Seven tries, a first-half bonus point, an impressive pack performance, and some welcome returnees. All in all, a very decent outing for Munster Rugby, in Round 3 of the 2018/19 Guinness Pro14.
The home side was magnificent, as they clinically ‘took apart’ Ospreys. Claiming maximum points, the Johann van Graan coached team will certainly grow in confidence after Friday night’s result.
Carbery ‘Class Act’ in Victory
The first half was all about the quality of Joey Carbery. With the forward pack leading from the front and earning a 16th-minute penalty try, it was over to Carbery to produce some back magic. Having made a couple of cameo appearances off the bench in Rounds 1 and 2, Carbery was finally tasked with leading Munster Rugby from the start.
His performance oozed class, confidence and talent. His 21st minute try, a clear indication of the threat the 22-year-old possesses in open space. Carbery capitalised on a loose clearing kick from the Ospreys, bypassing three defenders to canter over the line. His first try in the red of Munster greeted with a passionate roar of glee from the Cork home crowd and an elated celebration from the start himself.
Converting his own try, Munster led 14-3.
Welcome to Munster, Joey.
— #rugbyireland (@RugbyIre) September 14, 2018
Welcome returnees all play their part
With the Munster pack having been played off the pitch in Round 2 against Glasgow, Peter O’Mahony and Chris Cloete were welcome returnees. Club captain O’Mahony, looked sharp on his return to playing action having not played since Ireland’s final test in Sydney back in June. His leadership was to the fore tonight as Munster disrupted Ospreys at ruck time and in the lineout. After some super work by the returning Andrew Conway at the restart, O’Mahony secured the turnover to put Munster on the front foot. His offload to Duncan Williams instigating this James Cronin’s try, and Munster’s third.
— eir Sport (@eirSport) September 14, 2018
(Note: above video not available in all regions)
Munster also welcomed South African Chris Cloete back into the fray. Fracturing his forearm in February, and having suffered from groin issues during the preseason, he was hungry to impress.
That he did, picking up the Guinness Man of The Match award along the way. Cloete was everywhere, his imperious ‘jackling style’ earning Munster several turnovers throughout the night.
Some performance from this guy on his return from injury!
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) September 14, 2018
His return, along with Tadhg Beirne making his first start in red, gave Munster an edge in open play and at the breakdown, that was missing against Glasgow.
Bonus Point secured in Munster Rugby triumph
Ospreys coach Allen Clarke decided to make 12 changed to his starting XV for this game, leaving some of the big names back in Swansea. A bonus point win was expected for Munster, and they duly delivered – a 40th minute try for Rhys Marshall from a lineout maul meant that Munster had their bonus point secured by half-time (28-6).
Previously, Munster has taken the foot off the peddle with substantial half-time leads, not this time. Five minutes into the second half, Munster had notched up two more tries through Marshall again and Arno Botha. Munster’s final try of the night came from Cork native Darren Sweetnam.
With Ian Keatley just onto the park, his offload hit the ever-present Botha who in turn, found Sweetnam. His footwork slicing the Ospreys defence, giving Munster Rugby their seventh try and a perfect night for the fans on hand.
Ospreys scored a consolation try of their own through Luke Morgan. A sloppy piece of play from the Munster backs; not collecting a box-kick, gifted Morgan and Ospreys a seven-pointer. They would be disappointed with their ability to defend on this night and will need to remedy many areas of their game.
Munster Rugby head coach Johann van Graan told media post-game, that the entire group had provided a special performance. He commended Duncan Williams, who played in his 155th club game – but most praise will be directed at the new signing of Joey Carbery.
“There were some special moments there for Joey, that try of his. I think the thing that was most impressive for me if I’m not mistaken, he had a 100% goal-kicking record and that’s one of the things that we targetted.”
He also made mention of the Munster rugby teams’ work in the ruck area. “I thought our breakdown performance was exceptional tonight, not only on our ball but also on defensive breakdown”.
Munster Rugby 49 – Tries: Joey Carbery, James Cronin, Rhys Marshall (2), Arno Botha, Darren Sweetnam, Penalty Try; Conversions: Carbery (5), Ian Keatley
Ospreys 13 – Try: Luke Morgan; Con: Sam Davies; Penalties: Davies (2)
Next up for Munster is the Cardiff Blues in the Cardiff Arms Park, next Friday. Kick-off is 7.35pm (GMT).
“Main photo credit”
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