Ulster edge Munster in thriller

Updated: September 14, 2012

Ulster kept their unbeaten start to the season going and ended Munster’s as they came from behind to beat Munster 20-19 in a thrilling encounter at Ravenhill.

Two penalties and a drop goal from Ian Keatley inside the opening 13 minutes put Munster into an early 9-0 lead.

A brace of penalties from Paddy Jackson on 16 and 36 minutes brought Ulster to within three points of Munster however two minutes before half time Keith Earls, on as a substitute for the injured Luke O’Dea crossed over the line to put Munster 14-6 ahead.

Keatley converted to give Munster an eleven point however Jackson slotted over another penalty on the stroke of half time to make it 16-9 at the break.

Ulster came out all guns blazing in the second half and with 11 minutes of the restart had established a slender one point lead. Jackson slotting over his fourth of the day on 44 minutes before playing the final pass of an exciting move that saw Jared Payne, who missed so much of last season, cross over for the game’s second try.

Munster had flanker Sean Dougall sent to the bin on 56 minutes following an infringement at a maul however despite being down to 14 men they moved into the lead again when the excellent Keatley kicked over his second drop goal of the game following some good Munster pressure.

A thrilling encounter that had plenty of attacking rugby as well as some fiery moments swung the way of Ulster once again when the much improved Paddy Jackson kicked his 15th point of the game.

With the game drawing to a close, Munster piled the pressure on the Ulster backline however they could not create the space needed for a late victory and in the end Stephen Ferris celebrated his 100th cap with a superb victory.

Man of the match: Jared Payne

Ulster: J Payne; A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, M Allen; P Jackson, P Marshall; T Court, N Brady, J Afoa, J Muller (c), L Stevenson, S Ferris, S Doyle, N Williams.

Replacements: R Herring, C Black, D Fitzpatrick, N McComb, M McComish, M Heaney, P Nelson, C Gilroy.

Munster: Denis Hurley; Doug Howlett (capt), Casey Laulala, James Downey, Luke O’Dea; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, Billy Holland; Dave O’Callaghan, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Marcus Horan, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Conor Murray, Ronan O’Gara, Keith Earls.

William Hill Sports

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