MUNSTER bounced back to winning ways in the Guinness Pro12 after scoring an exciting 32-28 bonus point victory over provincial rivals Ulster in a nine-try thriller at Thomond Park on Friday night.
Simon Zebo’s 39th career try for Munster on the 66th minute helped the home side make it 12 consecutive wins in all competitions before an attendance of 7,500.
Munster led 19-18 at half-time, with tries from Andrew Conway, Robin Copeland and Gerhard van den Heever. Ulster responded with three tries of their own through Craig Gilroy, two, and former Munster number eight Nick Williams.
A Denis Hurley try on the hour mark helped Munster build a sizeable six points lead and when Irish winger Zebo touched down soon after, Munster’s lead was 11 points at 32-21.
However, a 68th minute Dan Tuohy try for Ulster ensured the visitors secured a try bonus point of the own as well as ensuring a nervy finish for the home crowd.
After featuring twice off the bench in Munster’s most recent PRO12 outings, Tomas O’Leary made his first start for Anthony Foley’s side since returning to the province during the summer.
SCORERS: Munster: Andrew Conway, Robin Copeland, Gerhard van den Heever, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo try each, Ian Keatley two cons, pen. Ulster: Craig Gilroy two tries, Nick Williams, Dan Tuohy try each, Paddy Jackson drop goal, pen, con.
MUNSTER: Andrew Conway; Simon Zebo, Francis Saili, Denis Hurley, Gerhard van den Heever; Ian Keatley, Tomas O’Leary; James Cronin, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Dave Foley, Mark Chisholm, CJ Stander (Capt), Jack O’Donoghue, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Duncan Casey, John Ryan, Mario Sagario, Donnacha Ryan, Jordan Coghlan, Duncan Williams, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony.
ULSTER: Peter Nelson; Craig Gilroy, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Andrew Trimble; Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall; Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring (Capt), Wiehahn Herbst, Lewis Stevenson, Franco van der Merwe, Roger Wilson, Sean Reidy, Nick Williams. Replacements: John Andrew, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Dan Tuohy, Chris Henry, Paul Rowley, Ian Humphreys, Sam Arnold.
REFEREE: Marius Mitrea (Italy)