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Dublin: 9 °C Monday 23 April, 2018


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As Munster and Ospreys go head to head in tonight’s RaboDirect Pro12 semi-final, we’ve gone minute by minute in the Liberty Stadium.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the games. E-mail, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Final score: Ospreys 45 – 10 Munster

Munster will be out for revenge this evening having suffered two defeats already to the Ospreys during this RaboDirect campaign.

Munster can take some heart from the fact they hold 13-11 advantage in the head-to-head with the Ospreys.

However, they have only manged three wins in nine attempts here in the Liberty stadium and it’s probably for that reason the bookies have the Ospreys as five point favourites.

Maybe they need to take a look at their this victory over the Ospreys in Swansea for inspiration:
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YouTube Credit: DoomyBlastoise

Both teams have excellent records in the RaboDirect Pro12, having won the competition – in it’s various guises – three times and both have reached the playoffs since their introduction two years ago.

On top of that, neither team has been out of the top four all season.

It really is all to play for here.

Here are the starting line-ups:

Munster: Murphy, Dineen, Earls, Mafi, Zebo, Keatley, Murray, du Preez, M Sherry, Botha, O’Callaghan, O’Driscoll, Ryan, O’Donnell, O’Mahony (Capt) Replacements: Fogarty, Kilcoyne, Archer, (Dave) O’Callaghan, Butler, O’Leary, O’Gara, Barnes

Ospreys: Fussell, Dirksen, Bishop, Ashley Beck, Williams, Biggar, Fotuali’i, James, Hibbard, Jones, Wyn Jones (Capt), Evans, Jones, Tipuric, Bearman, Replacements: Baldwin, Bevington, Jarvis, King, Smith, Webb, Morgan, Isaacs

As we reported on earlier, Munster were forced to shuffle their starting 15 around with the loss of Felix Jones.

Johne Murphy takes his place at 15 while Ivan Dineen comes into the side on the wing.

Danny Barnes is promoted to the bench.

It’s nearly time for kick-off here, who do you see winning this one?

TRY! – Keatley

A great line by Keith Earls and a delayed offload to Ian Keatley has given Munster the lead. Keatley adds the conversion too.

Early justification for Munster’s decision to leave O’Gara on the bench.

Penalty - Ospreys

Dan Biggar slots over a penalty to bring the home team within four. It was, in truth, Ospreys first foray into the Munster half.

Munster are really struggling at the lineout, it’s costing them field position and points so far in this one.

Penalty - Munster

Ian Keatley slots it over 45 metres out, in front of the posts.

The fly-halves have all the points in this one so far.

Penalty - Ospreys

Dan Biggar with a monster kick to restore the Ospreys’ lead.

Both teams are falling foul of Alain Rolland’s strict interpretation of the rules so far.

Heartbreak here for Johne Murphy as he’s forced off despite getting a rare start at his preferred full back position.

It’s all change for Munster so as Ronan O’Gara comes in to play 10 while Keatley, who has been virtually flawless so far, drops back to the 15 spot.

Penalty - Ospreys

Biggar scores from right in front of the posts to extend the Ospreys’ lead to six points.

Munster are really struggling at the breakdown in the opening 30 minutes.

Munster were knocking on the door for the last few minutes but the precision just wasn’t there.

After a great start, Earls has been virtually anonymous for the last 20 minutes or so.

TRY! - Fotuaili’i

A slip by Zebo costs Munster dearly as the Ospreys scrum half touches down under the posts just before half-time. Dan Biggar adds the extra points to give the home side a 13 point lead.

Halftime - The home side take a well deserved lead into the halftime interval.

It’s been a much more exciting game than many predicted but the Ospreys have been the more clinical of the two, especially when it comes to getting on the right side of Alain Rolland.

One thing worth mentioning is the disappointing crowd in the Liberty Stadium, it’s less than half full tonight which is a shame.

Penalty - Ospreys

Biggar just isn’t missing tonight. Six out of six on his kicks.

It looks a long way back for Munster at this stage.

There’s been a real lack of quality to the start of the second half, not helped by lots of injury stoppages.

TRY! - Dirksen

Some poor play by Munster in the middle of the park saw the away team turn the ball over.

Two passes later, Ospreys take advantage of a 2-on-1 situation to score in the corner.

Biggar proves he is human by missing his first kick of the evening.

This is turning into a very sad end to the Munster careers of the likes of Mick O’Driscoll, Lifeimi Mafi and, of course, Tony McGahan.

In truth, the Ospreys haven’t gotten out of third gear this evening and they’ve still had way too much for Munster.

You have to wonder how crucial Johne Murphy’s injury was in the first half as Keatley hasn’t been in the game since his move to full back.

TRY! - Bishop

Andrew Bishop goes over beneath the posts. It’s gone to the TMO but it’s a clear try.

Biggar extends the lead to 28 points with the conversion.

It looks as if there’s a lot of work for Rob Penny to do when he takes over at Munster.

Some of you are suggesting he might not want the job after this.

TRY! - Webb

Rhys Webb with one of the easiest finishes you’ll ever see after starting off the move inside his own 22 with a free kick.

Munster are demoralised and will be lucky not to lose this by more than 40 points.


Munster have been treading water most of the season and it looks as if it caught up with them this evening.

That said, nobody could have predicted that the Ospreys would win by 35 points as the spread was just five before the start of the game.

The truth is, it could have been more and that represents a sad end to the Tony McGahan era for fans, players and staff alike.

For the Ospreys, another RaboDirect Pro12 final awaits.

For Munster, the rebuilding must start here.

That’s it from us, thanks for joining us for tonight’s minute-by-minute action.

About the author:

Steven O'Rourke


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