It wasn’t until the 73rd minute that Ulster grabbed a bonus point after full-back Ricky Andrew dived over.
Ulster took command early and, after a disallowed try by winger Chris Cochrane, the home side stole a Zebre line-out which enabled hooker Herring to dive over with eight minutes on the clock. Pienaar added the extras.
Ulster fell into some kindof slumber for 20 minutesand their sloppiness waspunished when Daniel Halangahu banged over a penalty in the 33rd minute.
Ulster finally got over the line again just before half-time when Diack scored after a sweet inside pass from Cave.
Zebre’s resistance finally gave way again on 57 minutes when Cave made the half-break to feed Diack for his second try, again converted by Pienaar.
After the bench was emptied, there was fresh Ulster impetus and full-back Andrew skipped through a gap to score the bonus-point try.
Scorers for Ulster: Tries: Herring,Diack 2, Andrew; Cons: Pienaar 3
Scorers for Zebre:
ULSTER: R Andrew; A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall (Olding, 37), C Cochrane (Walsh, 56); P Jackson (Heaney, 68),R Pienaar; T Court (Black, 68), R Herring (Annett, 65), D Fitzpatrick (Afoa, 40),J Muller, capt, L Stevenson (McComb, 68), I Henderson, C Henry (McComish, 50), R Diack.
ZEBRE: P Buso; L Sarto, A Benettin (Chiesa, 71), G Garcia, S Sinoti (Odiete, 46); D Halangahu (Pratichetti, 38), A Chillon; A de Marchi (Aguero, 47), A Manici (Festuccia, 48), L Redolfini (Fazzari, 48), M van Vuren, M Bortolami, capt (Belardo, 54), F Cristiano (van Schwalkwyk, 46), M Bergamasco, J Sole.
Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU).
Out-half Parks puts boot into Ospreys’ ambition
By Linley MacKenzie
Connacht 22 Ospreys 10
Connacht dented the champions’ title ambitions in Galway last evening and secured a valuable Rabo-Direct Pro12 victory.
Out-half Dan Parks had kicked Connacht into the lead before lively Ospreys scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i took a quick tap penalty to dive over for a 10th-minute try, converted by out-half Matthew Morgan.
The home side regained the initiative and Danie Poolman made a valuable break. The returning John Muldoon was held up on the line but Michael Swift set up quick ruck ball for openside Willie Faloon to dive over. Parks added the extras. Although Parks missed a subsequent penalty from just inside halfway, he made no mistake soon after as the pack once again had the Ospreys backpedaling.
Crucially, Parks also grabbed the first score after the restart as Morgel Ellen was penalised.
Although the Ospreys edged themselves into bonus territory the boot of Parks saw Connacht home.
Scorers for Connacht: Try: Faloon. Con: Parks. Pens: Parks 5.
Scorers for Ospreys: Try: Fotuali’i. Con: Morgan. Pen: Morgan.
CONNACHT: Henshaw, O’Halloran, EGriffin, Tonetti, Poolman, Parks, Marmion, Wilkinson, Harris-Wright, White, Swift, Kearney, Muldoon, Faloon, McKeon.
Replacements: Duffy for O’Halloran (15), O’Donohoe for Marmion (70), Ah You for Wilkinson (62), Loughney for White (41), Browne for Kearney (54), O’Connor for McKeon (66).
OSPREYS: Fussell, Haberfield, Isaacs, Spratt, John, Morgan, Fotuali’i, D Jones, Baldwin, Griffiths, A Jones, King, Bearman, Lewis, Allen, R Jones.
Replacements: R Jones for John (10), M Thomas for D Jones (75), Arhip for Griffiths (59), J Thomas for A Jones (66), Peers for Lewis (51), Webb for R Jones (66).
Referee: Giuseppe Vivarini (Italy).
Rabo Pro12: Edinburgh 16 Cardiff 17; Newport Gwent Dragons 3 Glasgow Warriors 60