Ospreys slammed for lack of effort in Munster no-show
OSPREYS head coach Steve Tandy accused his players of a lack of effort at a rain-soaked Liberty Stadium.
Tries from man of the match Jean Kleyn and wing Darren Sweetnam – plus 11 points from fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal – gave the Irish raiders victory.
James Hook scored a sublime solo try for the Ospreys and Sam Davies kicked a conversion and three penalties, but it only meant the home side ended with a losing bonus point.
Watching Wales coaching trio Warren Gatland, Rob Howley and Robin McBryde can’t have been too impressed and neither was Tandy.
He said: “It’s not good enough and our application wasn’t there. There is a lot of soul searching and we have to take a long, hard look at ourselves.
“That performance was nowhere near where we want to be or close to the sort of level we want to produce. There was a total lack of energy and we just couldn’t get any possession.
“I can handle losing games, but there was a lack of application in the first 40 minutes and I’m struggling to put my finger on why. We knew what Munster were going to bring, but we just didn’t deal with it. We got one point out of the game, but if we had won, it would have been a robbery.”
The first ten minutes were all Munster, but skipper Bleyendaal missed with two early penalty efforts.
He was successful at the third time of trying. Ospreys hit back immediately, promptly going up the other end and seeing Hook dance through three tackles to make it to the line.
Davies added the extras, but that only enraged Munster and Kleyn was driven over from close range before a clean line break from centre Chris Farrell laid the platform from which Sweetnam finished in the corner.
Bleyendaal added the conversion to the first of those scores for a 15-7 Munster lead at the break. The heavens opened at the start of the second period, limiting attacking rugby. Davies and Bleyendaal swapped kicks, but two more penalties from Davies kept the Ospreys in the game.
That they got to within two points was a surprise given Munster’s power in the tight five and Tandy’s introduction of replacements Scott Baldwin and Nicky Smith played a part in that.
Dan Lydiate – on his first
appearance in more than 10 months – also put in a decent shift in the 52 minutes he was on the field after being promoted from the bench following James King’s withdrawal due to illness.
But on the whole, the Ospreys were outworked and if there’s one thing you can never accuse a Munster side of, it’s putting in the hard yards.
Led by man of the match Kleyn, the Irishmen kept things tight in the final ten minutes, refused to panic, and got their rewards when home prop Smith was penalised in front of his own posts.
Bleyendaal stepped up to nail the simple kick and consign the Ospreys to their second successive defeat. Munster, meanwhile, have now won all three of their games to sit top of Conference A.
Their head coach Rassie Erasmus was still not happy with what he’d seen and challenged his players to improve further.
He said: “We made a lot of errors, but we managed to grind out the win. We have a lot of work to do if we are going to beat Glasgow next week. It was a very scrappy game and we played under par, particularly in the second half.
“I was very concerned at that point as we kept making a number of individual errors. There are plenty of things to sort, but I’m pleased to get the win.”
Full stretch: James Hook scores for Ospreys