Gavin Coombes scores hat-trick as Munster thrash Ospreys
Munster showed no mercy as Gavin Coombes’ hat-trick of tries inspired a thumping 58-3 win over an off-colour Ospreys in their United Rugby Championship clash at Thomond Park.
The hosts dominated a first half which saw each team have a player sin-binned, with Coombes, Malakai Fekitoa, Antoine Frisch and Joey Carbery all scoring tries to put Munster 27-3 up.
Stephen Myler’s third-minute penalty proved to be Ospreys’ only score, as they were held tryless for the first time this season.
Paddy Patterson, Coombes (2), Simon Zebo and Shane Daly completed a nine-try annihilation, while Carbery kicked a penalty and five conversions to finish with 18 points.
Huw Sutton’s interception and charging run had quickly sparked Ospreys into life. Shane Daly saw yellow for a cynical infringement and allowed Myler to open the scoring.
A Morgan Morris turnover kept Munster scoreless until Carbery kicked them level in the 12th minute.
Ospreys then fell 10-3 behind, lock Bradley Davies catching Roman Salanoa with a high tackle for a yellow card before Jean Kleyn’s inside pass put Coombes galloping over for a converted score.
That was followed by Fekitoa’s first try in Munster colours as he finished off some fine work from centre partner Frisch.
The pair combined again in the 29th minute, Fekitoa’s return pass – out of a double tackle – putting Frisch over to widen the margin to 17 points.
Despite losing skipper Jack O’Donoghue to injury, Munster continued to dominate and a dummying Carbery darted over in the 36th minute.
John Hodnett poached possession from Iestyn Hopkins to prevent Ospreys from responding.
Barely 40 seconds into the second half, Hodnett bounced off a tackle and fed Patterson to run in his fourth try in five games.
Apart from getting some joy at scrum time, Ospreys continued to struggle. Number eight Coombes swatted away a tackle to double his tally from close range.
Zebo got in on the act in the 62nd minute, fending off Morris after Daly’s inside pass. The latter cruised in behind the posts just six minutes later, having linked with replacement Diarmuid Barron.
Coombes spun around through contact for his third of the night, with Ospreys’ lacklustre performance doing little to distract from talk of a potential player strike in Wales.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.