Pro14: Munster beat Ospreys 38-22 to make it five wins out of five


Dan Lydiate is tackled by Gavin Coombes and Fineen Wycherley
Dan Lydiate is tackled by Gavin Coombes and Fineen Wycherley
Munster (24) 38
Tries: Coombes 3, Haley, O’Byrne Cons: Hanrahan, Scannell, Healy 3 Pen: Healy
Ospreys (10) 22
Tries: Morgan, Lake, penalty try Con: Myler Pen: Myler

Gavin Coombes scored a hat-trick as Munster made it five wins out of five in the Pro14 by taking a bonus-point victory over Ospreys in Limerick.

Tries from Coombes, Mike Haley and Kevin O’Byrne helped the hosts to a 24-10 half-time lead after Luke Morgan’s early score had put Ospreys in front.

Coombes touched down twice after the break, with Dewi Lake replying and the visitors also awarded a penalty try.

Munster are eight points ahead of Scarlets at the top of Conference B.

With just two wins from six outings, Ospreys lie a distant third in Conference A behind runaway unbeaten top two Leinster and Ulster.

Ospreys bounced back from Bradley Davies’ departure with a shoulder injury to seize a sixth-minute lead. Bright spark Mat Protheroe brilliantly sliced through on a kick return to send Morgan over out wide.

Stephen Myler’s pinpoint conversion made it the full seven points, but Munster were level by the quarter-hour mark.

Coombes, who bagged a brace recently against Cardiff Blues, took three defenders with him over the line, handing JJ Hanrahan a simple conversion.

Adam Beard
Adam Beard in action for Ospreys in the first half

It got even better for the hosts in the 18th minute, full-back Haley tidying up a loose ball and gliding past a couple of defenders to score just to the right of the posts.

With Hanrahan nursing an injury, Rory Scannell converted before replacement Ben Healy rewarded Stephen Archer’s scrummaging with a 23rd-minute penalty.

A Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler interception led to Ospreys threatening again from the searing pace of Protheroe and Morgan, only for Damian de Allende to win a breakdown penalty.

Better play from the visitors’ pack led to Myler closing the gap to 17-10 in the 33rd minute. However, Munster hooker O’Byrne, who had given up that penalty, responded with a try from a surging line-out drive that contained backs and forwards.

Healy converted for a 14-point margin at the break, and with Ospreys winger Morgan having been binned for a deliberate knock-on, Munster took further advantage when Craig Casey wriggled up close to the line and Coombes burrowed over from the ruck.

Munster made up for Jean Kleyn’s near miss by crossing again through a quick tap by player-of-the-match Coombes. Healy added the extras for a 38-10 scoreline.

Ospreys rallied to dominate the final quarter, drawing encouragement from replacement hooker Lake’s well-finished 64th-minute try.

Their scrum earned a penalty try after an increasingly sloppy Munster had lost captain Jack O’Donoghue to the bin.

Munster: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Rory Scannell, Damian de Allende, Matt Gallagher; JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey; James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Tommy O’Donnell, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Josh Wycherley, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Jack O’Sullivan, Nick McCarthy, Ben Healy, Dan Goggin.

Ospreys: Mat Protheroe; Luke Morgan, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Keiran Williams, Hanno Dirksen; Stephen Myler, Shaun Venter; Gareth Thomas, Ifan Phillips, Tom Botha; Adam Beard, Bradley Davies; Will Griffiths, Dan Lydiate (capt), Gareth Evans.

Replacements: Dewi Lake, Rhodri Jones, Ma’afu Fia, Rhys Davies, Olly Cracknell, Matthew Aubrey, Josh Thomas, Scott Williams.

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