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Ulster win to go top

The home side swept aside Michael Bradley’s outfit, leaving the western Irish province firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.

Ulster began the opening 40 minutes with serious intent and, claimed their first try after eight minutes when Matt McCullough was driven over. Humphreys converted and Ulster were up and running.

Connacht got on the scoreboard through a Paul Warwick penalty but Ulster were soon back on the score sheet as briefly interrupted proceedings before Rory Best claimed their second after diving on the ball after a lineout steal by the visitors.

Humphreys set up their third as he jinked his way through the defence to set up James Topping.
Humphreys’ conversion made it 19-3 to Ulster but then, three minutes later, he was shown the yellow card by referee Alain Rolland for what appeared to be a deliberate knock on.

Connacht did not make the most of the extra man and were down to 14 themselves when hooker John Fogarty was binned two minutes later for interfering with the ball. Bryn Cunningham took over from the missing Humphrey’s and slotted the penalty.

Ulster claimed their bonus try on 36 minutes through Andrew Trimble, who sped away from the Connacht defence. Cunningham’s conversion made it 29-3 at the break.

The second half was a scrappy affair with both sides making multiple substitutions. Ulster’s new signing Isaac Boss made his debut and set up Tommy Bowe for Ulster’s final try seven minutes before the end. Replacement Paddy Wallace added the points.

Connacht did manage a consolation try right at the death when Keith Matthews ran in an intercept score which replacement Ted Robinson converted.

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