1. ITV Report

Five-try Ospreys thrash Munster to reach PRO12 final

The Ospreys will face either Glasgow or Edinburgh in the PRO12 final Photo: Ospreys Rugby

A clinical performance from the Ospreys last night saw them past defending PRO12 champions Munster at the Liberty Stadium, to secure a spot in this year's final. The home side ran in five tries, and fly-half Dan Biggar kicked 25 points, as they came from behind to win 45-10.

Munster were ahead within three minutes, Ireland winger Keith Earls breaking the Welsh side's defensive line, and fly-half Ian Keatley touching down. He actually scored all of the visitors' points, adding the early conversion plus one more penalty. They didn't add to their tally in the second half, as the Ospreys gradually asserted their superiority.

Biggar got the hosts on the scoreboard early on with a penalty, before veteran winger Shane Williams had a try ruled out for putting a foot into touch. His team were soon ahead, Ryan Jones' offload sending Biggar in under the posts.

The Ospreys were getting the better of a ferocious battle up front, earning a penalty that allowed the fly-half to extend their lead. They nearly handed Munster a chance to get back into contention, as Kahn Fotuali'i failed to gather a bouncing ball near his own line, and Ryan Jones made a mess of an attempted kick clear. But a resilient defensive effort - repeated throughout the 80 minutes - kept the visitors at bay.

The Ospreys then pulled clear, with a try at the perfect time - just as the first half came to a close. Richard Fussell saw a gap in the Munster line from just outside his own 22 and raced clear, finding Joe Bearman and then Fotuali'i provided the finishing touch on a brilliant long-range score.

An early second-half penalty - reward for their dominance at the scrum - saw the Ospreys extend their lead, before another superb counter-attacking try. Flanker Justin Tipuric's crunching tackle on Ronan O'Gara secured a turnover, and 23 seconds later Hanno Dirksen was flying in for a thrilling touchdown in the corner. When they won possession, the Ospreys kept the ball moving on the halfway line, Fussell burst away and fed Dirksen, who raced down the touchline to score.

Centre Andrew Bishop smashed his way over the line for a fourth try just after the hour mark, before another Ospreys attack from within their own half made it five. This time it was Williams' inside pass that shredded the defence for replacement Rhys Webb to score. All that was left to do was award man of the match to a prop - Paul James.

The Ospreys were playing in their third consecutive semi-final, and now await the winner of Saturday night's game between Leinster and Glasgow. If the Irish side - who topped the table in the regular season - triumph, then they will host the final in Dublin. If it's Glasgow, then the Scots will travel down to the Liberty for the decider.

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