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Munster return to top of the RaboDirect

Simon Zebo
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Ospreys 11, Munster 25:

MUNSTER are back on top of the RaboDirect Pro 12 League after beating the Ospreys in a keenly contested game in the Liberty Stadium in Swansea today.

The reds started like a train and got in front after just five minutes, Sean Dougal crashing over and Keatley adding the two points. Keatley increased the lead to 10-0 with a penalty before Sam Davies replied with an Ospreys penalty to leave Munster leading 10-3 after 18 minutes. Good pressure by the Munster pack and some fine running by Keatley, Andrew Conway and Casey Laulala continually opened up the Welsh defence and another Keatley penalty eased Munsted 3-13 in front with 25 minutes played. Coming up to half time the Ospreys had their best spell and were rewarded when Ashley Beck got over for a try but two misses from the conversion and a late penalty proved costly for the home side.

The Ospreys had most of the play in the second half but presented Munster with a second try when Simon Zebo continued his rich run of scoring form, running 70 metres unopposed to the try line after the ball was coughed up near the Munster 22. Keatley missed the conversion. Fine work by Andrew Conway and JJ Hanrahan sent James Downey in for try number three, converted by Hanrahan but Munster failed to get the bonus point.

Some Munster players sported smart looking hairstyles for this game but that certainly did not prevent them from bringing the Ospreys back down to earth after their massive win over Treviso last time out.

Munster: Felix Jones; Andrew Conway, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Cathal Sheridan; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Donnacha Ryan, Dave Foley; Tommy O’Donnell, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan (Capt). Replacements: Ger Slattery, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley.

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