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Murray To Lead Munster

September 26, 2014 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Murray To Lead Munster

Anthony Foley has named his side to face Guinness PRO12 leaders Ospreys at Thomond Park tomorrow evening for the round four clash, and it sees Conor Murray promoted to captain for the first time.

Murray is one of six players to retain their starting positions from last weekend's 31-5 win over Zebre.

International loosehead Dave Kilcoyne makes his first start of the season with hooker Duncan Casey and tighthead BJ Botha remaining in situ in the front row.

Donncha O'Callaghan comes into the second row for Billy Holland who has played every minute of this season's PRO12 to date, and Munster's most capped player will be partnered by Paul O'Connell who makes his second consecutive league start.

Paddy Butler retains responsibility at 6, with Sean Dougall and CJ Stander returning to the starting line up at 7 and 8 respectively.

In the half backs Conor Murray will captain the Munster squad for the first time while Ian Keatley is back to take command of the 10 channel.

After impressing in the centre last time out against Zebre, Denis Hurley will again start at inside centre alongside Ivan Dineen who completes the midfield partnership.

Gerhard van den Heever has recovered from a knee injury to make his first appearance of the season on the left wing. The South African comes in for Simon Zebo, another who has played every minute of Munster's league campaign to date.

Andrew Conway returns to the right wing with Johne Murphy starting at at full back for the first time in this season's PRO12.

A strong performance on his senior debut last Friday sees Year Three Academy player Jack O'Donoghue included amongst the replacements once again this weekend.

Munster: Johne Murphy, Andrew Conway, Ivan Dineen, Denis Hurley, Gerhard van den Heever; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray – capt; Dave Kilcoyne, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell; Paddy Butler, Sean Dougall, CJ Stander

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Andrew Smith

Munster v Ospreys, Guinness PRO12 Round 4, Saturday September 27th, Thomond Park. KO 6:30pm.

Tickets are available to buy:

  • online here
  • Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Thomond Park and Musgrave Park on Thursday and Friday from 10am-4.30pm.
  • Mobile Ticket Unit at East Stand on Saturday from 10am
  • West Stand Ticket booth from 4.30pm on Saturday.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Munster Go Down To Ospreys

September 27, 2014 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Munster Go Down To Ospreys

Munster suffered a home defeat at Thomond Park tonight, going down 14-19 to Ospreys in Round 4 of the Guinness PRO12.

It was the home side who drew first blood when a probing kick from captain Conor Murray saw Ospreys carry the ball into touch. From the subsequent line out, a maul and patient phase play saw the province create an overlap with the impressive Gerhard van Den Heever linking with a long flat pass from Ian Keatley to cross for the opening try of the game. The try came just 11 minutes into the winger's competitive season for Munster.

However, Ospreys were to strike back minutes later with a similar try – keeping it tight at first, creating the numbers on the right wing and overstretching the hosts' defence. It was Jeff Hassler who touched down on 15 minutes with Dan Biggar adding the extras to give the visitors a two point lead.

Momentum continued to swing like a pendulum as for the next 10 minutes Munster went on a charge, forcing a penalty at scrum time and creating chances deep inside the opposition 22.

Powerful running from Ivan Dineen put the province well over the gain line and a nicely executed kick through from Johne Murphy was unlucky not to bounce the right way for winger Andrew Conway.

On the opposite wing Van den Heever was very nearly in a second time, but Ospreys did enough to get sufficient numbers across and Munster were penalised for side entry as they attempted to recycle the ball.

Rhys Webb proved a thorn in the side for province all night, constantly probing and asking questions of the Munster defence, and was a deserved man of the match. On this occasion it took a potential try saving tackle from Duncan Casey to stop the scrum half as made a break down the left wing.

The Welsh outfit were to cross the whitewash a second time on 28 minutes, illegally so though as referee Neil Hennessey was to call them back for crossing. That said, Ospreys only had minutes to wait to extend their lead as the ill-discipline that dogged Munster throughout the game handed Biggar a penalty just inside the Munster half which he duly landed.

Another infringement at the breakdown, this time from the visitors, allowed Ian Keatley to reduce the deficit to two on the stroke of half time.

The second half started well for Munster. Another Keatley penalty put the hosts back in front and Ospreys' second row Rynier Bernardo saw 10 minutes in the bin for constant infringements at the breakdown.

However Munster were unable to utilise the extra man. Instead, the Welshmen held on to the lion's share of possession and although the Munster defence kept them try-less in the second half, the hosts coughed up another three kickable penalties (as opposed to one for Munster), all of which the in-form Biggar successfully converted.

The scrum, an effective weapon for Munster in the opening 40, was well neutralised by Ospreys in the second half – forcing some of the aforementioned penalties and sending Munster backwards at one stage.

For all of Munster’s faults though, they were still within one try of the Welshmen and the game was to have a dramatic climax.

The province rallied for the final five minutes of the game, bringing play deep into the Ospreys' 22. Following a powerful maul and effective sniping around the fringes, Munster edged ever closer to the try line, however the hosts lacked precision when choosing to go wide and this coupled with a strong defensive effort from Ospreys eventually lead to a Munster knock on.

That was to be the final play of the game. Full time score: Munster 14 Ospreys 19

Munster: Johne Murphy, Andrew Conway, Ivan Dineen (Hanrahan 70), Denis Hurley (Smith 63), Gerhard van den Heever; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray – capt; Dave Kilcoyne (Cronin 58), Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Donncha O'Callaghan (Foley 54), Paul O'Connell; Paddy Butler (O'Callaghan 76), Sean Dougall (O'Donoghue 65), CJ Stander

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