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Ulster happy with home win while Munster settle for single point

(Pictured, Alby Mathewson had a great game at scrum-half)
Guinness PRO 14:
Ulster 19, Munster 12
HEAD coach Johann van Graan is a ‘glass half full’ man and likes to look at losing bonus defeats as a loss of three points and a gain of one. No doubt he will again consider tonight’s performance in Kingspan Park with a positive attitude.
The visitors deserved their point with the last strike of the game from Bill Johnston. They had shown great defensive qualities and while they failed to cross the Ulster line, they were always competitive, disciplined and willing to be patient under pressure. It was their last attack, after replacement scrum-half Shanahan had scored a try for Ulster, that reaped that late penalty and the Garryowen out-half slotted over.
Up to that point it looked as if Munster would leave empty-handed. The introduction of Rory Best gave Ulster the edge up front and the home supporters will have been pleased with the win as their side continues a revival that looked unlikely earlier in the season.
They lost left wing Baloucoune to the sin-bin from the kick-off when he tackled Sweetnam in the air. A red card could well have been the outcome. JJ Hanrahan kicked a penalty on 11 minutes as Munster went into the lead for the only time in the game. A try by Rob Herring converted by Billy Burns saw the home side take a 7-3 lead at the break. A second JJ Hanrahan penalty kept Munster within a point on 51 minutes but a flowing move through the hands by Ulster finished with Baloucoune running in under the posts and Burns converting with ease to push his side 14-6 ahead. Bill Johnston kicked a penalty on 63 minutes to make it 14-9 but Ulster had their eye on a try bonus win, shunning easy kicks for lineout mauls. They were rewarded on 76 minutes when replacement scrum-half Shanahan scampered over near the right hand corner to push the lead to 19-9 before Johnston saved the bonus point with that late pressure kick.
Munster: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Jaco Taute (C), Alex Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson; Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Darren O’Shea; Fineen Wycherley, Conor Oliver, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, Ciaran Parker, Gavin Coombes, Tommy O’Donnell, Neil Cronin, Bill Johnston, Shane Daly.
Ulster: : L Ludik; H Speight, W Addison, S McCloskey, R Baloucoune; B Burns, J Cooney; E O’Sullivan, R Herring (captain), M Moore, I Nagle, K Treadwell, S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee;
Replacements (16-23): R Best, K McCall, R Kane, C Ross, N Timoney, D Shanahan, J McPhillips, J Hume.

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