Munster reach URC semi-finals and continue winning streak with victory over Ospreys: Planet Rugby

Munster recorded their tenth consecutive win in the United Rugby Championship (URC) on Friday night after beating the Ospreys 23-7 in the quarter-finals at Thomond Park.

Tries from Simon Zebo and Niall Scannell as well as 13 points from Jack Crowley's boot gave Graham Rowntree's charges a comfortable win on home soil.

Keelan Giles scored the Welsh region's only try, converted by Owen Williams, as the Ospreys' impressive late-season URC come to an end in Ireland.

Click here for the scorers

Both teams started at full speed and Gavin Coombes released Zebo on the wing, extending his Munster record to 73 tries, with Crowley converting from the right.

The Ospreys hit back with a quality seven-pointer when Owen Watkin collected Reuben Morgan-Williams' deft kick and he linked up with Morgan Morris to send Giles flying over the goal with a brilliant 40-metre run from close range.

Munster's powerful scrum brought them back within touching distance by the end of the opening quarter and hooker Scannell scored off Keiran Williams' substitution, with Crowley converting again.

The Ospreys held on at the next scrum, although Crowley penalised his opponent Owen Williams for not rolling away, making the score 17-7 in the 27th minute.

Munster player ratings: ‘Masterful’ Jack Crowley leads defending champions to URC semifinals

Just before half-time, the Welsh team took the upper hand, but Dewi Lake was pushed out after a lineout and a final period of pressure ended with Munster being awarded a penalty in the scrum.

As the rain began to fall, Ospreys number eight Morris Coombes did well to deny an early second-half try. Captain Justin Tipuric led the next defensive effort to keep the lead at 10 points.

Although the Ospreys held on again after about an hour, Munster forced a close-range penalty in the ensuing scrum, which Crowley fired over the goal to give them a 20-7 lead.

Crowley was again in the lead after Huw Sutton committed a foul at a ruck, but his long-range shot missed the target in the 68th minute.

A week after their Round 18 heroics, the Ospreys struggled to get out of their own half of the pitch and, despite Luke Davies' blindside break and kick chase, Munster gave very little away.

The teams

Muenster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Antoine Frisch, 12 Seán O'Brien, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 John Hodnett, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Tadhg Beirne (c), 4 RG Snyman, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Jeremy Loughman
Substitute: 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

Osprey: 15 Max Nagy, 14 Luke Morgan, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Keiran Williams, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Justin Tipuric (c), 6 Jac Morgan, 5 Huw Sutton, 4 James Ratti, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Dewi Lake, 1 Nicky Smith
Substitute: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Rhys Henry, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Morgan Morse, 21 Luke Davies, 22 Luke Scully, 23 Harri Houston

Referee: Hollie Davidson (SRU)
Assistant referees: Andrea Piardi (FIR), Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)

READ MORE: James Ryan returns to lead Leinster as Bulls and Stormers miss crucial Springboks for URC quarter-finals