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WHAT A BIGG SHOCK; MAGNERS LEAGUE: OSPREYS HUMBLE MUNSTER.

Byline: PAUL JONES

OSPREYS 19

MUNSTER 14

DAN BIGGAR won his battle with Ronan O'Gara as the Ospreys climbed over champions Munster to plant a lone Welsh flag in the top five of the Magners League.

It was an uphill task for Biggar as the Ospreys had to come from 7-0 down after their scrum was crushed early on.

But in constant driving rain the young fly-half kicked three penalties, a drop goal, and converted Tommy Bowe's try, while O'Gara had a nightmare with just two successful kicks from seven attempts.

Munster managed a late surge that included a try for New Zealander Nick Williams, but Biggar outshone O'Gara with his kicking and tactical control.

Deposed Ireland fly-half O'Gara missed with his first two shots at goal - penalties coughed up by a retreating Ospreys pack.

But Munster had a firm grip in the forwards early on, with veteran flanker Alan Quinlan a bundle of energy, and they went ahead through a penalty try after 12 minutes.

A chip into space by Munster wing Keith Earls appeared not to interest an indifferent Ospreys defence until hooker Richie Hibbard got back to save the day at the cost of a scrum.

At the put-in, the Ospreys eight were demolished and even though No.8 James Coughlin could have scored as the red machine powered over the line, referee Neil Paterson awarded a penalty try between the posts which O'Gara converted.

When the Ospreys finally got into the Munster 22 in the 24th minute, the visitors gave away a penalty which Biggar struck to make it 7-3. But straight from the re-start the Ospreys were reduced to 14 men when Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones was given a yellow card for entering a ruck when offside.

O'Gara missed again with the kick while at the other end Biggar struck the bar with a penalty but then put his next one over to make it 7-6 at the break.

The Ospreys replaced prop Craig Mitchell with Paul James at the start of the second half and immediately looked steadier.

They went ahead with a try from Bowe in the 42nd minute.

Biggar's chip was gathered by Andrew Bishop before slick handling between Liam Davies, Biggar and Gareth Owen gave Bowe just enough room to score in the corner.

Biggar converted to make it 13-7 and worse followed for Munster when hooker Denis Fogarty was sin-binned for trying to trap the ball at an Ospreys' ruck.

Biggar missed the penalty, then only a spill over the line denied James a try.

Biggar added a drop-goal and a penalty as the Ospreys kept up the pressure, but the hapless O'Gara then missed his fifth kick.

Coughlan became the second Munsterman sent to the bin as the champions' discipline began to fall apart.

The No.8 had no reason to play the ball as he ran back from an offside position, but couldn't help himself.

CAPTION(S):

MUN ON: Bishop is stopped in his tracks
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 6, 2009
Words:498
Previous Article:Irish glory feeds Ross.
Next Article:DELANEY BLASTS THE FAI.


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