Munster hold off Ospreys fightback

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus during a Munster Rugby press conference at the University of Limerick in Limerick

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus during a Munster Rugby press conference at the University of Limerick in Limerick

The Ospreys succumbed to their second defeat of the Guinness PRO14 season, going down 21-16 to a strong Munster side at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Irish province dominated most of the match and scored two tries to one but Ospreys were able to register a losing bonus point.

First-half tries from Jean Kleyn and Darren Sweetnam was enough for Munster as they battled past a gutsy Ospreys to stay top of Conference A of the new-look PRO14.

Munster were dominant physically before the break and a cracking try from former Wales worldwide James Hook and 11 points from the boot of out-half Sam Davies were not enough to give the Ospreys victory.

Irish worldwide John Ryan will make his 100 appearance for Munster, if he takes to the field this afternoon, having made his debut against Cardiff Blues in September 2011.

Wales worldwide Dan Lydiate was a late inclusion for his first appearance since injury knee ligaments in November previous year. Tyler Bleyendaal (captain), 9. Keeping the ball in the tight exchanges paid dividends and Bleyendaal's third penalty put the final nail in the Ospreys' coffin. Bleyendaal's off day with the boot continued, but an eight-point half-time lead was one Munster deserved.

Against the run of play Ospreys, who had lost 31-10 in Glasgow last week, scored a try two minutes later when Hook weaved his way over from the 22 for Sam Davies to convert. Bleyendaal converted the first of those efforts to send his team into the break 15-7 to the good.

Kleyn was driven over from close range and a clean line break from Chris Farrell saw the ball recycled for Sweetnam to score in the corner. Skipper and out-half Bleyendaal booted a conversion and three penalties, but it was his pack's physical dominance which paved the way for their hard-fought victory.

Fly-half Davies and Bleyendaal swapped penalties at the start of the second half as Ospreys who, brought Nicky Smith and Scott Baldwin on at half-time, started to claw their way back into the contest.

Ospreys: Dan Evans; Keelan Giles, Cory Allen, James Hook, Jeff Hassler; Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield; Paul James, Sam Parry, Ma'afu Fia, Bradley Davies, Lloyd Ashley, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric (capt), Dan Baker.

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