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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 21:21 GMT
Ulster 27-3 Munster
CELTIC LEAGUE
Jonny Bell is held up by the Munster defence
Ulster (10) 27
Tries: Bowe, Wilson, Steinmetz, Harrison, McMillan
Con: Humphreys
Munster (3) 3
Pen: Burke
Ulster replaced Munster at the top of the Celtic League thanks to Friday's bonus-point win at Ravenhill.

Munster were badly under-strength with a string of players not released by Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan.

Ulster made their advantage count with tries from Tommy Bowe and Roger Wilson giving them a 10-3 interval lead.

Munster lost Barry Murphy with an ankle injury while Ulster got tries in the second half through Paul Steinmetz, Justin Harrison and Neil McMillan.

Ulster's win may have been expected but it was still crucial in terms of their challenge for a first league title.

Munster actually took the lead when Paul Burke slotted over a good penalty on 13 minutes.

I was pleased with the result and our overall performance
Mark McCall

But Declan Kidney's side enjoyed that position for just four minutes as Bowe out-muscled Shaun Payne to get the opening try from David Humphreys' high kick into the right corner.

Then came the nasty-looking ankle injury to 23-year-old centre Murphy which saw him being replaced by Gary Connolly.

Ulster applied some pressure just before the break and their patience was rewarded when number eight Wilson powered over in the corner.

Centre Steinmetz went under the posts for Ulster's third try on 43 minutes, allowing Humphreys to land his only conversion.

The Ulster pack charged over for Harrison's 64th-minute score which secured the bonus point.

Then near the end replacement flanker McMillan reaped the benefit of a favourable bounce to touch down from Kieran Campbell's chip ahead.

"That is four on the bounce in the league now and we have built up some momentum. It is a pity we do not play now for three weeks," said Ulster coach Mark McCall.

"I was pleased with the result and our overall performance.

"We did not really get going in the first 20 minutes but played some good rugby in the second half."


Ulster: Cunningham, Bowe, Bell, Steinmetz, Maxwell, Humphreys, Boss, B. Young, R. Best, S. Best, Harrison, McCullough, N. Best, Ferris, Wilson.
Replacements: Brady, J. Fitzpatrick, Caldwell, McMillan, Campbell, Larkin, Maggs.

Munster: Payne, Dowling, B. Murphy, Halstead, Horgan, Burke, O'Leary, Roche, Fogarty, Pucciariello, Madigan, O'Driscoll, S. Keogh, O'Sullivan, Foley.
Replacements: McGovern, Buckley, Melbourne, J. O'Connor, Prendergast, Lawlor, Connolly.

Referee: Alan Rowlands (Ireland)


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