Twenty five minutes into the first half Ulster centre Paddy Wallace looked to have got himself on the scoresheet after Ulster moved the ball wide through the backs, but the referee judged crossing in the middle of the park and penalised Ulster.
A scoreless first half looked likely until Connacht back-row Colm Rigney was ordered to the sin-bin after a repeated technical infringement on 31 minutes and in the next move Ulster took full advantage. No. 8 Roger Wilson showed his strength and skill in keeping on his feet as he drove over the try-line assisted by his Ulster back-row colleagues. Humphreys added the conversion to give Ulster a 7 - 0 lead.
Humphreys added a penalty in injury time of the first half, bringing Ulster to double figures as they headed for the dressing room at half-time.
Half-time score: Connacht 0 - 10 Ulster
Ulster would have hoped to have had more points on the board after the first half mindful that they would be playing into the stiff breeze in the second period but Mark McCall's men certainly had the best of the second half.
Stephen Ferris looked to have sent Kevin Maggs in for Ulster's second try after an explosive break but the centre was brought down 5 metres from the line. Connacht were penalised when the influential Mark McHugh was sent to the sin-bin for not rolling away in the tackle and again Ulster made the most of having the extra man advantage when Isaac Boss sniped over the line unopposed on the 57 minute mark, fed by Roger Wilson off the line-out. Humphreys converted the very difficult kick to push Ulster further ahead. Connacht 0 - 17 Ulster.
Connacht received a third yellow card, when Ted Robinson, who may have been fortunate not to have been shown the red, was punished for a very dangerous spear tackle on Ulster out-half David Humphreys. Humphreys left the field on his feet and was replaced by Scott Young, with Andrew Trimble moving to the centre and Paddy Wallace to out-half.
Ulster's third try came courtsey of full-back Bryn Cunningham after a lovely pass from Kevin Maggs, converted by Paddy Wallace. Connacht 0 - 24 Ulster.
Connacht really bounced back late in the second half, breaking through the Ulster defence for Paul Warwick to score under the posts, converted. Connacht 7 - 24 Ulster.
Warwick was instrumental in Connacht's second score which came in injury time, sending Matt Mostyn over the line and adding the conversion, bringing the home side to within 10 points of the visitors. Connacht 14 - 24 Ulster.
With the clock ticking down Ulster were penalised and Paul Warwick's decision to attempt the difficult kick paid off with the home side gaining the losing bonus point.
Final Score: Connacht 17 - 24 Ulster
Ulster play Cardiff at Ravenhill next Saturday, 14th October, kick off 5.30pm
|Connacht Rugby Score Card|
|Ulster Rugby Score Card|