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Munster Top the Table

Munster Top the Table

Peter Stringer scored a sensational solo try against the Ospreys to help put Munster at the top of Pool Four of the Heineken cup. Click here for more details.

Peter Stringer scored a sensational solo try against the Ospreys to help put Munster at the top of Pool Four of the Heineken cup.

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.

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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.

Neath-Swansea Ospreys:

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