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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

Botha's last-gasp try seals bonus-point win for Munster in Cork

Mike Haley was to the fore for the southern province as they got the better of Ospreys in the Guinness Pro14.

Munster 28
Ospreys 12

Barry McCarthy reports from Musgrave Park 

ARNO BOTHA SECURED the bonus point in the final minute to wrap up an impressive victory for Munster against Ospreys this evening.

tempers-flare-between-both-sides Tempers flare between the Munster and Ospreys players. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The southern province were forced to dig deep by the visitors but delivered when it mattered to bounce back from their loss away to the Cheetahs.

Munster enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening half but had to be content with a 7-6 interval advantage on a wet night in Cork.

In fairness, Ospreys defended well as they sought to prevent a third defeat on Irish soil this season, having been hammered by Leinster and Ulster in their opening matches.

Munster, bidding to extend their 23-match unbeaten home run, hit the front after 17 minutes when James Cronin scored after good work in the build-up by Mike Haley and Dan Goggin.

Tyler Bleyendaal added the conversion but they were unable to add to that in the opening half despite plenty of possession.

Ospreys saturated the pressure and began to build phases, and out-half Luke Price got them off the mark seven minutes from the break with a penalty.

Another sustained bout of pressure, which Munster defended well, saw Price cut the gap to the minimum just before the break.

mike-haley-on-his-way-to-scoring-a-try Mike Haley gets in for a try for Munster. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Munster enjoyed a superb start to the second half and punished the Welsh side when flanker Sam Cross was binned for cynically knocking the ball out of scrum-half Neil Cronin’s hands under the posts.

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Hooker Rhys Marshall tapped and went to drive over, with Bleyendaal converting to make it 14-6.

Price pulled back a penalty for Ospreys but a flowing Munster move saw Goggin supply the final pass for Haley to breeze through and score, with Bleyendaal’s conversion pushing the lead out to 21-9 after 50 minutes.

A fourth penalty of the night by Price cut the gap to 21-12 nine minutes later and Munster didn’t secure the bonus point until the final minute.

But they kept their composure and man-of-the-match Haley was responsible for setting up the field position from which Botha got in to score, before JJ Hanrahan converted to wrap up the win.

Scorers for Munster:
Tries: James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, Mike Haley, Arno Botha
Conversions: Tyler Bleyendaal 3/3, JJ Hanrahan 1/1
Scorers for Ospreys:
Penalties: Luke Price 4/4

Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Dan Goggin (Sammy Arnold ’75), Rory Scannell, Shane Daly; Tyler Bleyendaal (JJ Hanrahan ’60), Neil Cronin (Craig Casey ’69); James Cronin (Liam O’Connor ’56), Rhys Marshall (Kevin O’Byrne ’60), Stephen Archer (Jeremy Loughman ’69); Jed Holloway (Fineen Wycherley ’51), Billy Holland; Jack O’Donoghue, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Sullivan (Arno Botha ’58).

Ospreys: Cai Evans; Hanno Dirksen, Scott Williams, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Tom Williams (Lesley Klim ’62); Luke Price (James Hook ’69), Matthew Aubrey (Reuben Morgan-Williams ’69); Rhodri Jones (Gareth Thomas ’60), Sam Parry (Scott Otten ’60), Tom Botha (Ma’afu Fia ’9); Dan Lydiate, Lloyd Ashley; Olly Cracknell, Sam Cross (Will Griffiths ’53), Gareth Evans (Dan Baker ’12-22, HIA) (Dan Baker ’60).

Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU). 

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About the author:

Barry McCarthy

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