Pro12: Ospreys 18-20 Munster

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Highlights: Ospreys 18-20 Munster
Ospreys (9) 18
Pens: S Davies 6
Munster (6) 20
Tries: Fitzgerald, Stander Cons: Bleyendaal, Keatley Pens: Bleyendaal 2

Munster snatched victory over Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium thanks to CJ Stander's late try.

The replacement back-row went over after a series of drives on the Ospreys' line to tie the scores, with Ian Keatley converting for the win.

Six penalties from Sam Davies had seemed set to earn Ospreys their first Pro12 win of the new season.

But Tyler Bleyendaal's cross-kick to Stephen Fitzgerald kept Munster in contention before Stander crossed.

Before kick-off Ospreys honoured the memory of former player Jerry Collins at what was their first home game of the campaign.

In addition to a minute's silence, the Welsh region retired the six jersey - the number which Collins wore most often for Ospreys - for the match as a mark of respect.

Instead blind-side flanker Joe Bearman wore a shirt that was blank on the back where the number would normally be.

Former New Zealand back-row Collins and wife Alana Madill died in a car crash in France in June 2015, with their daughter, Ayla, surviving following hospital treatment.

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Ospreys and Munster remember Collins

A tight first half saw Ospreys edge the scoreboard thanks to three Davies penalties, with Bleyendaal replying with two of his own for Munster.

Try chances were few and far between, but Ospreys scrum-half Brendon Leonard produced one beautiful break from around the edge of a ruck that foundered without the support it deserved.

Munster number eight Robin Copeland also caught the eye as he found a huge whole in the Ospreys midfield to charge into the home 22, but the Welsh defenders held firm to turn over possession from a dangerous position.

Davies stretched Ospreys' lead after the restart with his fourth penalty but Munster replied with a well-worked try to take the lead.

Ospreys had to commit too many defenders to keep out a series of close-range drives at their line, so when the ball was spun back to Bleyendaal the fly-half was able to find wing Fitzgerald in acres of space on the left with a cross-kick.

Bleyendaal's conversion gave Munster a one-point advantage, but Ospreys kept their heads and won another penalty that Davies slotted to retake the lead going into the last quarter.

Bolstered by some fresh legs off the bench, the Ospreys scrum - which had been under pressure early in the match - splintered the opposing eight to earn another kickable penalty that Davies again struck sweetly between the posts.

But needing a converted try to steal victory, Munster worked their way to the Ospreys line and after a series of drives sent replacement back-row Stander over.

The conversion was still needed to seal victory, but replacement fly-half Keatley showed few nerves as he stroked the ball over to spoil Ospreys' afternoon.

Ospreys 'gutted' by late loss

Ospreys fly-half Sam Davies said: "Obviously the boys are all gutted. Words can't really sum up how it is to lose a game [that late].

"But we've got to look forward and pick ourselves up and crack on with our next job, which is going to be Edinburgh away.

"It's still early on in the season: we've picked up two losses against two tough teams [Ulster and Munster], but we've got to... pick up momentum from what was a decent performance.

"It was good today to see us gel a little bit and we know there's a lot more to come from us."

Teams

Ospreys: Dan Evans; Kristian Phillips, Jonathan Spratt, Owen Watkin, Hanno Dirksen; Sam Davies, Brendon Leonard; Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Ashley (capt), Rory Thornton, Joe Bearman, Sam Underhill, Dan Baker.

Replacements: Scott Otten, Marc Thomas, Cai Griffiths, De Kock Steenkamp, Olly Cracknell, Tom Habberfield, Aled Jenkins, Richard Fussell.

Munster: Felix Jones (capt); Andrew Conway, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Stephen Fitzgerald; Tyler Bleyendaal, Cathal Sheridan; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer; Mark Chisholm, Dave Foley; Dave O'Callaghan, Jack O'Donoghue, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, BJ Botha, Jordan Coghlan, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, David Johnston.

Referee: Dudley Philips (IRFU)

Assistant Referees: Wayne Davies, Craig Evans (both WRU)

Citing Commissioner: John Charles (WRU)

TMO: Derek Bevan (WRU)

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