Ballincollig ace Cronin scores crucial try to secure Munster's bonus point

Ballincollig ace Cronin scores crucial try to secure Munster's bonus point
Munster’s James Cronin scores the bonus point try as players celebrate. Picture: INPHO/Gary Carr

Ospreys 13 Munster 32 

 MOST teams would have kicked the ball out of play at 82 minutes when they were awarded a penalty, but not Munster.

They kicked to touch from two penalties and mauled their way over the Ospreys line for a bonus point win in Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening.

Ballincollig’s James Cronin emerged from the pile of bodies to claim the vital bonus point that could make a huge difference by the end of the pool stages.

Munster were expected to win this game but they were made work much harder than the scoreline suggests.

The Reds found the early going tough and had two penalties from Tyler Bleyendaal’s boot to show for their first quarter efforts.

The Munster attack plan started to kick into gear as the first half wore on and Jeremy Loughman’s first European try in his first European start helped put a small bit of daylight between the sides in the 33rd minute.

A scrum penalty was quick-tapped by Conor Murray was recycled by the Munster pack who ground their way to the posts with Loughman the one to touch down to help give his side a 13-6 half-time lead.

Munster’s first attack of the second half yielded their second try when Tommy O’Donnell’s break created a hole for Mike Haley to go through and he in turn passed to Keith Earls who touched down.

Loughman turned provider for a try after a big fend efore he passed to Chris Farrell. Farrell fed Andrew Conway and Conway turned on the afterburners to score Munster’s third try.

Aled Davies crossed for a try for Ospreys which Luke Price converted and when it looked as if Munster had left the bonus point behind them up popped Cronin with his crucial touchdown in the 84th minute.

Scorers for Ospreys: Tries: A Davies. Con: L Price (1), pens: L Price (2) Munster: Tries: J Loughman, K Earls, A Conway, J Cronin. Cons: T Bleyendaal (3), pen: T Bleyendaal.

OSPREYS: C Evans, H Dirksen, T Thomas-Wheeler, S Williams, T Williams, L Price, S Venter, R Jones, S Otten, I Phillips, M Fia, M Orie, L Ashley; D Lydiate, O Cracknell, M Morris.

Subs: A Davies for Venter, N Smit for R Jones, B Davies for Ashley, M Morris for Cross (50), I Phillps for Otten, J Hook for C Evans K Williams for S Williams (60).

MUNSTER: M Haley, A Conway, C Farrell, R Scannell, K Earls, T Bleyendaal, C Murray: J Loughman, N Scannell, J Ryan; J Kleyn, B Holland; P O’Mahony, T O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Subs: S Archer for Ryan (50), T Beirne for Kleyn (55), A Botha for O’Donnell, J Cronin for Loughman, K O’Byrne for N Scannell (59), A Mathewson for Murray D Goggin for R Scannell (65), S Arnold for Conway (71).

Referee: K Dickson (Eng).

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