Pro14: Ospreys v MunsterOspreys (7) 16Try: Hook Con: S Davies Pens: S Davies 3Munster (15) 21Tries: Kleyn, Sweetnam Con: Bleyendaal Pens: Bleyendaal 3
Munster held on for victory over Ospreys to continue their unbeaten start to the Pro14 season.
James Hook scythed through Munster’s defence to open the try scoring, but the visitors dominated the rest of the opening period.
Well-worked tries by Jean Kleyn and Darren Sweetnam gave them a 15-7 lead at the interval.
Sam Davies kicked Ospreys back into contention, but Tyler Bleyendaal’s boot kept the hosts at bay.
Munster stayed top of Conference A while Ospreys are stuck on one win, over Zebre, in mid-table.
Ospreys intended to bring on Wales flanker Dan Lydiate after his recovery from knee and shoulder surgery late in the game.
But, after a 10-month absence, 2013 British and Irish Lion Lydiate had to start after James King was forced out by illness.
Dan Biggar, an uncapped 2017 Lions tourist to New Zealand, was also on the bench for his first involvement of the season.
Hook had been a predecessor and then rival to Biggar at fly-half at Ospreys, returning in the summer after stints with Perpignan and Gloucester.
The 32-year-old reminded home fans of the attacking talent that helped him win 81 Wales caps as he exploited a gap in Munster’s defence to weave his way to the line after Bleyendaal’s opening penalty.
Davies’ converted, but Kleyn’s try and Bleyendaal’s conversion put Munster ahead and Sweetnam ended a sweeping move to ensure a healthy Munster lead at the break.
Fly-half opponents Davies and Bleyendaal exchanged penalties as the weather deteriorated after the break.
But with Ospreys gaining momentum, nine points from Davies’ boot brought them to within two points of levelling.
Bleyendaal’s 77th-minute reply set Ospreys the task of a converted try to win and despite Biggar having entered the fray late on, the hosts could make no further headway.
Ospreys: Dan Evans; Keelan Giles, Cory Allen, James Hook, Jeff Hassler; Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield; Paul James, Sam Parry, Ma’afu Fia, Bradley Davies, Lloyd Ashley, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric (capt), Dan Baker.
Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Rhodri Jones, Adam Beard, Guy Mercer, Matthew Aubrey, Dan Biggar, Kieron Fonotia.
Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Chris Farrell, Jaco Taute, Alex Wootton; Tyler Bleyendaal (capt), Duncan Williams; Liam O’Connor, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Sean O’Connor, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.
Replacements: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, John Ryan, Fineen Wycherley, Robin Copeland, James Hart, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo.
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Dan Jones (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)