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Münster 23 – 7 Osprey

Simon Zebo and Niall Scannell scored tries for Munster while Jack Crowley added 13 points from the tee in Friday night's URC quarter-final victory over the Ospreys at Thomond Park in Limerick; Stream the 2024 Summer International Rugby Games and more with a NOW Sports Month membership

Last updated: 07/06/24 10:01pm


Tadhg Beirne captained Munster to URC’s quarter-final victory over the Ospreys

Reigning URC champions Munster secured their place in this season's semi-finals by defeating the Ospreys 23-7 at a cool and soggy Thomond Park on Friday night.

The hosts scored tries in Limerick through full-back Simon Zebo and hooker Niall Scannell, with link-up Jack Crowley kicking both conversions and three further penalties in the win.

The Ospreys scored an early try through winger Keelan Giles and were competitive in a combative first half, but the Welsh were clearly inferior in the second.

Munster will host either the Glasgow Warriors or the Stormers, who play their quarter-final on Saturday, in the URC semi-finals next weekend.

Munster started the match perfectly and found its fluid phase game in the first minute before entertainer Zebo pushed Giles off the pitch in the second minute, ran into the game and scored a goal.

Munster's retiring full-back Simon Zebo scored the first try of the game at Thomond Park in the second minute

Munster's retiring full-back Simon Zebo scored the first try of the game at Thomond Park in the second minute

If Munster had thought the quarter-final would be a one-way street from then on, they were given a jolt within three minutes when Ospreys scrum-half Reuben Morgan-Williams broke the home side's defence on a penalty and centre Owen Watkin and No.8 Morgan Morris combined superbly to clear the way for Giles to head over the goal line.

Ospreys wing Keelan Giles immediately hit back with a try, but the Welsh region could not score another point

Ospreys wing Keelan Giles immediately hit back with a try, but the Welsh region could not score another point

A scrum penalty led by Nicky Smith soon saw the Ospreys attack again in Munster's half, but typical Munster work from Tadhg Beirne saw Munster win the penalty and clear.

When a Munster driving maul next won a penalty and Crowley produced a good kick into touch for a great chance in the Ospreys' 22-yard box, Munster were ruthless as hooker Scannell broke free of another strong maul drive and headed over for his first try since November 2022 in the 18th minute.

Hooker Niall Scannell broke free from the back of a scrum and scored Munster's second try.

Hooker Niall Scannell broke free from the back of a scrum and scored Munster's second try.

Crowley made it 14-7, while his opposite number Owen Williams blocked the Ospreys' next attack with a well-aimed kick. Munster forced a scrum penalty from the resulting set piece and almost got another try after a flawless piece of work from wing Shane Daly – he volleyed a cross-field kick from Crowley but failed to reach the goal.

Munster kept up the pressure when Zebo pushed the Ospreys inside their 22 line with a grubber kick that Williams could only take out of play. After the lineout, the Munster scrum charged forward again and when the Ospreys failed to roll away at a ruck near the posts shortly afterwards, Munster and Crowley took the three points offered to them from the tee to move into a two-point lead.

Jack Crowley kicked superbly for Munster from the tee as the hosts secured a place in the URC semi-finals

Jack Crowley kicked superbly for Munster from the tee as the hosts secured a place in the URC semi-finals

Another scrum penalty put the Ospreys back on Munster's 22-metre line after half an hour, but the hosts defended a clever set piece on the blind side and won the ball back by sending tackler Dewi Lake out of play.

That left Munster 17-7 at halftime, with Beirne forcing a comeback early in the second half and Lake being eliminated at the breakdown, allowing Munster to advance deep into the Ospreys' 22-metre line.

But just as the Ospreys failed to break through in the first half, Munster failed to make any headway despite attacking virtually above the goal line for a prolonged period when lock RG Snyman knocked on at a ruck.

In the 55th minute, Munster again managed to penetrate the Ospreys' 22-metre line, but again they failed to capitalise as substitute mainstay Oli Jager dropped the ball in increasingly slippery conditions.

Jager immediately turned the frustration of that mistake into something positive when Crowley was able to extend the home team's lead to 13 points with another Munster scrum penalty won against the head.

After the hour mark, Crowley struck again from the tee when Ospreys lock Huw Sutton was whistled for failing to roll away inside his own half of the pitch, extending Munster's lead to three points at 23-7.

Crowley missed his first shot from distance with 12 minutes left, but Munster continued to dominate possession and space. The rest of the game was played entirely in the Ospreys' half before Crowley's goal kick sealed victory in the knockout rounds.

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