Scannell's drop of magic steers Munster to gritty Ulster win

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Scannell's drop of magic steers Munster to gritty Ulster win

A LATE drop goal from Rory Scannell secured Munster a dramatic comeback 15-14 win over Ulster at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night.

The gritty victory lifts Munster back up to second place in the Pro12 table ahead of Saturday’s remaining round five fixtures.

Munster are now unbeaten at the Kingspan Stadium for the past three years – the first time they have done that since the Second World War – but they had to do it the hard way in Belfast.

First-half tries from Charles Piutau – his first for the club – and Rob Lyttle opened up a 14-0 lead for the hosts who came into the game sitting top of the Guinness PRO12 standings.

But Rory Scannell went over for Munster – who dominated huge swathes of this clash – in first-half stoppage time to trim the gap.

Jaco Taute then crossed in the second half for the visitors but it looked like Ian Keatley’s misfiring boot would cost the away side.

The fly-half – Munster’s hero with a late penalty in this same fixture in January – missed three kicks at a goal and a drop goal and Ulster were clinging on to a 14-12 win as time ticked down.

But up stepped man of the match Scannell to slot a fine drop goal with five minutes remaining and although Jackson came oh so  close with a drop goal attempt of his own in the last two minutes, it drifted wide and Munster held on.