Planet Rugby

Ulster scrape past Munster

14th September 2012 21:12

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Jared Payne ulster

First try for Ulster: Jared Payne

Ulster overturned a half-time deficit to edge Munster 20-19 in a nail-biting PRO12 clash at Ravenhill on Friday.

15 points from the boot of youngster Paddy Jackson helped Ulster to the narrowest of victories over their fierce Irish rivals.

The visitors raced into an early lead through two penalties and a drop-goal from fly-half Ian Keatley but his opposite number, Jackson, clawed Ulster back into contention as the half wore on with two penalties of his own.

Mistakes from both sides meant clear-cut try-scoring opportunities were at a premium but Munster finally made the breakthrough a couple of minutes before the interval as Keith Earls latched onto an inside pass from Denis Hurley to score.

Keatley slotted over the conversion with ease and, although Jackson did add another three points to the home side's tally with the last kick of the first half, Munster led 16-9 at the break.

Ulster emerged for the second half reinvigorated though and it only took them around 10 minutes to wipe out Munster's advantage and take the lead themselves.

Another Jackson penalty was followed by full-back Jared Payne's first competitive try for the club.

Good work from the Ulster forwards on the left-hand side allowed the backs to spin it wide right and Jackson provided the killer pass for Payne to score.

There was very little to choose between the sides for the remainder of the half as a second drop-goal from Keatley was cancelled out by Jackson's fifth penalty of the night to leave the hosts with a slender one-point lead going into the last 10 minutes.

Munster pushed hard for the win late on, even bringing on last-minute drop-goal specialist Ronan O'Gara, but Ulster held on to emerge victorious and take the bragging rights from this tight all-Irish affair.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Try: Payne
Pens: Jackson 5

For Munster:
Try:Earls
Con: Keatley
Pens: Keatley 2
Drops: Keatley 2

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Michael Allen, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Sean Doyle, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 John Afoa, 2 Nigel Brady, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Peter Nelson, 23 Craig Gilroy.

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Doug Howlett (capt), 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Luke O'Dea, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Tommy O'Donnell, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Ronan O'Gara, 23 Keith Earls.

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