Ulster resources tested and found wanting in heavy loss at Munster

Munster celebrate one of their nine tries against Ulster
Munster celebrate one of their nine tries against Ulster


Munster ruthlessly scored nine tries against a hapless Ulster side at Thomond Park last night in the Guinness PRO14..

The Limerick crowd were treated to a great display from the men in red as they romped to a 64-7 win.

Ulster, missing a plethora of key players through injury dipped into the resources and were found wanting.

Losing Iain Henderson and John Cooney in the first half to injury only exacerbated the situation, but it was still a disappointing display from an Ulster side who had been the only unbeaten team in the PRO14 after the first four rounds.

Ulster’s workrate was good at times, but their chances were few and far between and their execution on the whole was poor, never recovering from a disappointing opening quarter when they were simply bullied off the ball by Munster..

Ulster were hit by a runaway red bus in the first 10 minutes and the host Province were 14 points to the good.

An unlucky ricochet followed by poor missed tackles from Ulster led to centre Dan Goggin crossing after just five minutes.

And missed tackles again aided open side loose Tommy O'Donnell as he raced in for a second try four minutes later.

Outhalf Joey Carberry converted both and added a penalty on 14 minutes for a 17-0 lead.

Ulster's opportunities were limited to say the least, and off the two they had in good positions, from one they contrived to lose an attacking lineout close in having kicked a penalty to touch.

Iain Henderson went off for an HIA and was replaced by Kieran Treadwell, that confirmed as permanent soon after and then Ulster's other influential player in a largely young squad, John Cooney, was also taken off temporarily, but Dave Shanahan's replacement was confirmed as permanent by the break.

Another try for Goggin and O'Donnell, one converted by Carberry, had Munster out of sight by the break, leading 29-0 and the try scoring bonus also secured.

Six minutes into the second half Ulster finally opened their account. Captain Alan O'Connor offloaded in contact, which ball from Shanahan put Darren Cave through for the try. Billy Burns converted.

But any thoughts of a potential comeback, something Ulster have a reputation for this season, were ended in the 50th minute when Peter O'Mahony crossed for Munster's fifth try and Carberry's conversion left the deficit 29 points again.

Ulster showed some endeavour, keeping ball in hand, but it eventually broke down and the white shifts could only look on in despair as Carberry raced in for his own half, touched down under the posts and convert his own try for a 43-7 advantage.

The half century was reached when replacement Sam Arnold scored against his former Province, replacement Ian Keatley converted and to add to Ulster's woes, replacement hooker John Andrew was sin-binned for a late tackle on Wooton as he grubber kicked the ball through for Arnold to successfully chase and get the try award confirmed by TMO on 67 minutes.

Keith Earls crossed again three minutes later, Keatley converting as Munster showed no mercy to what had become a hapless Ulster side - a further try disallowed shortly after for an earlier knockon spotted on TMO review.

But the Munster men were not to be denied a ninth try when Alex Wooton crossed and Keatley, who had delivered the long pass to his winger for the score,, made it three from three with an excellent touchline conversion.

The only consolation for Ulster will be that this was not their worse loss to a Munster side.

Munster: Conway; Earls, Goggin, R Scannell, Wooton; Carbery, Mathewson; Kilcoyne, N Scannell, Archer; Beirne, Holland; O'Mahony (capt), O'Donnell, Stander.

Replacements: O'Byrne, Cronin, Parker, Kleyn, Botha, Williams, Keatley, Arnold.

Ulster: Nelson; Gilroy, Cave, Curtis, Kernohan; Burns, Cooney; Warwick, McBurney, Kane; O'Connor (capt), Henderson; Rea, Timoney, Deysel.

Replacements: Andrew, O'Sullivan, O'Toole, Treadwell, Ross, Shanahan, Lowry, Hume.