Ulster’s five try 35-3 bonus point win over Connacht on Friday night meant Dan McFarland’s side have gone through the whole of 2019 undefeated at Kingspan Stadium.
The five-pointer closed the gap on Leinster at the top of Conference A, although Leo Cullen’s side made it nine wins out of nine as they edged out Munster at Thomond Park.
Ulster’s dominance at home stretches back to October 2018 when Connacht were the last side to storm the Belfast fortress.
A repeat of that victory never looked likely as Ulster were clinical for the most part in the attacking zone and resolute in defence.
Man of the Match Sean Reidy, who made 24 tackles and gave the pass for Billy Burns to score, wants the unbeaten home run to continue.
“You want teams coming here having it in the back of their minds that this is a tough place to win at,” said Reidy.
“So it’s good to hold to that, Connacht beat us a year ago so it was good to right the wrong there.”
The turning point of the game came minutes before half time.
Ulster were leading 14-3, Connacht had over 30 phases of possession close to the home side’s try line, but they failed to come away with any points.
Reidy feels that shows the new resilience that has been installed in the team.
“It’s tough going but when you see guys getting off the ground and working hard for each other you know that you don’t want to let your mate down,” he said.
“That’s something we’ve really built on here in the last year or two.
“Guys working hard for each other so it’s not easy but when you see guys getting up and making two-man hits and driving players back and no-one lying on the ground and taking the easy way out it’s a bit inspiring.
“Without a doubt, we’ve got a really good buzz here with guys geeing each other up.
“That’s what we base our energy and spark around the pitch on.
“Whenever anyone does something right or wrong we’re all in helping each other out.”
Ulster put their long unbeaten home record on the line against Munster on Friday night.
Despite their 13-6 home defeat by Leinster, Munster stay top of Conference B and like Ulster they have won six and lost three of their Pro14 games this season.
Johann Van Graan, rested a host of Ireland internationals including Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander. Conor Murray and Chris Farrell for the game against Leinste.
Reidy is expecting them all to return for the Kingspan clash as Ulster look to avenge their defeat earlier in the season in Limerick.
“I felt that when we went down to Thomond Park they got away with a win there,” he said. “But I think coming up here they’ll be fully loaded and the boys will be ready for this one.”
South African No8 Marcell Coetzee is unlikely to play after a clash of heads with Connacht prop Paddy McAllister forced him to leave the field after 23 minutes.
Louie Ludik is also likely to miss the game after he was withdrawn against Connacht on 27 minutes with an ankle injury which coach Dan McFarland described as “it doesn’t look great”.