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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Saturday, 18 December 2010

Ospreys 19-15 Munster

Ospreys (13) 19
Try: Phillips Con: Biggar Pens: Biggar (4)
Munster (10) 15
Tries: Buckley, Earls Con: O'Gara Pen: O'Gara

Mike Phillips crosses for a first-half Ospreys try against Munster
Mike Phillips crosses for a first-half Ospreys try against Munster

The Ospreys' mighty pack drove them to victory over Munster to keep their Heineken Cup Pool Three hopes alive.

Munster prop Tony Buckley got the first try from short range, but was part of a mangled front row as Mike Phillips' try and Dan Biggar's boot turned the game.

A Keith Earls try brought Munster back to 16-15, before a scrum offence saw Biggar boot the Ospreys clear.

But the home side inexplicably ignored short-range scrum chances in the dying moments, Munster keeping a bonus point.

That took them to 11 points in the pool with the Ospreys on 10, but Toulon lead the way on 13 points after a rip-roaring home bonus-point victory over London Irish.

After last week's ineffective attacking display in the 22-16 reverse-fixture defeat at Thomond Park, the Ospreys had moved Tommy Bowe from wing to centre, displacing Wales three-quarter Andrew Bishop.

The Irish international's defensive error at a ruck gave away the opening points, Ronan O'Gara making no mistake with his first penalty.

O'Gara's superb garryowen set up a comedy of errors in the Ospreys defence, Denis Leamy charging down Phillips' clearance kick before Biggar fumbled the ball over his own line.

With man-of-the-match Adam Jones to the fore, the home side made their scrum power tell from the resultant five-metre set-piece, destroying the Munster eight and winning a clearing penalty after referee Romain Poite calmed a scuffle between the two packs.

A strong Ospreys forward drive gave Biggar a levelling penalty, O'Gara short with a long-range effort at goal after a Ryan Jones offence at the breakdown.

Centre Sam Tuitupou burst through the Welsh side's midfield defence to set up the first try, Munster's follow-up runners carrying strongly before Buckley barrelled over to give O'Gara an easy conversion.

The Ospreys fired straight back, James Hook finally sparking their attacking game to take them to the visitors' line.

With his passage eased by an off-the-ball Barry Davies block, Phillips was brought down inches short of the line.

But the scrum-half immediately placed the ball for a try that was awarded by the video referee, with Biggar nailing the conversion to level the match.

Another mighty Ospreys scrum gave Biggar his second penalty, the fly-half making no mistake to give his side a 13-10 half-time lead.

Munster, with Mick O'Driscoll to the fore, launched a sustained, short-range battering of the Ospreys' line, but ignored a huge overlap as Bowe came in to hold them up over the line.

The pressure continued from the scrum, Tomas O'Leary denied on the line, before Biggar got a hand in to finally steal possession.

Davies' clearing kick found Doug Howlett, who was narrowly wide with a long-range drop-goal.

After all the visitors' pressure, though, captain Leamy conceded a silly penalty, Biggar edging his side further ahead with a superb strike from the limit of his range.

As the game seemed to be getting away from Munster, replacement Peter Stringer spread the ball wide from an innocuous line-out on halfway.

Munster prop Tony Buckley celebrates the opening try of the match
Munster prop Tony Buckley celebrates the opening try of the match

It was sent across the three-quarter line to Howlett who chipped over the defence, then, off the ball, bumped Richard Fussell out of the way in the follow-through.

The ball fell to Earls who crossed unopposed in the corner, O'Gara's conversion striking the post to leave the Ospreys with a one-point advantage.

Biggar was just short with a drop-goal, but nudged his side further ahead with a penalty won by another dominant scrummage.

Another brawl broke out after the Welsh side drove the visitors off an attacking scrum, Poite speaking to the opposing hookers.

In the final five minutes Munster lost the ball in the opposing half, Phillips kicking forward to take his side into the visitors' 22.

Munster had their scrum shattered 10m from their line, the Ospreys winning a penalty and choosing to kick to the corner.

They won the line-out, but again ignored the scrum option as Jerry Collins ran a free kick.

Another penalty came in the front of the posts, Lifeimi Mafi sin-binned for killing the ball, but still refused to take a scrum.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones tapped and ran, but was brought to ground as Poite blew for full time.

Ospreys: B. Davies, N. Walker, Bowe, Hook, Fussell, Biggar, M. Phillips, James, Hibbard, A. Jones, R. Jones, A. Jones, Collins, Holah, Thomas.
Replacements: Bishop for B. Davies (77), D. Jones for James (65), Gough for R. Jones (65). Not Used: M. Davies, Mitchell, Tipuric, Nutbrown, Parker.

Munster: Warwick, Howlett, Earls, Tuitupou, J. Murphy, O'Gara, O'Leary, du Preez, Varley, Buckley, D. O'Callaghan, O'Driscoll, Coughlan, Wallace, Leamy.
Replacements: Mafi for Tuitupou (66), Stringer for O'Leary (55), J. Hayes for Buckley (53), D. Ryan for D. O'Callaghan (70), Quinlan for Coughlan (55). Not Used: Sherry, D. Hurley, D. Hurley.

Sin Bin: Mafi (80).

Referee: Mr Romain Poite (France)

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see also
O'Connell banned for four weeks
16 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
Ospreys rue refereeing decisions
13 Dec 10 |  Ospreys
Munster 22-16 Ospreys
12 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union

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