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Ulster

  • Cave, Payne,
    Penalty goals: Pienaar (5),
    Conversions: Pienaar (2),
29 - 19

Munster

  • Coughlan, Kilcoyne, Dineen,
    Conversions: Keatley (2),

RaboDirect PRO12: Ulster beat Munster in top of the table showdown

Last updated: 3rd January 2014  

Ulster Leinster Darren Cave

Darren Cave: crossed for one of Ulster's two tries

ruan pienaar ulster

Ruan Pienaar: kicked 19 points for Ulster

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Ulster closed the gap on Munster at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 standings to six points after beating the pace-setting visitors 29-19 at Ravenhill.

Ruan Pienaar kicked five penalties and converted the first-half tries from Jared Payne and Darren Cave to claim a 19-point haul.

Despite Ulster leading 20-0 just before half-time, Munster battled back with tries from Ivan Dineen, Dave Kilcloyne and James Coughlan to close at one stage to 23-19 in what was an absorbing contest.

But Ulster held their nerve and Pienaar kicked his final penalty in the last minute as Paul O'Connell was sin-binned, allowing the home side to recover from their defeat to Leinster last time out.

Pienaar, taking over the kicking duties from Paddy Jackson, got Ulster under way after three minutes with a penalty and then there was a lengthy hold-up as referee Alain Rolland consulted with the television match official (TMO) over Felix Jones' dragging down of Craig Gilroy with a a possible try chance on offer.

Ulster put the ball in the corner from the penalty, and from the lineout Jackson's chip resulted in Jared Payne scoring to the right of the posts.

Munster's Ian Keatley was then wide with a seventh-minute penalty and Pienaar landed a monster penalty from just inside his own half to take Ulster to 13-0.

Keatley then missed a second penalty after 20 minutes which led to a period of Ulster domination, but Luke Marshall was hauled down near the line after Andrew Trimble's great break and then John Afoa's foot hit touch as he dived over on the right.

Ulster then scored a sensational try off a Munster turnover with Payne burning Paul O'Connell and setting Trimble free before Cave came in at an angle to score in the same corner where Afoa had been denied a few minutes earlier.

Hit back

Pienaar's marvellous conversion made it 20-0 to Ulster, but the visitors immediately hit back and in the last play of the first half Dineen touched down.

Keatley again missed as he attempted to convert, with the ball bouncing off the post to narrow Ulster's lead to 20-5 at the turnaround.

Munster still had the bit between their teeth and after Keatley hit the post again in the second half with an early penalty shot, prop Kilcoyne was driven over from a lineout maul, with Keatley managing to kick his first points after four misses.

Pienaar was then well short with a 56th-minute penalty but made no mistake with a straightforward chance on the hour mark, a vital score to settle Ulster after conceding 12 points without reply.

But Munster again struck back after Rolland penalised Ulster - seemingly harshly - in the tackle zone. And another driving maul from a lineout take from Peter O'Mahony saw the red shirts rumble over, with Coughlan getting the 65th-minute touchdown.

Keatley again converted and Munster were just four points behind, but with 10 minutes remaining Pienaar slotted his fourth penalty to again nudge Ulster further in front.

Munster came again and were held up at the line before Ulster turned them over in a five-metre scrum courtesy of Afoa.

And then in the final minute, O'Connell was sin-binned by Rolland for back-chat after being pinged at the breakdown, and Pienaar did the necessary with the penalty.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - September 21 2014
Pos Team P Pts
11 Zebre 3 0
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 26th September
Guinness PRO12
19:35Leinster vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Glasgow vs Connacht
19:35Edinburgh vs Scarlets
Saturday 27th September
15:00Zebre vs Ulster
18:30Munster vs Ospreys
Sunday 28th September
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 3rd October
19:35Ulster vs Edinburgh
19:35Zebre vs Ospreys
19:35Connacht vs Cardiff Blues
Saturday 4th October
18:30Leinster vs Munster
Sunday 5th October
15:00Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow
16:00Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 10th October
19:35Munster vs Scarlets
Saturday 11th October
TBCBenetton Treviso vs Connacht
14:40Edinburgh vs Newport Gwent D'gons
16:00Zebre vs Leinster
17:05Ulster vs Glasgow
Sunday 12th October
16:00Ospreys vs Cardiff Blues
Friday 31st October
19:35Ospreys vs Connacht
19:35Leinster vs Edinburgh
19:35Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso
Saturday 1st November
TBCScarlets vs Zebre
TBCUlster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Cardiff Blues vs Munster
Friday 21st November
19:35Ulster vs Ospreys

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