Pro14: Munster 28-12 Ospreys

James Cronin scores
James Cronin scores the game's opening try
Pro14: Munster v Ospreys
Munster (7) 28
Tries: J Cronin, Marshall, Haley, Botha Cons: Bleyendaal 4
Ospreys (6) 12
Pens: Price 4

Munster battled to a hard-fought bonus-point win over Ospreys in an enthralling Pro14 encounter in Cork.

James Cronin's reward for running a smart support line was the opening try, converted by Tyler Bleyendaal.

Ospreys replied with two Luke Price penalties to trail 7-6 at the break.

After Sam Cross was sin-binned Rhys Marshall went over and after Price's third penalty, Mike Haley broke free and Arno Botha crashed through late on for the bonus.

Ospreys had been forced into two wing changes with Hanno Dirksen and Tom Williams replacing Luke Morgan and Keelan Giles.

Giles is among a glut of Ospreys absentees with him and centre Cory Allen out long-term.

With the World Cup stripping both team of established stars, Ospreys' injury list made Munster big favourites.

Munster had made five starting changes with Calvin Nash and Neil Cronin replacing Darren Sweetnam and Nick McCarthy at wing and scrum-half.

The forward changes saw James Cronin, Jed Holloway and Jack O'Sullivan take over from Jeremy Loughman, Fineen Wycherley and Arno Botha.

The visitors' endeavours ensured the hosts had to work hard for their first-half lead with Cronin's the only try.

But after Cross illegally impeded a Munster drive early in the second half, Marshall barged his way over and when Haley broke clear, the momentum was clearly theirs.

Price boosted Ospreys hopes after each of Munster's second-half tries, but Munster ended an otherwise scoreless last quarter as their pack paved the way for Botha to celebrate his score.

Munster: Haley; Nash, Goggin, Scannell, Daly; Bleyendaal, N Cronin; J Cronin, Marshall, Archer, Holloway, Holland (capt), O'Donoghue, O'Donnell, O'Sullivan.

Replacements: O'Byrne, O'Connor, Loughman, Wycherley, Botha, Casey, Hanrahan, Arnold.

Ospreys: Cai Evans; Hanno Dirksen, Scott Williams, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Tom Williams; Luke Price, Matthew Aubrey; Rhodri Jones, Sam Parry, Tom Botha, Dan Lydiate (capt), Lloyd Ashley, Olly Cracknell, Sam Cross, Gareth Evans.

Replacements: Scott Otten, Gareth Thomas, Ma'afu Fia, Will Griffiths, Dan Baker, Reuben Morgan-Williams, James Hook, Lesley Klim.

Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU)

Assistants: Stuart Gaffigan (IRFU); Paul Haycock (IRFU)

TMO: Charles Samson (SRU)

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