Munster’s unbeaten record was ended in Ravenhill where Ulster were deserving 22-6 winners in the Magners League tie thanks to two first half tries from wing Timoci Nagusa.
Those scores saw them trail by 15-6 at half-time and in truth they never really looked like scoring in the second half. Instead they went further behind to an Isaac Boss try converted by Ian Humphreys, the outhalf who came on as a 13th replacement for Niall O’Connor.
Munster opened with a Paul Warwick penalty but after John O’Sullivan was penalised for not rolling away Humphreys leveled with a kick from in front of the posts.
Nagusa then struck for his opening try, converted by Humphreys before Ulster were reduced to 14 when Ryan Caldwell was yellow carded for needless taking out Denis Hurley and from the subsequent penalty, Warwick reduced the deficit to four. However that was the extent of the inroad into the Ulster lead and instead Nagusa struck again for his second try leaving Munster a mountain to climb.
Anthony Horgan almost took the first tentative step in that ascent when he showed good control and even better pace only to be just beaten to the touchdown by Bryn Cunningham before half-time and, as it turned out, save for a very late Ian Dowling effort down the left touchline, that was the closest Munster would come to a score for the remainder of the game.
Munster: D Hurley (J Manning 51 min); A Horgan (K Lewis 71 min), B Murphy, L Mafi, I Dowling, P Warwick, P Stringer (M Prendergast 51 min); F Pucciariello, D Fogarty, T Buckley (D Hurley 65 min); M O’Driscoll capt, D Ryan; A Quinlan (M Melbourne 76 min), J O’Sullivan (M Melbourne 75 min), J Melck. Replacements not used: J Flannery
Ulster: B Cunningham; T Nagusa, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; N O’Connor (I Humphreys 13 min), C Willis (I Boss 51 min); J Fitzpatrick (T Court 47 min), R Best capt, BJ Botha, E O’Donoghue, R Caldwell (C Del Fava temp), S Ferris, D Pollock, R Diack. Replacements not used: N Brady, T Anderson, , M McCrea