked with replacement Diarmuid Barron.

Coombes spun around through contact for his third of the night, with Ospreys’ lacklustre performance doing little to distract from talk of a potential player strike in Wales.

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Turlough 35 minutes ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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