Home team Away Team

Munster

  • Williams, Dougall,
    Penalty goals: Keatley,
    Conversions: Keatley (2),
17 - 19

Ulster

  • Heaney,
    Penalty goals: McKinney (4),
    Conversions: McKinney,
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 10th May 2014
  • KO 18:30
  • Att: 16,436

RaboDirect PRO12: Ulster head into play-offs on high with win at Munster

Last updated: 10th May 2014  

Ian Keatley Steffon Armitage Toulon Munster Heineken Cup

Ian Keatley: converted both Munster's tries

Rugby union James McKinney Ulster

James McKinney (left): Ulster fly-half kicked 14 points

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Rob Penney's final home game at Thomond Park ended in defeat as Munster fell to a 19-17 defeat against a fired-up second string Ulster side.

The departing head coach watched his charges lose this tight inter-provincial affair, although a victory would not have mattered anyway given that Glasgow sealed second place by demolishing Zebre in a bonus-point win.

An Ian Keatley penalty and Duncan Williams' converted try put Munster in the ascendancy, before Ulster's Michael Heaney crossed with James McKinney's conversion and penalty levelling matters at 10-10 at the interval.

Sean Dougall's seven-pointer moved the hosts back in front, but nine more points from McKinney's reliable boot proved decisive as Ulster recorded their first season's double over Munster since 2009.

Munster are away to in-form Glasgow in next week's play-offs and they will have to raise their game significantly from this showing.

Ulster, who finished the regular RaboDirect PRO12 season in fourth, will have renewed hope for their own semi-final trip to winners Leinster.

Changes

With both sides having already secured their play-off spots, there were wholesale changes for this round 22 date.

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe made 12 changes to the team that narrowly lost to Leinster, while Penney brought in 10 new faces to the side that thumped Edinburgh 55-12.

Despite a sloppy opening, the hosts took the lead in the 11th minute when Keatley successfully kicked a penalty after an infringement.

And soon after, the game's first try arrived from a superb interchange of passing between James Downey and James Coughlan which sent scrum half Williams over in the corner.

Although Keatley brilliantly converted from the touchline to put Munster 10-0 up, Ulster hit back as the home defence were caught napping following a turnover and Heaney crossed to reduce the deficit.

The try was given following consultation over the receiving pass from Michael Allen and McKinney added the extras to make it 10-7.

On 36 minutes, Ulster tied a scrappy and error-ridden match when McKinney landed a penalty from just inside the Munster half.

Pounced

McKinney then kicked the visitors ahead after the restart with another penalty, but Munster responded immediately with seven points.

Dougall pounced on Keatley's grubber kick through and the latter nailed his third consecutive kick to regain the lead at 17-13.

However, McKinney grabbed his fourth and fifth successive kicks to put the Ulstermen 19-17 in front with 15 minutes to go.

Despite an increased effort, Munster were unable to claw victory from defeat as replacement JJ Hanrahan missed a last minute drop goal and injury-time penalty attempt from halfway.

Having lost to Glasgow recently, it was Munster's first time to taste back-to-back league defeats at Thomond Park since April 2010.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - December 21 2014
Pos Team P Pts
11 Zebre 10 9
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 26th December
Guinness PRO12
14:05Cardiff Blues vs Dragons
17:00Munster vs Leinster
18:45Ulster vs Connacht
Saturday 27th December
14:40Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh
17:15Ospreys vs Scarlets
Sunday 28th December
14:00Zebre vs Treviso
Thursday 1st January
14:05Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues
17:00Connacht vs Munster
Friday 2nd January
19:35Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Treviso vs Zebre
14:40Leinster vs Ulster
17:05Scarlets vs Ospreys
Friday 9th January
19:35Connacht vs Edinburgh
19:35Glasgow vs Scarlets
Saturday 10th January
14:40Cardiff Blues vs Leinster
15:00Zebre vs Munster
Sunday 11th January
14:00Treviso vs Ulster
16:00Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Wednesday 14th January
TBCLeinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
TBCScarlets vs Connacht
TBCEdinburgh vs Ospreys
TBCUlster vs Benetton Treviso
TBCZebre vs Glasgow
TBCMunster vs Cardiff Blues
Saturday 21st February
TBCBenetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com