Rory Scannell's late drop goal enough to see Munster past Ulster
Munster trailed for just over an hour before they grabbed the winning lead21:24 Friday 28 October 2016, 21:24 28 Oct 2016
Rory Scannell bagged a late drop-goal to secure Munster an unlikely victory over provincial rivals Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium this evening.
Paddy Jackson spurned a late opportunity to snatch victory for Ulster as they went behind for the first time in the game in the last 10 minutes, but he could not repeat Scannell's heroics.
Ulster went in at the break nine points to the good after wonderfully taken tries from Charles Piutau and substitute Rob Lyttle.
Piutau benefited from a fumble following Jackson's crossfield kick and was able to cross easily for the home team.
Les Kiss' side defended resolutely and continued to frustrate Munster. The visitors' fortunes weren't helped by the wayward kicking of Ian Keatley.
First, the Munster kicker had an effort from a drop goal go wide of the posts and then he had a chance to chip away at Ulster's 7-0 lead but pulled his penalty wide.
The frustration was compounded when Ulster crossed for a second time. Rob Lyttle checked his run and cut back through the Munster defence, crossing with ease to make it 14-0.
Munster grabbed a lifeline before the break thanks to Rory Scannell who snuck into the corner, but again the conversion was missed.
In the second half, the game opened up a little bit more and Munster began to take more chances and press the Ulster offence causing the home side into misplaced passes and forcing them to kick for touch.
These efforts were for the most part fruitless, but they continued until they found the breakthrough late on.
First, Jaco Taute was on hand to cross for the visitors on 64 minutes and this time Scannell made no mistake with the conversion to make it a two-point game.
Jackson had the chance to extend Ulster's lead just after this but his penalty was missed, keeping intact a lead that Munster felt they could overturn.
They made the killer move after Scannell dropped back into a pocket of space and kicked from distance to notch a late drop-goal which ultimately proved the winner.
Jackson's drop-goal effort in the last three minutes was pulled wide and Tommy Bowe's effort to drive for the corner came up short late on.
The result is huge for Munster who make that back-to-back wins in all competitions.
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