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Valuable win in Wales keeps undefeated Munster on top

Tries from Jean Kleyn and Darren Sweetnam helped last season’s finalists to overcome Ospreys.

Ospreys 16
Munster 21

Alex Bywater reports from the Liberty Stadium

Darren Sweetnam and Tom Habberfield scramble for the loose ball Munster's Darren Sweetnam and Ospreys' Tom Habberfield scramble for a loose ball. Source: Ian Cook/INPHO

MUNSTER DEFEATED OSPREYS in Swansea to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and cement themselves firmly as Conference A leaders in the Guinness Pro14.

Rassie Erasmus’ side scored two first-half tries through former Stormers lock Jean Kleyn and winger Darren Sweetnam, with Tyler Bleyendaal adding 11 points from the boot.

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

Onlooking Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby would have been impressed by the ferocity of Munster’s clearing-out at the breakdown, along with their carrying game and scrum dominance in the first period.

The visitors kept things up front after the break too, but despite three penalties from Davies, two from Bleyendaal were enough to make it three straight wins for Erasmus’ side.

Munster started strongly, consigning the hosts to their own 22 and had a try disallowed for a forward pass after Jaco Taute had run on to a Bleyendaal ball.

Bleyendaal opened the visitors’ account with a penalty on nine minutes after being unsuccessful with his opening two attempts.

Jean Kleyn scores his sides first try Jean Kleyn scores a try for Munster. Source: Ian Cook/INPHO

The Ospreys hit straight back, scoring a try from their first piece of possession when Hook weaved past three defenders to touch down.

Two quick scores from Kleyn and Sweetnam, plus a conversion from Bleyendaal, gave last season’s finalists a 15-7 half-time lead.

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Munster started the second half strongly and Sean O’Connor had a try ruled out for double movement following a series of powerful forward surges.

Despite their physical dominance, the Munstermen could not shake off a gutsy Ospreys side and Steve Tandy’s men clawed their way back into the game through a series of penalties from Welsh international out-half Davies.

In the end, though, it wasn’t enough to seal victory and Bleyendaal’s late kick with three minutes to go sealed Munster’s victory.

Ospreys scorers:

Try: Hook
Conversion: S Davies
Penalties: S Davies (3)

Munster scorers:

Tries: Kleyn, Sweetnam
Conversion: Bleyendaal
Penalties: Bleyendaal (3)

Ospreys: Evans (Biggar 78); Giles, Allen ( Fonotia 54), Hook, Hassler; S Davies, Habberfield; James (Smith 40), Parry (Baldwin 40), Fia (Jones 75), B Davies, Ashley (Beard 52), Lydiate (Mercer 52), Tipuric, Baker.

Replacement not used: Aubrey.

Munster: Conway (Zebo 64); Sweetnam, Farrell, Taute (R Scannell 55), Wootton; Bleyendaal, Williams; L O’Connor (Cronin 52), Marshall (N Scannell 52), Archer (Ryan 52), Kleyn, Holland, S O’Connor (Copeland 66), O’Donnell, O’Donoghue.

Replacements not used: Wycherley, Hart.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa).

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