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RaboDirect PRO12: Tommy Bowe stars as Ulster crush Dragons
Ulster went back to the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table with a 31-5 bonus-point win over Dragons.
Ireland winger Tommy Bowe marked his return to the starting line-up with the opening try and Ulster then added to that with scores from the impressive Stuart Olding, Darren Cave and Paul Marshall.
Ruan Pienaar - who started at outside half - kicked all the conversions and added a penalty for a perfect night from the tee.
Ulster led 24-0 at half-time and had greatly benefited from the first half sin-binning of Dan Evans to score 17 of those points.
The hosts' pressure finally told six minutes before the half hour when Ulster attacked off a scrum and Nick Williams put Paul Marshall clear and the scrum half drew the defence and put Bowe in at the right corner, with Pienaar converting.
Five minutes later and with Evans sent to the bin by Leighton Hodges for back chat, Pienaar's penalty made it 10-0.
Ulster then further punished the 14-man Dragons and after Craig Gilroy's wonderful break had established the home side deep inside the Dragons' 22, an angled run by Bowe saw the ball snapped up by Olding who smashed over.
Pienaar again added a terrific conversion and Ulster were now 17-0 to the good and then almost immediately scored again after Prydie sliced a clearance over his own line while under pressure allowing the home side to gather possession and put Cave clear on the right.
Four minutes after the restart the busy Marshall sniped over from close range down the narrow side from a ruck to bag the bonus try which Pienaar again converted.
With both benches being emptied and breaking up the game there were no further scores until the 69th minute when Prydie scored after Toby Faletau's tremendous break out as the Dragons started to run the ball from deep.
It proved to be the last score of the game though Ulster came close on a number of occasions and really should have come away with a couple more tries though the maximum points proved sufficient reward for their efforts.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 27th February|
|19:35||Ospreys vs Leinster|
|19:35||Ulster vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 28th February|
|19:15||Munster vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Sunday 1st March|
|12:45||Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh|
|17:00||Zebre vs Dragons|
|17:15||Connacht vs Treviso|
|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||Benetton 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|
|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|
|Sunday 11th January|
|Ospreys 22 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Benetton Treviso 20 - 24 Ulster|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Zebre 7 - 31 Munster|
|Cardiff Blues 13 - 22 Leinster|
|Friday 9th January|
|Connacht 13 - 16 Edinburgh|
|Glasgow 22 - 7 Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com