Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

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The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

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All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ospreys win at home over Munster in Pool Three

As we attempt to bring you some highlights of the bigger games of the weekend, today we have a look at the tense 19-15 win by the Ospreys over Munster at the Liberty Stadium in Saturday’s Heineken Cup Pool 3 game.

Ospreys flyhalf Dan Biggar kicked 14 points and converted Mike Phillips’ try, while for Munster, Tony Buckley and Keith Earls scored but it wasn’t enough as the Welsh region dominated the scrums up front in this edgy encounter.

"We came out the other side of a lot of decisions at scrum-time. It was another disappointing aspect of the game. It's an area where we have improved greatly this season, and I think possibly this was a step backwards unfortunately," said Munster captain Denis Leamy.

"I thought we had our chances. When we get down so close to their line, we need to be converting those chances. It's just disappointing - it didn't happen for us. We came here to win, and it's gutting really," he added.

Ospreys will visit London Irish and host Toulon, while Munster still need to travel to Toulon, and host London Irish in this highly competitive group.

On a side note related to Munster, Paul O’Connell is set to appeal his four week suspension for the swinging arm on Jonathan Thomas in the previous meeting between these two sides.

"Munster Rugby can confirm they have appealed the ERC disciplinary decision handed down to Paul O'Connell at last Thursday's ERC hearing in Dublin. Munster Rugby now wait on the ERC to issue a date for the hearing," a statement read.

Time: 05:00



  • First!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 22, 2010 1:09 pm  

  • this pool 3 is definetly the most hard. Munster, Toulon and Ospreys are vey closed. i think munster will may go through with their experience..

    back to the match. it seemed quite entertaining. Isn't a foul of doug howlett on earls try?

    concerning o'connell ban appeal, munster really shouldn't complain! 4 weeks was a quite little sanction.
    There were a lot accidents this WE with Rees alleged eye gouge on hartley, Rush high tackle and Attwood stamp in the face of a la rochelle player. anyone have some highlights of it?

    By Anonymous Colombes, at December 22, 2010 1:23 pm  

  • Fantastic game of Rugby where it could have gone both ways. Controversy at the end where the ref told AWJ that there wasn't enough time to have a scrum so they kept having to take the tap. What you didn't see was O'Gara almost swinging for Philips and refusing to shake his hand afterwords

    By Anonymous Lucus, at December 22, 2010 1:27 pm  

  • fabulous, fabulous scrummaging performance.

    Jones didn't touch the ball once during that match but a clear MotM performance.

    Good to see the cheating Munster scrum get its just desserts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 22, 2010 1:45 pm  

  • Colombes,

    I guess Howlett took out the cover (Fussell?) as much as B Davies took out O'Gara for the single Ospreys try. Actually, there was a lot of illegal play off the ball by both teams, taking out players especially around ruck ball a la alleged All Black tactics in the latest Tri Nations.

    As for O'Connell, Munster have the right to appeal, and it is likely the details of the case are best known to those most closely linked to it.

    Poite had a horrible game, and if the word is true of what he told A W Jones, that is a very costly error on his part. Scrummaging against the recessive pack, and with a one-man advantage out back, Ospreys had a real chance to deny the bonus point and boost their chances of qualification significantly.

    By Blogger Brian, at December 22, 2010 1:55 pm  

  • where was the monster double tackle?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 22, 2010 2:23 pm  

  • Adam Jones deserves his own theme song after that performance. Great game of rugby but the pool is still not decided yet.

    By Anonymous WelshOsprey, at December 22, 2010 2:32 pm  

  • Poite the Toite!
    Useless ref.
    Great game by both sides though, indeed the pool is looking very close. I'd have my money on the Ospreys, but Toulon are in a decent position and of course the mighty Munster have a bit of experience in the heineken.. We'll see.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 22, 2010 2:50 pm  

  • Punches is rugby is gone, being replaced by a rap on the knuckles at 3:09.

    By Blogger Sakkels, at December 22, 2010 3:02 pm  

  • There you go Colombes
    Attwood stamp :

    I hope he'll get at least a few months.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 22, 2010 3:11 pm  

  • Having watched the Attwood thing I don't think it's as bad the press seem to think it is. Ok, what happened to the prop is really nasty, but I think it's a case of Attwood giving him a nudge to let go after the tackle and he caught the props face. If the IRB go nuts and give him a lengthy ban then it implies that it's as bad as a premeditated eye gouge which is a bit off the mark.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 22, 2010 4:41 pm  

  • Earls is great. It'll be good to see him come into play more for Ireland in the future (the only unfortunate thing about that means that BOD will one day be replaced).

    By Anonymous fry, at December 22, 2010 4:44 pm  

  • Great game to watch, nice demonstration of forward play.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 22, 2010 5:03 pm  

  • "What you didn't see was O'Gara almost swinging for Philips and refusing to shake his hand afterwords."

    I saw it the other way, granted O'Gara was getting niggley and being petulant, but Philips was the one who threw a right hook that grazed O'Gara's chin, had it connected ROG would still be out cold.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 22, 2010 5:40 pm  

  • Great game of rugby, could we see james hook's little touch of magic in that game RD the little back flick ? sad to see hook leave, but hopefully he'll do a stephan jones on us and come back a better player...wales easily have the best front row in the northern hemisphere, and possibly in world rugby, jones is a rock !!

    By Anonymous Christo, at December 22, 2010 6:31 pm  

  • I think Phillips was initially the asshole who escalated things, and I didn't blame ROG for being pissed, but I think he checked himself and realized he was wrong and tried to half-apologize to O'Gara. I can see why ROG was still in a foul mood...did he not end up shaking his hand? I thought he eventually did the second time round or so.

    By Anonymous Brewer, at December 22, 2010 8:47 pm  

  • And I agree - that flick by Hook was something BOD-like. Hook could end up being a great Welsh player if Gatland would stop messing about playing him at fullback and such (though he even did well there, too). And like BOD or Shane Williams, it doesn't happen every single game, but usually, Hook will make a great line break out of nowhere or pull a cheeky little pass like that.

    Hopefully wherever he ends up going only helps him keep improving as a player.

    By Anonymous Brewer, at December 22, 2010 8:54 pm  

  • I think the no.10 nudged his own player almost as much as Howlett did, but the stupid think was tuning around like some premier league soccer player and complaining to the ref rather than playing the whistle, he could have at least attempted a tackle. Soory to see O'Gara refusing a handshake, it seems that the great traditions of rugby are dying out. We'll have diving next...makes me sick.
    Regarding O'Connell, fair enough on the ban but if the powers that be want to be consistant they should give at least that (if not more) to Powell after his disgracful closeline on McCaw

    By Anonymous Jack78, at December 22, 2010 9:01 pm  

  • the ospreys try was terrible, blatantly taking the man out of play.
    Thats more of a autralian tactic than anyone else

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 22, 2010 9:38 pm  

  • As a Munster fan I was hughly annoyed with their preformance. That was possibly their worst performance in the HCup I can remember, including what's proved to be a useless London Irish side. In years past, a losing bonus seemed a huge victory (Clermont and Wasps away), but this was soulless. They might go on to beat Toulon, but like the 1/4 final win over Northampton, it's covering over the cracks.

    No leader in the pack, continuous waste of possession by forwards in opp's 22 (which I've commented on previously and really is grating me) and bar 1 pass under pressure in his own 22, a waste of Ireland's best attacking back in Earls. O'Callaghan needs to be dropped, Munster have to find a scrummaging tight head and stop selecting Hayes (that guy needs to go, pronto). The best performances by Munster players last weekend came from Mike Ross and Eoin Reddan, need I say more.

    Ospreys, bar the front row and Biggar's kicking, did nothing over the 2 games. Can't see them posing too many problems, but they do have the easier run in with Toulon home, and Irish away.

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at December 22, 2010 11:05 pm  

  • Oh, and Leamy and DOC gave away their obligatory 6 points. Seriously, Munster must go into every game with a 6 point handicapp when those 2 run out.

    And I'm getting pretty sick of Mafi. Another suspension coming up.

    Nonu can't come quick enough. Nonu, Earls, what a centre pairing!

    Prefer if they went for McCaw, need a proper back row leader.

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at December 22, 2010 11:10 pm  

  • on o gara and phillips: def Phillip at fault, and the lack of a handshake came because the incident came at almost the same time - no tradition dying out there then. O gara was pissed off and rightly so as Phillips was being cheeky and out of order. But within mins he calmed down, End of.

    Overall severely bad decision making by the pack in opp 22 - Howlett and Earls are there to be used not ignored. Maybe the backs need to be a little more vocal - is there any sort of a leader in the backs at all?

    And on leaders, the more I think about it, the most I think POC was stupid to put himself in a position to get sent off in the last match - which is exactly what he did - he took a too much of a risk, and that has left his pack rudderless for a few more weeks.

    They may still qualify, but they end steel up front and leadership for decision making badly.

    By Anonymous mise, at December 22, 2010 11:20 pm  

  • I think Huh!! is being a little harsh on Munster. They've definitely played much worse games than this, and at least this was an entertaining match. I'm getting a bit tired of DOC doing stupid and unsportsmanlike play...maybe I've not noticed it before, or maybe he's just getting worse, but if you keep your eyes on him, after a few minutes, you'll be sure to see him do something cynical and hit someone illegally after a whistle/ruck/whatever or some other sort of stupid penalty-worthy offense.

    Anyways, as much as I like Nonu, I really hope he doesn't come to Munster. Ireland only have four top domestic sides, so any time a foreign player comes in, it's one less Irish player being developed for the national side. And it's even more noticeable in a position like 12/13 where Ireland ought to find suitable young players for the coming years.

    But, at the same time, I guess bringing in SH players does help NH teams get used to playing those types of players more often - rather than just a couple times a year.

    By Anonymous Anonymouse, at December 23, 2010 12:04 am  

  • The Munster scrum were an absolute embarrassment. Interesting to hear all these Munster fans talk about the Ospreys having "nothing" - but a big scrum and "Bigger's kicking". If you look at the last ten years you could more easily argue that all Munster have had is a big pack and O'Gara's kicking! History wise, let's all be honest about this, the Ospreys have always played more exciting, expansive and risky rugby. Munster are characterised by driving mauls, defensive dominance and physical confrontation up front - not forgetting O'Gara's bloody kicking. So if you're going to criticise Osprey's game plan - please don't criticise them for an approach to rugby that has characterised Munster for years.... Boring.

    Adam Jones is one of the best props around at the moment - his tackle on Mafi was outstanding.

    As for Phillips and O'Gara - it was handbags. Phillips definitely won the argument though, if you saw the post-match shaking of hands, he practically chased O'Gara back to the changing room - offering his hand again and again in a jokey manner. And as no one who went on the Lions has a good thing to say about O'Gara - let's not take his side. He's useless in any case.

    If anyone cares... I'm a Northampton fan.

    By Anonymous I_scouted_Chris_Ashton_first, at December 23, 2010 1:35 am  

  • Sorry, could someone explain the end a little more? I haven't heard of "not enough time for a scrum" before, and I thought it was because the ball wasn't dead... either way, what happened in the final play?

    By Blogger granite, at December 23, 2010 2:41 am  

  • Tony buckley may be one of the biggest human beings on the planet but hes still useless. How many times did he get smashed backwards in the tackle?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 23, 2010 9:41 am  

  • I think it's down to the fact teams have picked up on the impact of Buckley. I'd rather have Buckley in the team over Hayes any day of the week.

    By Anonymous Nick, at December 23, 2010 10:23 am  

  • id rather have my granny in the team instead of hayes or buckley ; there both useless; Munster are useless; O Gara tackles and argues like a girl; Leinster and Toulouse for the final me thinks

    By Anonymous Kenny, at December 23, 2010 12:24 pm  

  • Munster are "useless", Kenny? That's an incredibly vague and stupid comment. It would be equally easy to say Leinster are "useless", or Toulouse, Wasps, Leicester or any other team who's won the HC before.

    (though I will give you the bit about ROG tackling like a girl...in fact, even though he's one of my favorite players, there are undoubtedly female rugby players who I've seen tackle harder than O'Gara...).

    By Anonymous i've got to poop, at December 23, 2010 9:28 pm  

  • clearly a shove by howlett so obvious he didn't even fake an attempt to catch. cant believe the officials didn't ping that
    as for the phillips try ROG was way offside anyway if you watch the replay although there is a little obstuction.

    By Anonymous mat, at December 24, 2010 12:16 am  

  • O'Connell banned, O'Gara losing his cool, Howlett arrested, Buckley going backwards, Nonu coming to collect his pension....Munster have lost their mojo. Leamy is not the right guy to captain them. I expect Toulon will be very motivated to bury them. That will be THE match of round 5.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 24, 2010 1:14 am  

  • I don't see how Munster have lost their mojo. In fact, they've been playing better rugby (despite the loss) than they had earlier in the year when they couldn't get off the same old boring-as-shit tactics they clung to. At least now they make some attempt to use the backs.

    I think yeah, Leamy isn't much of a captain - but neither is POC. Too bad Quinlan isn't on the pitch; he's enough of a tactician to get things done.

    That was a funny story about Howlett - I hadn't heard he'd been arrested.

    But yeah, Toulon-Munster ought to be a good match...I hope.

    By Anonymous I did poop, at December 24, 2010 3:16 am  

  • Nothing better than watching boring old crappy negative Munster lose.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 24, 2010 11:13 am  

  • Munster are fuck all away from home when the ref cant help them cheat their way to victory

    By Anonymous ElTigre, at December 24, 2010 12:31 pm  

  • @ ElTigre-Please refresh my memory of when Munster player Perpignan away last year. That's what i thought. Keep ur own bitterness to yourself and stop wasting them on these forums.

    Overall Munster dont hav that hard nosed approach and resillience of previous years. Don't luck like they can get out of jail this time which is a shame. Tony Mcgahan and Laurie Fisher are rubbish, and the decision to let Warwick go is criminal. Ian Keatley is not and adequate replacement, he'll never be Heineken Cup standard.

    By Anonymous MCB, at December 25, 2010 1:57 am  

  • What the hell? Warwick has been let go?!

    Ain't that some bullshit... Granted, it's good that they at least are looking to replace him with an Irish player instead of bringing in another NZ player, which they seem to have a boner for doing. But that's still a major bummer to hear. Warwick has been one of the few solid players for Munster at a time when it seems like so many others have a penchant for under-performing.

    Also, it sucks for Connacht that Munster would be poaching one of their good players; they need all the breaks they can get.


    Warwick 15 - Australia 6

    By Anonymous news to me, at December 25, 2010 6:24 am  

  • News to me

    Yeah, great pity. Tuitupou is off too (and good riddance). Personally I was a bigger fan of Keatley than Sexton from their Ire A and down days, however, they seem to have gone in opposite directions, but don't see why they need him, Deasy looks promising, while Murphy can move to FB.

    But in terms of foreign players, the Irish provinces need them more than the Eng or French. While I'd prefer to see an all Irish Munster centre pairing, there isn't enough top class coming through. Munster need to look at the Shaun Payne type player, solid and dependable whether at centre, wing or FB.

    Personally, Conrad Smith, who said he'd like to finish his career at Munster, would be an incredible signing, but Nonu does it for me too. I think whoever Munster eventually get, Earls has to be able to play off him, he and Tuitupou are not compatable.

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at December 25, 2010 8:52 pm  

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