Ulster got their season off to a winning start on Friday as they overcame Glasgow Warriors 18-10 in a hard-fought encounter at Ravenhill.
Ulster got their PRO12 season off to a winning start on Friday as they overcame Glasgow Warriors 18-10.
This victory for the home side was a repeat of last season's opening day fixture, with a Niall O'Connor penalty easing the Ravenhill crowd's nerves in the final minute.
The visitors had started on the front foot early on, but solid tackling by the home side gave nothing away.
It was down to replacement fly-half O'Connor, who replaced the injured Paddy Jackson to open the scoring with a neatly taken penalty goal with his first touch of the ball, before Duncan Weir replied halfway through the first period.
Ulster started turning the screw with a fine offloading game, and after O'Connor had wasted two further penalty kicks, the visitors not only found themselves a man down after Tommy Seymour was yellow carded, but conceded the first try of the game as Michael Allen touched down on the left.
Further wayward kicking from O'Connor with the conversion attempt saw a five point half-time lead for Ulster, after Weir had missed with a drop-goal attempt as the final seconds of the half ticked down.
The Ravenhill side started the second period as they finished the first, and Craig Gilroy scored a fine interception try, racing from his own half to put down for a simple O'Connor conversion.
Seymour, on his return to Ravenhill, made amends for his first half indiscretion with a fine try, jinking past Allen to bring Glasgow back into the game. Ruaridh Jackson converted, forn Ulster lead of 15-10 with just over ten minuites still to play.
A nervous final period ended when O'Connor put the game out of Glasgow's reach in the last minute with a penalty goal 20 metres out.
Tries: Allen, Gilroy
Pen: O'Connor 2
Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Michael Allen, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Michael Heaney, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Sean Doyle, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Tom Court, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Niall O'Connor, 23 Darren Cave.
Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (capt), 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Finlay Gillies, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Moray Low, 18 Ryan Grant, 19 James Eddie, 20 John Barclay, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Peter Horne.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Dudley Phillips (Ireland), Brian Macneice (Ireland)
Television match official: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assessor: Jack Young (Ireland)