20 May, 10:19
Irish Rugby TV spoke to Ireland interim head coach Les Kiss about the upcoming North America tour and his future within the management team.
Stringer left the Ospreys blindside defence for dead four minutes into the second half when he spotted left wing Shane Williams had drifted into the midfield to defend Munster's attacking scrum. Not needing a second invitation, Stringer picked up and took a wide arc from the base to leave James Bater grasping at thin air, allowing Stringer to dot down in the area. This little piece of magic put Munster into the lead at a crucial time and proved to be the turning point in the contest.
Coming off their opening day defeat to Castre, the Ospreys needed the win to keep their Heineken Cup hopes alive. This was evident in the ferocity of their defence and commitment at the breakdown, an area referee Joel Jutge struggled to police all day. This area of the game was a mess, ensuring that both kickers had plenty of practice for the afternoon courtesy of the Frenchman's whistle.
Gavin Henson put the Welsh into the lead as early as the second minute when Ospreys scrum half Jason Spice was tackled high by Donncha O'Callaghan. O'Gara returned the compliment three minutes later after the home side was penalised for bringing down an attacking lineout maul.
The two out halves swapped penalties again in the 14th and 17th minute, with Henson again hitting the target in the 20th minute to put the Ospreys in front 9 - 6. Following a counter attack from Christian Cullen and Anthony Horgan, Ospreys wing Richard Mustoe tangled with Marcus Horan off the ball and delivered a nasty flick with his boot to the face of the prostrate prop. The touch judge reported the incident to Jutge, and you sensed that Mustoe was on his way to an early bath. Amazingly, Mustoe only received yellow and Horan left the field to have stitches inserted in a nasty head wound.
Any advantage that Munster may have had evaporated with possession and territory wasted due to silly penalties. To make matters worse, when Mustoe returned from the bin, Jim Williams saw yellow after being penalized for playing the ball in a ruck in a kickable position. As Williams left the field, Henson slotted the kick to put the Ospreys ahead 12 - 6. Munster came back again and put pressure on the Ospreys through several phases just before the break, allowing O'Gara to hit another penalty to reduce the deficit.
The half time talk seemed to do the business as Stringer's try after four minutes of the second half put Munster in front 12 - 14, with O'Gara just missing the conversion. Following this, Shaun Payne was hammered in a tackle when he received bad ball and was duly penalised for holding on after 47 minutes. Henson put the Ospreys back in front 15 - 14 from the ensuing kick.
The lead did not last long, as O'Gara thumped over two more kicks in the 57th and 66th minutes, the first following a great steal on the deck by Jim Williams. Henson tagged on another penalty when O'Gara was pinged for being offside to put the scores at 18 - 20 in Munster's favour. The final ten minutes were pretty much controlled by Munster and with Stringers final kick to touch, Munster had secured the win.
15 - C. Cullen 14 - J. Kelly 13 - S. Payne 12 - R. Henderson 11 - A. Horgan 10 - R. O'Gara 9 - P. Stringer 1 - M. Horan 2 - F. Sheahan 3 - J. Hayes 4 - D. O'Callaghan 5 - P. O'Connell 6 - J. Williams 7 - D. Wallace 8 - A. Foley (Captain)
16 - J. Flannery 17 - G. McIlwham (on for Horan 22 - 27 mins) 18 - T. Hogan 19 - A. Quinlan (on for Williams 79 mins) 20 - M. Prendergast 21 - P. Burke 22 - M. Lawlor.
15 - A. Durston 14 - R. Mustoe 13 - S. Parker 12 - E. Seveali'l 11 - S. Williams 10 - G. Henson 9 - J. Spice 1 - D. Jones 2 - B. Williams 3 - A. Jones 4 - A. Newman 5 - B. Cockbain 6 - J. Bater 7 - S. Tandy 8 - R. Jones
16 - M. Davies 17 - P. James 18 - L. Tait 19 - L. Bateman 20 - R. Pugh 21 - A. Williams 22 - M. Jones