Munster were beaten by the Ospreys 17-13 at Thomond Park after leading the Welsh side 10-6 at half time.
The Ospreys overturned their half time deficit with a try and two penalties in the second half as Munster could only manage one penalty, scored by out-half Ian Keatley.
Munster got off to a perfect start with a try in the 3rd minute when they countered from an Ospreys attack and Doug Howlett’s probing grubber kick came to Osprey’s winger Hanno Dirksen whose attempted clearance kick was blocked by Danny Barnes who then went over the line for the first five points of the game.
Keatley converted the try but the Ospreys hit back with a penalty kick in the 7th minute when Dan Biggar kicked three points onto the board for the Welsh team.
Keatley restored the seven point lead in the 16th minute with a penalty but the majority of play from then on went to the visiting side who pressed Munster for their own opening try.
Munster’s scrum was repeatedly undisciplined and was the main reason the home team kept giving away penalties.
Despite the pressure they found themselves under, Munster’s defence stood strong in the first half and didn’t concede a try, but they did let Ospreys back into the game with a penalty kick scored by Biggar in the last minute of the first half.
Munster were eventually punished for their constant break down of the scrum in the 44th minute when Stephen Archer was sin binned for coming up during the scrum and Biggar made Munster pay immediately from the penalty to reduce the gap to one point.
Ospreys were then reduced to 14 men when their captain Justin Tipuric was given a yellow card for dangerous tackle on Keatley, and Munster nearly pulled away with a penalty but Keatley hit the post with his attempt.
The visitors got their deserved try in the 56th minute when Munster were inches away from scoring themselves until Mick O’Driscoll’s pass was intercepted by Barry Davies whose pitch long run was eventually stopped before the full back offloaded to Dirksen who set up Rhys Webb to go over the line for the five points.
Biggar missed the conversion and in the 63rd minute Keatley put just one point in it with a kick from a penalty.
Despite having 17 minutes to score Munster couldn’t muster any more points after coming close inside the Ospreys’ ten metre line but they lost possession of the ball too easily and the chance was gone.
The Ospreys then pinned Munster back in their own half and Biggar kicked three points with the last kick of the game to put a gloss on their victory.
Munster’s defence in the first half was good but their performance was tainted with mistakes and indiscipline in the scrum that cost them in the end.
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Munster 13 – 17 Ospreys
Full time: It’s all over at Thomond Park and Munster lose to the Ospreys who remain at the top of the Pro 12 table. The Welsh side came out for the second half and made the win for themselves after scoring 11 points to Munster’s 3. Munster gave away too many penalties from their scrum and couldn’t convert any of their chances.
80min: Munster are penalised for breaking down the scrum and Biggar will attempt a kick to end the game. He converts it and the Ospreys win by 4 points.
79min: The Ospreys have possession in Munster’s own half but Biggar knocks it on possibly gives Munster one more chance to mount an attack with the put in to the scrum.
76min: Munster win the lineout but the Ospreys turn it over and Biggar kicks it clear.
75min: Munster are putting the pressure on the Ospreys as they kick it into touch just metres from the Ospreys try-line for a lineout. Denis Hurley goes off for Scott Deasy.
71min: Keatley tries to relieve the pressure with a downfield kick and Biggar tries a drop goal from a long way out but the Ospreys out-half misses. Play stops as Peter O’Mahony receives attention to an injury. Simon Zebo comes on for Johnnie Murphy.
70min: Scrum to Munster inside their own 10 metre line after Dirksen knocked the ball on.
67min: Dan Biggar attempts a drop goal but his kick hits the post for the second time.
66min: The referee penalises Munster for their scrum and the Ospreys are on the attack.
65min: Tipuric is back on the field as Munster have the put in to a scrum on the halfway line.
63min: Keatley kicks the penalty and makes the three points. Just one point in it now.
61min: Munster win the scrum again and a penalty and there’s more off the ball action here. Holland and Perez come off for Marcus Horan and Ian Nagle.
60min: Some afters at the moment as Botha seemed to headbutt Hibbard.
58min: Biggar misses the conversion and Munster are 4 points behind the Welsh team.
56min: TRY to Ospreys! Terrible mistake by Mick O’Driscoll whose pass in front of Ospreys’ post is intercepted by Davies who runs the length of the pitch before offloading to Dirksen who gives it to Rhys Webb who goes over the line for the try.
55min: Johnnie Murphy’s run down the wing is stopped as he slips but Munster win a scrum.
54min: Keatley hits the post again. Archer’s time in the sin bin is up but he’s subbed straight off for BJ Botha
53min: Munster are camped just in front of the Ospreys try-line as they’re extremely close to scoring a try. Justin Tipuric is yellow carded for a dangerous tackle on Keatley earlier on in play. That’s a blow to the Ospreys to lose their captain. Keatley will kick the penalty.
47min: Mick O’Driscoll is pushed during the lineout and Munster win a penalty which Keatley puts in touch just inside the Ospreys 10 metre line.
44min: The referee sends Steven Archer to the sin bin after coming up in the scrum again. Biggar scores from the penalty and Munster are down to 14 men.
43min: Munster knock the ball on and the Ospreys put it into the scrum.
41min: The Ospreys kick off to get the second half started.
Half time: Munster go into the changing rooms at half time still 4 points ahead despite Ospreys having most of the possession inside Munster’s half. The Irish side will need to raise their game to prevent a comeback by the Ospreys.
40min: Munster are penalised for their front row came up during the scrum. Biggar kicks the penalty for three points as the referee blows for half time.
39min: Munster relieve some pressure by kicking it down field but the Ospreys come straight back at them. They eventually win a scrum after a knock on by the Ospreys.
36min: More poor ball handling as Keatley’s run is thwarted by his own butterfingers.
34min: Munster finally get the ball out of their own half and start to attack but Danny Barnes knocks the ball on.
31min: Duncan Williams relieves some pressure with a kick for a lineout to the Ospreys inside Munster’s 22 metre line.
30min: Munster defence stands strong as the Ospreys look to go over the line but they knock the ball on and get the put into the scrum after the referee brings play back for advantage.
27min: Ospreys get the put in to the scrum again as Munster are penalised.
26min: Ospreys get a scrum just on the Munster try-line.
25min: Biggar hits the posts with his kick and play continues with the Ospreys on the attack.
24min: Munster win the lineout but are then penalised as Biggar is held back by Niall Ronan and he’ll go for the posts.
23min: Munster give away a penalty from the lineout and Biggar kicks down the line.
22min: Munster win a penalty and Keatley kicks to the corner again.
21min: Keatley hits the post and the ball is back in play as Munster turn it over.
19min: Keatley kicks to the corner and Munster have a lineout deep in Ospreys territory but the Welsh team win the ball. The Ospreys are then penalised and Keatley has another chance to kick at goal.
16min: Keatley obliges with the three points and a good kick.
15min: Munster win a penalty from a scrum and Keatley has a chance to put 7 points between the teams again.
13min: Wasteful play from the Ospreys as Webb knocks it on and Munster break from the scrum.
12min: The Ospreys scrum overpowers Munster and they win a penalty that Biggar kicks into the corner from.
7min: Munster are penalised for their scrum and Dan Biggar kicks the first three points for the Ospreys.
6min: Ospreys try to hit back but their attack is halted by a knock on.
3min: TRY to Munster! Munster break from the lineout and Howlett’s kick is picked up by an Ospreys player whose clearance attempt is blocked by Danny Barnes who goes over the line for the first try. The conversion is put over the bar by Ian Keatley.
2min: First lineout to Munster in their own half as the Ospreys gain ground.
1min: We’re underway at Thomond Park as Munster kick off to the Ospreys.
Munster: Johne Murphy; Doug Howlett, Danny Barnes, Lifeimi Mafi, Denis Hurley; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Wian du Preez, Denis Fogarty, Stephen Archer; Billy Holland, Mick O’Driscoll; Dave O’Callaghan, Niall Ronan, Peter O’Mahony (capt).
Replacements: Sean Henry, Marcus Horan, BJ Botha, Ian Nagle, Tommy O’Donnell, Peter Stringer, Scott Deasy, Simon Zebo.
Ospreys: Barry Davies; Hanno Dirksen, Tom Isaacs, Andrew Bishop, Richard Fussell; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Duncan Jones, Richard Hibbard, Cai Griffiths, Ian Gough, Ian Evans, Joe Bearman, Justin Tipuric (capt), Jonathan Thomas.
Replacements: Mefin Davies, Aaron Jarvis, Joe Rees, Tom Smith, James King, Matthew Morgan, Sonny Parker, Kristian Phillips.
First plays second in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 on Saturday as Munster host Ospreys at Thormond Park. Both sides are missing key performers with Ireland and Wales facing off in the World Cup on Saturday, but the teams will be eager to build on early season form.
Munster have started well in the competition, winning four out of five matches. The Irish side will be hoping to continue their impressive home record which has seen them avoid defeat in the competition since April 24 2010, when Ospreys beat them.
Munster are second in the league after losing 29-14 away to Edinburgh last Friday. The loss cost the Irish team top spot in the league and ended a record breaking 14 match winning streak. Greig Laidlaw did most of the damage for Edinburgh, kicking five penalties and two conversions. Danny Barnes scored Munster’s only try, while Ian Keatley hit three penalties.
Munster had enjoyed a 100 per cent record in their opening four matches. The Irish side beat Dragons 20-12 in the opening match, Lifeimi Mafi and Danny Barnes scoring tries. Niall Ronan and Simon Zebo tries then helped Munster beat Glasgow 23-12.
Munster’s biggest victory so far came against Scarlets when the Irish team comfortably won 35-12 after scores from Doug Howlett, Duncan Williams and Tommy O’Donnell and a penalty try. Six Ian Keatley penalties then helped Munster overcome a difficult away journey to Cardiff. Keatley has been a consistent contributor for Munster and is the competition’s joint-second highest point scorer with 65 points.
Ospreys are the table toppers after winning their opening five matches and are hoping to complete an early clean-sweep over the Irish teams. The Welsh side impressively dismantled Leinster in the first week, scoring three tries and winning 27-3. Ospreys have also recorded a comfortable 32-14 victory over Ulster and a narrow 26-21 win over Connaught.
The Welsh team’s most dramatic victory came at home to Edinburgh. The sides were tied in the 80th minute, but a try from captain Justin Tipuric and conversion from Dan Biggur helped the Ospreys win 26-19. A trip to Italy also saw Ospreys come away with a 32-27 victory over Benetton Treviso.
Last season Munster beat Ospreys 22-10 at Thomond Park in September, while the Irish side also won 22-20 at the Liberty Stadium.
Doug Howlett and Marcus Horan have been included in Munster’s 29 man squad for the encounter. Ospreys’ new signings Kahn Fotuali’i, George Stowers and Chauncey O’Toole have completed their World Cup participation but will not join up with the squad until later in the month.