Biggar boots Ospreys to victory
December 5, 2009
Ospreys fly-half Dan Bigger kicked his side to a famous victory at the Liberty Stadium
© PA Photos
Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar stole the show as his side recorded a famous 19-14 victory over Munster at the LIberty Stadium.
The 20-year-old out-kicked Irish rival Ronan O'Gara on his way to a personal tally of 14 points that helped the Ospreys snap a four-game losing streak. The result also ensured the Welsh side exacted some revenge having conceded more than 100 points to Munster in three defeats last season.
Munster were forced into a late and significant change to their line-up when captain Paul O'Connell pulled out with a calf strain with O'Gara taking on the leadership duties. 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. Jerry Collins led a side which included seven players who were on autumn duty with Wales, Ireland or Scotland.
The Ospreys found themselves penalised four times in the first 11 minutes but Munster failed to take advantage with O'Gara missing two shots at goal after four and six minutes. Munster were awarded a penalty try from a scrum much to anger of the home support. O'Gara converted in front of the posts to give the visitors a 7-0 lead 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 - his third miss. 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 Dan Biggar, to put the Welsh side in front for the first time. 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, in the opinion of the television match official, lost the ball over the line. But 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. But while O'Gara was having an off day, Biggar planted his third penalty from the halfway line as the home lead went to 12 and that was followed by Munster number eight James Coughlin being yellow-carded for kicking the ball away.
Munster kept scrapping for a points and a try for replacement Nick Williams in injury-time forced the Ospreys to defend.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
The Wallabies showed flair in Dublin, but they still have a way to go if they are to do more than make up the numbers at the World Cup, writes Greg Growden
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales' lessons to learn in defeat by New Zealand are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards