MUNSTER made it seven wins on the trot in all competitions after securing a nail-biting 21-20 victory over Irish rivals Ulster in their Guinness PRO12 clash at Thomond Park this Friday night.
Anthony Foley’s charges looked to have taken a firm grip on the game when recovering from an early 12-0 deficit to lead 21-12 inside the final quarter. Munster responded well to the concession of four penalty goals from Ian Humphreys to lead by nine points on the hour mark. A try from flanker and Man of the Match Robin Copeland and an Ian Keatley penalty goal helped reduce the visitors lead to four points, 8-12 at half-time. When scrum-half Duncan Williams scooted over fro a 43rd minute try and Keatley added eight points with the boot, Munster look to have assumed control.
However, a fifth Humphreys penalty and 79th minute try from number eight Nick Williams, while Munster had replacement prop Stephen Archer in the sin-bin gave Humphreys the chance to win the game. However, the out-half was off target with the kick as the Munster supporters in an attendance of 17,101 breathed a sigh of relief.
SCORERS: Munster: Robin Copeland, Duncan Williams try each, three pens, one con. Ulster: Nick Williams try, Ian Humphreys five pens.
MUNSTER: JJ Hanrahan; Gerhard van den Heever, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan (capt), Billy Holland, Robin Copeland, Paddy Butler, CJ Stander. Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Tommy O’Donnell, Sean Dougall, Neil Cronin, Andrew Smith, Felix Jones.
ULSTER: Stuart Olding; Louis Ludik, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey Craig Gilroy; Ian Humphreys, Paul Marshall; Callum Black, Rory Best (capt), Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O’Connor, Franco van der Merwe, Roger Wilson, Sean Reidy, Nick Williams. Replacements: Rob Herring, Andrew Warwick, Declan Fitzpatrick, Lewis Stevenson, Robbie Diack, Michael Heaney, Michael Allen, Peter Nelson.
REFEREE: Ian Davies (Wales)