Brilliant Ulster demolish Connacht

Ulster 36 Connacht 10

Four well-executed tries and a bonus point were on the board as Ulster dissected Connacht with ease to cruise into a 29-3 interval advantage.

Ulster found it hard to get motivated in the second half with Connacht increasing their work-rate, but they were well out-gunned in the end.

Ulster never allowed Connacht out of their half and on eight minutes Matt McCullough was on hand to scramble over for the opening try, added to by Humphreys’s touchline conversion.

Paul Warwick banged over a penalty two minutes later, but Ulster stretched their lead in the 16th minute when they lost their lineout but hooker Best dived on the loose ball to score.

Humphreys missed that conversion but on the 26th minute he set up Ulster’s third try and added the conversion put Ulster 19-3 ahead.

For the first time in his career Humphreys was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on which brought screeches of derision from the crowd.

Humphreys was quickly followed to the bin by John Fogarty who came in from the wrong side at a ruck to prevent what looked like a certain opportunity for an Ulster bonus try.

The fourth try came when Ulster penetrated the blindside for Topping to put the impressive Trimble over with Cunningham converting.

Despite the wind gusting in Connacht’s favour in the second half, it was business as usual for Ulster who peppered their opponent’s line.

It took a long time for the fifth try to come as game degenerated somewhat. But a break-out by replacement hooker Paul Shields and a quick recycled ball saw Tommy Bowe sprint home and Paddy Wallace to convert.

Connacht showed some fight and an intercept from Keith Matthews took him to the line with Robinson converting for the game’s final score.

ULSTER: Cunningham, Bowe, Maggs, Trimble, Topping, Humphreys, Campbell, J. Fitzpatrick, R. Best, S. Best, Harrison, McCullough, N. Best, McMillan, Wilson. Replacements: Shields, B. Young, Frost, Feather, Boss, Wallace, Howe.

CONNACHT: Mostyn, Matthews, Yapp, Downey, McPhillips, Warwick, Keane, Hogan, Fogerty, Knoop, Short, Farley, Muldoon, Lacey, Rigney. Replacements: Merrigan, McFarland, Swift, O’Connor, O’Loughlin, Hearty, Robinson.

Referee: Alan Rowlands (Ireland)

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