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Ulster see off Warriors
O'Connor struggles with the boot but Irish side hold on
New Ulster coach Mark Anscombe made a winning start as tries from wingers Michael Allen and Craig Gilroy brought Ulster an opening RaboDirect Pro12 League victory over Glasgow.
Ulster were always the hungrier side and big performances from Nick Williams and John Afoa along with youngsters Allen and Luke Marshall helped bag them the four points, though their winning margin would have been greater had Niall O'Connor been more accurate from the tee.
After an opening 10 minutes in which neither side made much impression, Ulster opened their account with an O'Connor penalty with the former Connacht player's first touch after he replaced the injured Paddy Jackson.
The Warriors, though, evened matters up 10 minutes later with a Duncan Weir penalty after Nick Williams was penalised at the breakdown. Ulster then came close when Williams lost the ball over the line before O'Connor hit an upright with a 27th-minute penalty.
The fly-half then missed again with a similar chance on the half-hour but Ulster again responded through their pack and one driving maul for the Warriors' line resulted in Glasgow winger - and former Ulster player - Tommy Seymour being sin-binned for dragging the maul down.
The net result was a series of scrums near Glasgow's line and ultimately Williams drove off the base, linked with Stevenson and Jared Payne's loopy skip pass put Allen in at Seymour's corner for a score which O'Connor could not convert.
The half ended with Weir attempting a drop goal which sailed left of the posts and Ulster went in leading 8-3.
They started the second half in perfect fashion when Craig Gilroy intercepted Weir's pass and ran all the way in under the posts from just outside his own 22, with O'Connor this time making no mistake with the extras to put Ulster 15-3 to the good.
The game then became disjointed as the benches were emptied and then just after the hour, Glasgow replacement Ruaridh Jackson's 63rd-minute penalty hit an upright and Tom Court - who had just arrived to make his 100th Ulster appearance - dived on the ball as Ulster cleared the danger.
But then, on a rare attack, Jackson worked Seymour clear and the winger rounded two defenders to score before Jackson then added the conversion to narrow Ulster's lead to 15-10.
Ulster were then unable to build on their lead when O'Connor was again wide with a 72nd-minute penalty attempt but did hit one in the last minute.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 6th March|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|19:35||Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:40||Ospreys vs Munster|
|17:15||Scarlets vs Leinster|
|18:00||Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Dragons vs Ulster|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|19:35||Ulster vs Leinster|
|Saturday 25th April|
|TBC||Munster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Connacht vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 9th May|
|TBC||Ulster vs Munster|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Connacht 53 - 5 Treviso|
|Zebre 23 - 17 Dragons|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 15 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Munster 22 - 10 Glasgow Warriors|
|Friday 27th February|
|Ospreys 9 - 9 Leinster|
|Ulster 25 - 20 Scarlets|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com