Pro12: Ospreys 26-12 Munster
|Ospreys (17) 26|
|Try: Baker Pens: Davies (6) DG: Davies|
|Munster (0) 12|
|Try: Ryan, Earls Con: Keatley|
Ospreys ended a run of four league matches without a win with an impressive Pro12 victory over Munster at Liberty Stadium.
Fly-half Sam Davies profited from a dominant first-half display, kicking 12 points and feeding Dan Baker for a try.
Munster improved after the interval but tries by Donncha Ryan and Keith Earls came too late to threaten the Ospreys.
And Davies set the seal on the victory with two late penalties as Ospreys held on for a much-needed win.
The victory lifts Ospreys back into the top four, where they remain following Leinster's defeat to Scarlets.
Early season leaders Ospreys had dropped to fifth place in the Pro12 table following a run of three defeats and a draw in their previous four outings.
But there were signs of improvement in the 9-9 draw with Leinster, and they took their scoring chances when they were presented.
Wales internationals Justin Tipuric and Ryan Bevington were presented with shirts before the kick-off to mark their 100th games for the Welsh region.
But there was little sign of celebration in a cagey opening half hour with Davies' boot the difference as he slotted two penalties.
The game changed when Dave O'Callaghan incurred the wrath of Italian referee Marius Mitrea and was sent to the sin-bin for killing the ball.
It proved an expensive punishment, as Ospreys rattled up 11 unanswered points in the eight minutes before the interval - and it was fly-half Davies who was the chief tormentor.
His floated pass was gathered at the second attempt by the impressive Baker who crossed wide out as Munster ran out of defenders.
And a penalty and a snap drop-goal sent the home team in to the changing rooms with a 17-point cushion at the interval.
Ospreys could not repeat their first-half dominance once the Irishmen returned to full strength, but by the time Ryan emerged from the bottom of a rolling maul to claim a try in the 72nd minute it was too late to matter.
A further try by Earls and conversion by Ian Keatley made the final score less lop-sided, but fittingly Davies had the last say with his sixth penalty.
Ospreys: Dan Evans; Tom Grabham, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Hanno Dirksen; Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield; Ryan Bevington, Scott Otten, Aaron Jarvis, Lloyd Peers, Tyler Ardron, James King, Justin Tipuric (capt), Dan Baker.
Replacements: Matthew Dwyer, Nicky Smith, Dmitri Arhip, Rory Thornton, Olly Cracknell, Morgan Allen, Martin Roberts, Ben John.
Munster: JJ Hanrahan; Felix Jones, Keith Earls, Denis Hurley (capt), Ronan O'Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Eusebio Guinazu, BJ Botha, Donncha O'Callaghan, Billy Holland, Dave O'Callaghan, Sean Dougall, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Kevin O'Byrne, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Donnacha Ryan, Jack O'Donoghue, Neil Cronin, Andrew Smith, Andrew Conway.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell, Simon Rees (both WRU)
Citing Commissioner: Ray Wilton (WRU)
TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)