Pro14: Munster 36-10 Ospreys
|Pro14: Munster v Ospreys|
|Munster (24) 36|
|Tries: Arnold, Sweetnam, Cloete, R Scannell, O'Donoghue Cons: Keatley 4 Pen: Keatley|
|Ospreys (5) 10|
|Try: Hassler, Jones|
Munster heaped further misery on struggling Ospreys by clinching a dominant Pro14 win in Cork.
Ospreys, handed a record home defeat by Glasgow last weekend, conceded two tries during Will Jones' sin-binning.
Those early scores from Sam Arnold and Darren Sweetnam were followed by a Chris Cloete try as Munster led 24-0.
After Jeff Hassler's reply, Rory Scannell's try secured the bonus point with Jack O'Donoghue scoring a fifth home try before Jones' consolation.
With Ospreys without Wales stars Alun Wyn Jones, Nicky Smith, Rhodri Jones, Adam Beard, Sam Cross, Dan Lydiate, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Owen Watkin, they looked to be up against it going into the game at Irish Independent Park, and so it proved.
New Munster coach Johann van Graan's was minus his Ireland players Conor Murray, CJ Stander and Peter O'Mahony but was still able to include Sweetnam, Ian Keatley and John Ryan, who all featured in Ireland's November games, in addition to Simon Zebo.
Low on confidence after last weekend's hammering, the Ospreys needed a good start but instead suffered youngster Jones' sin-binning after his high tackle on the impressive Munster flanker Cloete.
Within two minutes, powerful centre Arnold ran a superb line to notch Munster's first try and Sweetnam's score quickly followed after Cloete's pass infield bobbled invitingly into the wing's path.
Cloete's all-action first half continued as he outfoxed Sam Davies to score Munster's third try by burrowing over from close range when it appeared that he was directing the ball back to a team-mate in a ruck.
As Munster's play became somewhat sloppy before the break, Hassler scored in the corner following a missed tackle on Kieron Fonotia but the home side's bonus point was banked within three minutes of the restart as Scannell touched down.
Robin Copeland's turnover yielded O'Donoghue's fifth Munster try before youngster Jones' late reply amid a more competitive final quarter from the Ospreys.
The four-time winners remain rooted to the bottom of Conference A in the Pro14 after suffering an eighth defeat in 10 games while Munster stay second - although they trail leaders Glasgow by 12 points.
Munster: Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Sam Arnold, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton; Ian Keatley, James Hart; Liam O'Connor, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (capt); Jack O'Donoghue, Chris Cloete, Robin Copeland.
Replacements: Kevin O'Byrne, Brian Scott, Stephen Archer, Darren O'Shea, Sean O'Connor, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Calvin Nash.
Ospreys: Dan Evans; Hanno Dirksen, Kieron Fonotia, James Hook, Jeff Hassler; Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield; Gareth Thomas, Sam Parry, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Ashley, Bradley Davies (capt), Olly Cracknell, Will Jones, James King
Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Rowan Jenkins, Ma'afu Fia, Rob McCusker, Guy Mercer, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Luke Price, Joe Thomas
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ian Davies, Simon Rees (Both Wales)
TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)
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