Damian de Allende was prominent as Munster leapfrogged Ulster with a 24-17 win in Belfast into third place in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship on Friday night.
First-half tries from Stephen Archer and Keith Earls, along with a conversion and four penalties by Joey Carbery over the course of the match, saw Munster to a valuable victory.
Ulster trailed 15-3 at the break and, despite battling back in the second half with tries from Rob Herring and Sean Reidy, slipped from second to fourth on the table thanks to a third straight URC defeat.
Jean Kleyn and Jason Jenkins carried hard into the heart of the Ulster defence, before Munster moved the ball at pace from left to right, with De Allende and Carbery combining for former Ulster centre Chris Farrell to provide the assist for Earls to touch down. Carbery missed the conversion.
Though Ulster battled to get back into the game, with Robert Baloucoune looking dangerous and John Cooney making some determined runs, they made no inroads on the scoreboard as the opening half ended with Munster maintaining momentum and staying 12 points in front.
Ulster were given hope on 47 minutes when a terrific take by Stuart McCloskey launched an attack which led to a penalty and, in turn, had Herring crossing the whitewash from the resulting maul. Cooney also converted to cut Munster’s lead to 18-10.
Carbery kicked his third penalty just short of the hour but, with barely five minutes left on the clock, Reidy scored close in for Ulster after Shane Daly’s yellow card, and Nathan Doak’s conversion cut Munster’s lead to four. However, with a minute to go, Carbery landed his fourth penalty to secure the contest.
Great hands in the build-up to @KeithEarls87’s 61st Munster try tonight.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) April 22, 2022