Ospreys: George Stowers free to face Munster
GEORGE Stowers has escaped a ban over the swinging-arm incident that denied the Scarlets a try in last week’s West Wales derby in Llanelli.
The Ospreys man faced a disciplinary hearing after the episode which saw him connect with Andy Fenby’s face as the wing unsuccessfully tried to ground the ball over the line during the visitors’ 23-16 win.
But the independent RaboDirect Pro12 panel chaired by Ireland’s David Hurley accepted the Samoan’s explanation that he was attempting to dislodge the ball from Fenby’s grasp.
It means Stowers will be available for selection for the Ospreys in their clash with Munster at the Liberty on Saturday evening.
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The Irish province folded 45-10 in last season’s Pro12 play-off semi-final in Swansea, their heaviest league defeat since they shipped 60 points against the Blues in 2003-04.
Their embarrassment after losing so heavily in a high-profile knockout game would have been acute, and the Ospreys expect them to be on a score-settling mission this weekend.
Asked did he believe they would be looking for revenge, Ospreys assistant coach Gruff Rees said: “They have to be.
“When you look at that game, it was nip and tuck right up to half time, when we scored a breakaway which seemed to derail them; then we came out strongly in the second half.
“We expect a hard game.
“They have a new coach, they’ve recruited well and their early-season results have been good. I think they are going to be as consistent as ever in the league and Europe this season.”