Munster’s Magners League slump continued in Thomond Park Stadium where visitors Ulster put them to the sword in no uncertain fashion with a richly deserved record 37-11 victory.
The Matt Williams coached northern side scored five tries, three in the opening half at the end of which they led 22-6, as Munster slumped to their third Magners defeat in four outings and in the process also lost Ronan O’Gara and Rua Tipoki to injury.
It is not known yet just how serious those injuries are but Tipoki looked the more serious as he had to be helped off the field by Munster medics in injury time of the opening half.
At that stage Munster were 22-6 down thanks to tries from Paddy Wallace, Darren Cave and Mark McCrae and any hopes of a revival were effectively crushed when Tom Court scored Ulster’s bonus point try just six minutes into the second half, Ian Humphrey’s conversion – his fifth consecutive successful effort – pushing Ulster into a commanding 23 point lead.
Humpreys extended that lead with a penalty five minutes later and it wasn’t until the 63rd minute that Munster finally crossed the Ulster line, Doug Howlett getting on the end of a Paul Warwick crossfield kick to score unopposed. In keeping with the way their luck was running, Warwick’s conversion attempt came back off the left upright and five minutes from time Andrew Trimble put the icing on Ulster’s cake with a try from a Humphreys kick ahead.
Munster: D Hurley; D Howlett, R Tipoki (B Murphy 41), L Mafi, K Lewis; R O’Gara capt (P Warwick 16 min), P Stringer (M Prendergast 68 min); F Pucciariello (J Coughlan 57 min) (D Fogarty (68 min), J Flannery, J Hayes; D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll; D Ryan (A Quinlan 47min), N Ronan, N Williams (T Ryan 56 min).
Ulster: C Schifcoske; T Nagusa (M McCrea), D Cave, P Wallace (P Steinmetz) (P Wallace), A Trimble; I Humphreys, I Boss (P Marshall); T Court (J Fitzpatrick), N Brady (R Best), BJ Botha; M McCullough (F Paulo), E O’Donoghue; S Ferris, K Dawson capt (D Pollock), R Diack.
Referee: Alan Lewis.