In a change to the usual pre season friendly/warm up game programme the Ospreys U17 development team travelled to Cork at the weekend, where they played Munster Under 18's team at the Cork Institute of Technology.
From the kick-off Munster were straight on the attack and after a few handling errors and a couple of critical defensive mistakes by the Ospreys, Munster had taken a commanding 17 – 0 lead within 15 minutes scoring two converted tries and a penalty in quick succession.
It appeared that the Ospreys were in for a long hard afternoon in a rain soaked Cork, when not only did the weather change to bright sunshine but so did the Ospreys fortunes. With the sun now shining and both teams defensives becoming more organised the game ebbed and flowed for the remainder of the first half, when a couple of penalty infringements saw the Ospreys No 9 Luke Ford take a quick tap on the Munster 22. Spotting a defensive mis-match he switched back to the blindside for No 10 Rhodri Davies to release blindside flanker Jimmy Wilson to score in the corner and bring the Ospreys back into the game at 17-5 just before half-time.
The second half kicked off with the Ospreys now believing they were in with a shout of still winning the game, and they continued to apply pressure on a determined and efficient Munster defence only to be let down at critical times by either handling errors or attacking decisions.
The score line remained the same for the remainder of the match with neither side being able to convert some fine attacking rugby into points and with both side’s defensives scrambling on occasions to deny their opposition further points. With the Munster inside centre Mark Dorgan and Osprey blindside flanker Jimmy Wilson being elected each side’s man of the match by the opposition staff, Munster picked up a 17 – 5 win.
The Ospreys would like to thank Munster for the welcome and first class hospitality bestowed on players and staff and hope this is the first in a succession of meetings in future years for their age grade sides.