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Page last updated at 17:29 GMT, Saturday, 24 April 2010 18:29 UK

Munster 11-15 Ospreys

Osprey James Hook beats Tom Gleeson to this high ball
Osprey James Hook beats Tom Gleeson to this high ball

The Ospreys held out for a historic gutsy Magners League win against Munster at Thomond Park with fly-half Dan Biggar kicking all their points.

Biggar's Munster rival Ronan O'Gara scored a try and kicked two penalties.

But the Welsh side threw off their tag of nearly men with a win that boosts their chances of a home tie in the inaugural play-offs.

The Ospreys' win also gave Cardiff Blues a boost in their bid for a place in the top-four play-off places.

It was the Ospreys' first win at the home of the renowned Irish province, although the Welsh side also beat Munster 18-15 at Cork's Musgrave Park in the league's inaugural season in 2004.

The result leaves Munster in fourth place in the standings, meaning they will have to beat the Cardiff Blues away in two weeks' time and hope that other sides slip up in order to reach the semi-finals.

In damp conditions, there was no real pattern in the opening half, and both sides struggled to gain a foothold amid dropped passes, aimless kicks and a general lack of urgency.


Munster played most of the attacking rugby and they enjoyed a large chunk of territory while failing to trouble the try-line.

Flanker David Wallace put in some big carries to spark some much-needed life into the game, one of which saw him set up winger Scott Deasy for a darting run into the 22.

But the Ospreys, with Ryan Jones and Marty Holah tackling effectively, were able to soak up the pressure and O'Gara's 11th-minute penalty was the only score of a flat first quarter.

He missed two further penalty chances, the second of which was particularly kickable, and his opposite number Biggar was bang on target with his two opening efforts after 23 and 31 minutes.

Munster's Ronan O'Gara is tackled by Paul James and Ian Gough
Munster's Ronan O'Gara is tackled by Paul James and Ian Gough

Prop Paul James foraged well at a ruck to tee up the young outside-half for a smashing strike from distance, and he punished Alan Quinlan with another well-struck effort on the half hour, setting up a 6-3 half-time lead.

Paul Warwick got closest to breaching the try-line but his sniping run on the left was ended by a knock on, forced by a Jerry Collins tackle.

The Ospreys seized the initiative at the start of the second half with a Wallace offside allowing Biggar to split the posts again, and Munster had to scramble back to deny Andrew Bishop a try after a Mike Phillips break.

Two more successful kicks from Biggar, the second coming after Munster number eight James Coughlan was sin-binned for hands in the ruck, left the home side with a mountain to climb at 15-3 down.

Munster cranked it up for the final quarter, with O'Gara kicking his second penalty, but worryingly, with their Heineken Cup semi-final trip to San Sebastian looming next week, they were never able to hit top gear.

Ospreys 'deserved' Munster win

A lovely counter-attack from Lifeimi Mafi and Deasy got them within scoring range and Ospreys skipper Ryan Jones was sin-binned at the next phase for illegally collapsing a maul.

Holah held up replacement hooker Damien Varley as the Munster pack tried to sniff out a try, which arrived on 71 minutes when Deasy sniped through, setting up a ruck from which O'Gara attacked the blindside and got over.

But he could not add the conversion from wide out on the right and the Ospreys, with Tommy Bowe and Jerry Collins putting in some telling hits, deservedly held on for the victory.

Munster: Paul Warwick; Tom Gleeson, Lifeimi Mafi, Jean De Villiers, Scott Deasy; Ronan O'Gara (capt), Tomas O'Leary; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O'Callaghan, Mick O'Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, David Wallace, James Coughlan.

Replacements: D. Hurley for Warwick (59), Stringer for O'Leary (65), Brugnaut for Horan (65), Varley for Flannery (65), Ronan for Wallace (62). Not Used: Holland, Zebo.

Ospreys: Lee Byrne; Tommy Bowe, Andrew Bishop, James Hook, Shane Williams; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Paul James, Huw Bennett, Adam Jones, Ian Gough, Jonathan Thomas, Jerry Collins, Marty Holah, Ryan Jones (Capt)

Replacements: Parker for Byrne (62), Bevington for James (72), A Jones for Gough (40), Tiatia for Holah (76). Not Used: Shervington, Nutbrown, Walker.

Att: 15,000

Referee: Mr Neil Paterson (Scotland)

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see also
Byrne eyes Magners home play-off
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Connacht 12-18 Munster
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Leinster 20-16 Ospreys
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Ospreys 19-14 Munster
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
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Welsh Premiership
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Swalec Leagues
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Rugby union positions guide
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