Ulster were convincing winners on Friday night as they beat Munster 33-17 at Ravenhill, thanks to tries from Stefan Terblanche, John Afoa, Ian Humphries and Ruan Pienaar.
Munster weren’t firing on all cylinders as Luke O’Dea and Johne Murphy scored the away sides tries, with the later scoring a mere consolation try two minutes before full time.
Ulster started the first half brightly and got on the score sheet first with a penalty, kicked by Ian Humphries, but the away team took the lead with the opening try of the game in the 14th minute.
Ian Keatley’s cross field kick found Luke O’Dea in acres of space on the right wing and the winger did really well to stay in touch and put the ball over the line for five points, which Keatley converted.
Ulster re-took the lead just over ten minutes later when Stefan Terablanche’s run down the left wing resulted in a try but it came from an unforced error by Munster’s Denis Hurley, which the home side did well to capitalise on.
Ulster’s offloading game was impressive in the first half and their best move of the game resulted in a try just before half time, when their quick passing stretched Munster until John Afoa found an opening to score his side’s second try of the game.
Munster will be ruing a missed kick by Keatley in a relatively easy position that would have levelled the scores but instead Humphries converted Afoa’s try and the teams went into the break with ten points separating them, with the score standing at 20-10 to the home side.
The second half was all Ulster as Ian Humphries opened the second 40 minutes with a try just five minutes into the second period.
Ulster’s out-half got on the end of an intercepted ball and his pace was too much for Will Chambers as Humphries scored the try but then inexplicably missed the simple conversion.
Ruan Pienaar made it 30-10 to the home side when Ulster’s scrum pushed Munster back and the scrum half showed similar pace to Humphries previous effort as he beat the remaining Munster players and score the bonus try for his team; Humphries couldn’t convert the try from a difficult angle.
The rest of the half was all Ulster as every time Munster won the ball they would gift the home team possession with basic handling errors and poor knock-ons.
Munster managed to make the score-line look slightly more respectable when Johne Murphy took advantage of some dangerous play by the Ulster back line and intercepted the ball to score the last try of the game, which Keatley converted.
Munster were missing a lot of players and it certainly showed as Ulster stretched them with good wing play and decent ball-handling.
Ulster took advantage of the many errors Munster made and ran out deserved winners with a bonus point to show for their efforts.