Munster 23-7 Ospreys: URC Title Holders through to Semi-Finals after proving too strong for Ospreys - Ruck

Munster 23-7 Ospreys: URC Title Holders through to Semi-Finals after proving too strong for Ospreys

By Etienne Turpin

Early tries from Niall Scannell and Simon Zebo and a fine kicking performance from Crowley helped Munster defeat the Ospreys by 16-points in the first knock out game of the season. Munster now wait to see if they will host Glasgow or the Stormers in tomorrow’s fourth quarter final.

it took the home side less than 90 seconds to open the scoring as Simon Zebo crossed over after a strong start. The Ospreys left too much space out wide and Zebo had the power to shrug off the attempted tackle from Giles.

But the Ospreys replied with a sensational try from Giles. Under penalty advantage, Morgan-Williams played a delightful chip over the Munster defence which was gathered by Watkin’s who flicked it inside to Morgan Morris who then found his winger who had all the pace in the world to go over.

Munster retook the lead just short of 20 minutes when Niall Scannell crashed over from close range. It came after a period of constant pressure from Munster, and they eventually got over for their second of the game.

Munster looked a threat in the first half an almost got a third after Shane Daly brilliantly controlled Crowley’s cross field kick, but Max Nagy was fast to react and saved a potential try. Moments later, it was Owen Williams who came to the rescue. A Crowley penalty allowed Munster to extend their lead to 10 points as the game neared the 30th minute.

The Ospreys had a big opportunity just before the break to reduce the scores but with a penalty close to the posts, Tipuric opted for the scrum and Munster showed great strength to turn the ball over and ultimately win a penalty which meant that Munster kept their 10-point lead at half time.

Munster came out in the second half looking dangerous and threatened to score a third try but the Ospreys showed great determination in defence, stopping the Munster attack. A brilliant tackle from Morris stopped Coombes from close range.

After winning another scrum penalty, Munster and Jack Crowley extended their lead to 13-points with a simple penalty from in front of the posts. Another penalty minutes later saw Munster’s lead grow to 16-ponts.

The second half failed to offer much action has Munster controlled the half and looked comfortable with the ball, taking the points on offer to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Munster were rewarded with another scrum penalty but with the clock in the red, the Munstermen decided that enough was enough and kicked the ball as they eased to a home semi final.

Munster: 23

TRIES: 2 (Zebo 2’, Scannell 18’)

CONVERSIONS: 2 (Crowley 3’, 19’)

PENALTIES: 3 (Crowley 28’, 59’, 62’)




15. Simon Zebo, 14. Calvin Nash, 13. Antoine Frisch,12. Sean O’Brien, 11. Shane Daly, 10. Jack Crowley, 9. Craig Casey, 1. Jeremy Loughman, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. Stephen Archer, 4. RG Snyman 5. Tadgh Beirne, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. John Hodnett, 8. Gavin Coombes.

16. Diarmuid Barron, 17. John Ryan, 18. Oli Jager, 19. Jack O’Donoghue, 20. Alex Kendellen 21. Conor Murray, 22. Tony Butler, 23. Mike Haley.

Ospreys: 7

TRIES: 1 (Giles 5’)

CONVERSIONS: 1 (Williams 6’)





15. Max Nagy, 14. Luke Morgan, 13. Owen Watkin, 12. Kieran Williams, 11. Keelan Giles, 10. Owen Williams, 9. Reuben Morgan-Williams, 1. Nicky Smith, 2. Dewi Lake, 3. Tom Botha, 4. James Ratti, 5. Huw Sutton, 6. Jac Morgan, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Morgan Morris.

16. Sam Parry, 17. Gareth Thomas, 18. Rhys Henry, 19. Victor Sekekete, 20. Morgan Morse, 21. Luke Davies, 22. Luke Scully, 23. Harri Houstpn.

Five Talking Points: Munster 23 – 7 Ospreys

  1. Reigning Champions through to the semi-finals.

After finishing first overall, Munster were rewarded with a home knock out tie against the Ospreys who just about squeezed into a playoff spot and they showed why they are the current champions with a comfortable performance.

2. Jack Crowley shows his class.

The young 10 was once again instrumental for his side kicking crucial penalties to keep the scoreboard ticking. The flyhalf was awarded player of the match after an excellent performance.

3. Ospreys season over but exciting future.

The Ospreys seem to have found life again under Toby Booth and showed this season, despite the inexperience of their squad that they are capable of doing big things in the future. The likes of Giles, Morris, and Morgan-Williams showed their abilities and will hopefully go on further next season.

4. Final Ospreys appearance for Nicky Smith

Nicky Smith played his last game for the Ospreys before he joins Leicester Tigers in the Premiership. The prop who played for the Ospreys since 2012 was close to 200 appearances for the Welsh region and will be deeply missed.

5. Early tries for both sides.

The second half was not the most excited halves of rugby, but Munster’s game management was very professional. However, the game started on a high as Zebo (who is retiring at the end of the season) crossed over under 90 seconds before the Ospreys replied with a stunning team try involving their key men, Morris and Giles.