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The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

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All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

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Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Munster surge in the semis with big win over the Ospreys

Heineken Cup champions Munster once again showed why they’re the front runners for this years competition as they tore apart a below par Ospreys side at Thomond Park on Sunday.

The 43-9 win now sets up a mouth watering clash with Irish rivals Leinster, who themselves were victorious on the weekend, beating Harlequins 6-5 is a far tighter game.

Munster led the first half 16-6, but it was two second half tries in two minutes for Keith Earls, and 17 points from flyhalf Ronan O’Gara, that helped the home side run away with the game.

James Hook managed three penalties for the visitors, but lack of creativity and structure ultimately made their big name players look lost in a sea of red.

The way in which Munster dominated the Ospreys, who are littered with Welsh talent, not only shows that Munster will be the odds on favourites to lift the cup once again, but it also raises questions about British & Irish Lions selections.

Many of the Welsh players might have played themselves out of contention, while a few of the Munster guys will have put their hands up.

The Heineken Cup semi-finals will be played on the first weekend of May, while the final is at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on May 23.

Time: 07:20



  • first comment:D anyway down to important stuff munster for the heineken cup this year nobodys going to stop them. and if they did do a tour of SH teams i still think they would only beat about half of them.....NH rugby has a long way to go yet!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 2:56 pm  

  • Munster look a class above the rest currently. But as a Tigers fan, when Tigers get it right, and we have Mauger back, we could be in with a good shout.

    Munster Tigers final would be awesome! I really think Tigers can upset the odds when they play like they have been in the last 2 months. Bath game aside, with the late back line changes.

    By Anonymous Mentallymadmax, at April 14, 2009 3:08 pm  

  • Thanks for the highlights RD.. been waiting patiently. :)

    That Mafi pass is awesome. I bet the Irish wish he could play for them..

    By Anonymous Scotsdale, at April 14, 2009 3:11 pm  

  • Cant blaim the Ospreys backs for this performance- their pack was obliterated and generated no quick ball or go foward.

    I cant see leinster beating this Munster team

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 3:16 pm  

  • Munster do look like a quality side, and from what limited access to the Heineken cup that I have it would seem that they will go all the way.

    That being said, Mafi's offload seemed to be forward, and i am not sure if i would have awarded the final try (not that it would have made any difference)

    By Anonymous jordan, at April 14, 2009 3:36 pm  

  • Munster are a great side.

    But it's a known fact that Ospreys are pretenders.

    Well done Munster, they're on fire at the moment

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 3:38 pm  

  • Munster are obscenely good at the moment. The only Super 14 team I could see beating them at the moment is the Crusaders.

    I cant understand why the Aussies havent tried to get Paul Warwick back yet- the guy is absolutely world class. He never seems to put a foot wrong.

    By Anonymous Michael, at April 14, 2009 3:45 pm  

  • Im a Leinster supporter and i dont see how we have any answer to that Munster team.

    Lets hope we get a bit of luck.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 3:50 pm  

  • "if they did do a tour of SH teams i still think they would only beat about half of them.....NH rugby has a long way to go yet!!"

    Get real, we do get to see the S14 up here in the Northern Hemisphere you know.

    The Chiefs are by far and away your most exciting team going forward, but they leak points like a colander. They conceded over 30 to the winless Lions!

    The Crusaders have looked distinctly average this season, The Bulls have been poor away from home, The 'Canes don't even have a fly half. All the Aussie teams are missing strength in the key positions, front row, halfies, with the exception of the Force, who have Giteau, but a dearth of players in other positions.

    Heineken Cup rugby is remarkable similar to test match rugby, and I'm afraid the southern hemisphere teams just play too fast and too loose to be contenders in it, were they able to enter.

    If I had to pick one SH team I think would be able to win the HC, it'd be the Sharks, but they wouldn't stand up to a team like Munster, Leicester or Toulouse in the latter stages.

    The NH is king of club rugby, for better or for worse, whilst the SH continues to dominate internationally.

    By Anonymous Will Topps, at April 14, 2009 3:51 pm  

  • will topps statement of "Get real, we do get to see the S14 up here in the Northern Hemisphere you know."

    i wrote the first comment and im from ireland. i was in thomand park at the weekend when they won.

    the only reason they won is because O'Gara was kicking everything he put his hands on.

    thats the only reason ireland beat italy by so much in the 6 nations...when he got yellow carded the irish back line were able to run with a ball.

    which is the reason SH is better than NH. they run with a ball while all NH teams just try play tennis with it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 4:00 pm  

  • munster are awesome a complete team it seams whereas ospreys are lost and have been for a while now

    the scoreline however had a gloss to it, the last 2 tries looked dodgy to me, clear forward pass from mafi, and warwicks knee and foot did touch the line

    didnt affect the result though, warwick dg's were great JW gets one from 3 attempts from half that distance and he is a wizard. what does that make warwick...god???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 4:04 pm  

  • Wallace is 7 of The B&I Lions.

    I can't see anyone else, now.


    By Blogger Madflyhalf, at April 14, 2009 4:06 pm  

  • Anyone ever thought about the fact that the NH sides are taking their brand of six nations/test match rugby (yawn), and combining it with the growing influx of the SH players plying their trade up north.. creating well rounded sides that not only have the yawn factor taken care of, but possess the SH flair too?
    Howlett, Tipoki, Mafi, Warwick, Elsom, Contepomi, Evans etc

    Would Ireland have beaten the Ospreys like that? Or was Ireland vs Wales pretty much a tight affair?

    Food for thought.
    I'm a fan of both top competitions/tournaments. :)

    By Anonymous FrankyH, at April 14, 2009 4:15 pm  

  • I put Munster's run this season down to one thing, Tony McGahan. He was the brains behind the win last year, all Munster offered in 2007 was an experienced team that could hold and recycle ball through the phases, & which possessed a very strong defence (due to McGahan). Now that McGahan has full reign, we are now seeing probably the most devastating Munster team yet. We no longer depend on a midfield break with Howlett to off load to, or a rumbling pack. It is now a completely expansive game. Take note how O'Gara didn't kick ball from hand at all in the 1st half. The way the players are trusting eachother and keeping the ball alive, and the boyz on the bench coming on and showing great hunger.

    Also take into account that without 8 of their starting Internationals, McGahan has still kept them at the top of the Magners League. He's doing an excellent job and has a very bright future in Red.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 5:31 pm  

  • quite fckn impressive. i thought the ospreys would challenge them at least. being mike phillips first thing i would have done after the game, have a look at that replay

    y the hell is this whole nh vs sh discussion on again?

    lets find this years lions, that would be way more an interesting discussion

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 5:46 pm  

  • Notice Shane "I can't tackle for shit" Williams being his usual best on defence, running alongside herding like a sheepdog!

    Most overrated winger in world rugby, just as useless as Brent Russel.

    By Anonymous welshbok, at April 14, 2009 6:19 pm  

  • From what ive seen Keith Earls looks like a SERIOUS talent, for the past year (when i first heard of him) his all round game has developed very well, soon i can see him challenging for a place in the Irish squad deffinatley.

    By Anonymous mattn, at April 14, 2009 6:27 pm  

  • its a pity this video didnt show warwicks impressive 2nd drop kick from the half way line.
    There was also a funny moment when the munster fans were singing the black velvet band. This was in response to Tommy Bowes rendition of the song on irelands grand slam homecoming. Apparently he clapped to the crowd and was smiling when it happened.

    By Anonymous 7drunkennights, at April 14, 2009 6:32 pm  

  • munster are the best club side in the world at the moment (and I'm an aussie)
    i cant see them been beaten any time soon!

    By Anonymous WOWMUNSTER, at April 14, 2009 7:08 pm  

  • I think Toulouse, Clermont and Stade Français can beat them :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 7:16 pm  

  • Ok name and shame yourself first comment.
    You called NH rugby 'tennis', have you watched any S14? There is just as much kicking, its the ELV's that caused it, and any pundit will agree with that.
    And you said that Munster would lose to the SA teams, have you seen these teams play? The only ones I rate are the Bulls and they aren't anything special this season. Munster have the best pack for any club, its full of internationals, and aswell as this we have the two Irish scrum halves, the out-half, rugbys next O'Driscoll in cetre, Doug Howlett and a second string team that has been racking up wins for fun while the internationals where away.
    Can the SA teams or even any S14 team boast that?
    The NZ game proves it!

    By Anonymous Steve, at April 14, 2009 7:21 pm  

  • I think O'Gara just plays better for Munster than he does for Ireland. It's not that he tries to or anything, it's just how it seems to work out.

    Also, Stringer may be small, be he's a much faster at getting the ball out than O'Leary...which makes for an exciting game where they rack up some 40+ points.

    Anyways, this was a great game! Thanks for posting, RD.

    By Anonymous KeithEarlsHas2FirstNames, at April 14, 2009 7:40 pm  

  • Sonny parker was the only good ospreys player.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 7:43 pm  

  • FrankyH > So the World Cup Final between the golden years of South Africa vs the old hasbeens of England was a huge flair induced whitewash by a huge point margin?

    Parp, wrong.

    The HEC is knockout rugby, the Super 14, isn't.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 8:18 pm  

  • munster r gud but not the finished article yet, the ospreys r a team in decline and cardiff or leicester will compete 100% better at the breakdown, in defence and attack then the o's did allowing munster quick ball to throw it around, with a lack of control at times, face it ospreys were shit.

    tigers 4 the cup

    By Anonymous arleyhill, at April 14, 2009 8:32 pm  

  • Madflyhalf, from what I saw of the highlights of the Blues v Toulouse game, Martyn Williams was in pretty good form, so I would say that there still more than one name in the hat.

    I think this game proves that the Ospreys need to get their act together, especially in the coaching department, because they have a talented squad of players to chose from. Quibbling about selection after such a massive defeat is a bit pointless, but I don't understand why they continue to select Vaughton, in this game they could have chosen a back three of 11. Shane, 15. Spratt and 14. Bowe. Unless Spratt was injured, which it says nowhere on the Ospreys site.

    Anyway, congrats to Munster, they are looking pretty good for the final, but this is a tough competition and all is still to play for.

    By Blogger Dune, at April 14, 2009 8:38 pm  

  • "But it's a known fact that Ospreys are pretenders."

    They've won the Magners twice reached the EDF final twice in a row winning it once and the quarter finals of the HEC twice in a row.

    Oh and they were only formed in 2003, something people like to forget when they talk about how the Ospreys have achieved nothing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 8:40 pm  

  • Munster are going to destroy Leinster.


    By Anonymous Third Centre, at April 14, 2009 8:45 pm  

  • @ Dune:
    Yes, Martyn Williams is the only other name, but he usually shows best in defence rather in attack (probably due to his age eheh..).

    IMO Wallace is more allround player!

    Wallace now is often shifted @ n°8, for he's extremely fast and he's got good hands, that allow Munster to take advantage immediatly from the new offside line @5m... it seems the shifting done by Rassie Erasmus with Luke Watson the last year, during the first ELVs trial

    I love Wallace, he's the best openside in Europe, even better than Bergamasco, cause he's more disciplinated! - and I'm Italian! XD

    By Blogger Madflyhalf, at April 14, 2009 9:16 pm  

  • any chances to see again munster's pack tackle on ryan jones after a scrum in the first half??

    O_o massive!

    By Blogger Madflyhalf, at April 14, 2009 9:26 pm  

  • Munster would crush any team in the world no problem. Face it SH none of your teams could stand up to them simple as.
    Keith Earls has unbelievable pace!!!
    he kicked philips' ass on that sprint and phillips had 10 yards on him too. Earls should go on the lions tour this year and let him play in the mid wek team.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2009 9:54 pm  

  • Munster - awesome & well done. Definitely question marks on the Mafi offload but borderline...Earls' second try I think the reply shows his knee clipped the white wash before Phillips lifted his legs...but simply awesome & comprehensive rugby.

    I'll be at Croke Park cheering for Leinster but in hope of a good occasion more than in realistic expectation of us upsetting Munster.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at April 14, 2009 10:17 pm  

  • metronomic, metronomic - ha ha ha ha ah aha

    By Anonymous jamestheconvict, at April 14, 2009 10:30 pm  

  • "Munster are obscenely good at the moment. The only Super 14 team I could see beating them at the
    moment is the Crusaders"

    are you serious ??

    and who is paul warwick ? seriously....

    By Anonymous jamestheconvict, at April 14, 2009 10:31 pm  

  • They have to play at least two games to win the HC. Three of the quarterfinals were so close, so everybody has to be on form in the semis

    By Anonymous Jochen, at April 14, 2009 10:42 pm  

  • Munster is very impressive since beginning of 2009

    Because of toulouse defeat, i don't see who can beat them.

    I just wish they will continue this kind of game rather their traditional rolling mauls..

    By Anonymous brian, at April 14, 2009 11:13 pm  

  • Jochen is correct, as a Munster man I am very aware that there are 4 teams left in the competition any of which could win it and would deserve to do so.

    Ospreys had a bad day at the office - I hope they get the back office sorted out and come back strong next year.

    By Anonymous Gav, at April 14, 2009 11:15 pm  

  • That Ospreys team was a very strong team.
    Great penetration in attack numbers at ruck, great defense too.
    If Munster can beat Ospreys at home they can definitely go to Croke Park and get a result against the ladyboys, even with O'Driscoll, Fitzgerald and Van der Linde back.
    And then a handy one in Edinburgh against those Leicester softies in the final.
    It's all a bit easy isn't it.
    They should probably just call the competition off and award Munster the trophy again.
    Declare it a walkover on the emphatic victory on Sunday;)

    By Anonymous old fart, at April 14, 2009 11:15 pm  

  • James,

    Paul Warwick is an Australian out-half currently playing with Munster. He originally came to Ireland a few years ago and played with Connacht. He was signed from Connacht last season and has now established himself as the starting Full-back in Munster's team. As you can see from the video he's making a very big impact for us. He has also represented Australia at 7s level.

    By Anonymous richie, at April 14, 2009 11:26 pm  

  • Cdn content

    Mafi has to be the best centre in the world right now. Incredible defence, hard, elusive running, superb distribution and sublime skills. Did anyone else note the pick up with one hand off the ground? Superb skills to do so during such a fast paced game! Would love to see Munster play the S14 champs. They do benefit from the SH backs, but their pack is en par with any club side world wide.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 15, 2009 12:21 am  

  • Amazing not the actual game, but the fact this game was on U.S television on a ESPN in real time. There are actually starting to take notice of rugby in the states. I was shock to find it on the tv at my work, and the great part was everybody at my work started asking me question about the game and seem to be enjoying it.

    By Blogger Hendrick, at April 15, 2009 12:47 am  

  • Hardly the best ospreys team
    i have no idea how vaughton is playing for the ospreys, theres better wingers in the welsh premiership!!
    paul james is a joke, he brings nothing to the team
    Munster won well but to a poor depleted ospreys team, they shouldnt get carried away.

    By Anonymous TheWeasel, at April 15, 2009 12:48 am  

  • i'd love to see munster play some of the SH teams,i think it'd be really close.what munster do best is control games,so it'd be interesting to see if they could control the physicality and pace of a SH team.munster are poor when they can't control,like against ulster recently.

    and anonymous who left the first comment and later said "the only reason they won is because O'Gara was kicking everything he put his hands on".O'Gara barely kicked at all.i was at the game too and also read in the paper that other than penalties he didn't kick until almost the 40th minute,so you're just talking a load of shit

    By Anonymous mark, at April 15, 2009 12:59 am  

  • The clip left out probably the best moment of the game: Warwick's second drop goal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 15, 2009 1:44 am  

  • Pepper spray lol !
    Baaad commentary

    Good perf by Munster

    By Anonymous Brennie, at April 15, 2009 2:51 am  

  • Love how quiet it gets a For kicks, classic Munster

    By Anonymous AmerikaLock, at April 15, 2009 3:01 am  

  • that earls try where the no:9 tackled him was def out.

    compare that to englands disallowed try at rwc07 - wtf indeed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 15, 2009 6:27 am  

  • "that earls try where the no:9 tackled him was def out.

    compare that to englands disallowed try at rwc07 - wtf indeed."

    ...or...compare it to Shane William's try against Scotland in the 08 Six Nations...Williams was clearly out in that one and it was awarded; Earls was maybe out - but maybe not - in this one. I think it's amazing how there were so many opportunities for a part of his body to go over the touchline, but he seemed to lift his foot, knee, etc. up at exactly the right time...crazy stuff.

    By Anonymous Billy Bob, at April 15, 2009 8:22 am  

  • Yeah O'Connells Try and Warwicks's amazing second DG were left ouit, but on the whole, a great clip.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 15, 2009 1:44 pm  

  • an amazin tackle by philips on earls but if philips hadnt lifted earls legs up at the end he would of been out. very unlucky. cant see anyone beatin munster this season.

    By Anonymous Paddy, at April 15, 2009 2:11 pm  

  • at the heineken cup I mean :P

    By Anonymous Paddy, at April 15, 2009 2:12 pm  

  • What is this talk of SH vs NH? The fact is, teams like Toulouse, Munster, Clermont etc. are good enough to beat any Super 14 team, and the better Super 14 teams could beat them as well. But for whoever is saying that the SH are shit at rugby, that is just ludicrous. They're a cut above the Six Nations teams in general, although it'd be interesting to see Ireland play them now that they've won the Grand Slam and been revolutionised. France, England, Ireland and Wales though when on good form can beat the Tri-Nations, no question about it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 15, 2009 11:16 pm  

  • earls is the perfect man to fill drico's boots when he retires...i have no doubht keith earls is going down to SA on th lions tour..

    quality act true munster man aswell

    By Anonymous limericklegend, at April 16, 2009 12:12 am  

  • what age is earls??? i heard he was like 28....or is the warrick??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 16, 2009 12:16 am  

  • Warrick is 28 - earls is a good bit younger...21 I think.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at April 16, 2009 2:57 am  

  • Said to my dad before the game that munster would put 40 points on them. The only reason that ospreys win any games at all is through individual brilliance. As a team, they are the worst professional side in wales. I watch my local semi-pro side pontypridd and we play as more of a team than ospreys.
    Munster as much as i'm fed up to say it are brilliant, would like to see leinster beat them just so there's a chance of someone else winning it. So to put it simply...munster are brilliant, ospreys are extremely overrated and have been for years. Quite glad to see them get a pasting so that hopefully their coaches can finally bugger off elsewhere.

    By Anonymous geraint, at April 16, 2009 10:47 am  

  • brian said munster have been good since 2009

    wat about 2 HC's?, a neat win versus all blacks and magners league sucess ye good since 2009

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 17, 2009 11:07 pm  

  • Does anyone have that clip when the Munster crowd sang 'Black Velvet Band' to Tommy Bowe during the Ospreys match??:D

    By Blogger Ruthy Walsh, at April 17, 2009 11:11 pm  

  • Pff, the ospreys are awful atm, with their arrogance, lack of decent coaching and injury list.
    They we're neving going to beat a great team like munster with those 3 problems.

    I'm going to stick with the Blues to win the Heineken though,
    Leciester will be a tough game for us, but we've beaten them in the EDF at home, and that wasn't in the big arms park either.
    As for the other Semi, i think it'll be a Munster win, and a good final..

    Munster definately have the star studded team with their huge irish pack and SH backs, but my heart says the blues.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 19, 2009 10:33 pm  

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