Friday, December 25, 2009

Biggar kicks Ospreys to victory (Six Nations 2010)

Dan Biggar out-kicked Ronan O'Gara as the Ospreys enjoyed a famous 19-14 Magners League victory over a strong Munster outfit at the Liberty Stadium.

O'Gara, standing in as skipper for the injured Paul O'Connell, missed four penalties while his 20-year-old opposite number scored 14 of his side's points.

In steady rain it was sweet revenge for the Ospreys who had conceded more than 100 points to Munster in three defeats last season, and the win ended a four-match losing streak.

Munster were forced into a late and significant change to their line-up when O'Connell pulled out with a calf strain.

The Ospreys were also without their captain Ryan Jones, who had not recovered from the back problem which ruled him out of Wales' defeat to Australia.

O'Gara missed two early shots at goal but Munster were awarded a penalty try from a scrum much and O'Gara converted in front of the posts on 13 minutes.

The Ospreys, with their first concerted attack, got on the scoreboard with a Biggar penalty from in front of the posts.

But two minutes later they lost Alun Wyn Jones to the sin bin for a professional foul, although O'Gara could not convert the penalty.

Biggar also saw a long-range effort rebound off the crossbar before he kicked a 38th-minute penalty to get the Ospreys within a point, to make it 7-6 at the interval.

The Ospreys made a dramatic start to the second half when Tommy Bowe went in at the right corner for a converted try after good work from Gareth Owen and Biggar.

And their second attack of the half saw them have a chance to go further ahead after Munster hooker John Fogarty was sin-binned for a professional foul, but Biggar was wide with his penalty shot.

The Ospreys thought they had scored a second try but Paul James lost the ball over the line. However, they made do with a 57th-minute Biggar drop-goal as they extended their lead to 16-7.

Fortune was certainly the Ospreys as they watched O'Gara miss his fourth penalty attempt after 60 minutes.

Biggar then planted his third penalty from the halfway line as the home lead went to 12 before Munster number eight James Coughlin was yellow-carded for kicking the ball away.

Munster kept scrapping and replacement Nick Williams claimed an injury-time try.

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