Connacht came back from a 0 – 17 half time deficit to grab a losing bonus point from today’s high-intensity derby clash at the Sportsground. Visitors Ulster scored five tries to Connacht’s two but Pat Lam’s men refused to lie down and the second half comeback saw Matt Healy and Tiernan O’Halloran cross for impressive scores.

Craig Ronaldson was a late withdrawal from the game due to a quad injury sustained in the warm up so Miah Nikora came into start and both the New Zealander and replacement outhalf Jack Carty kicked a conversion and a penalty each.

Ulster’s back line were firing today four tries coming through Louis Ludik, Tommy Bowe (2) and Craig Gilroy. Captain Rory Best also got over the whitewash for a late score. In windy conditions, scrum half Ruan Pienaar missed a penalty and kicked one from five conversions. 

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Connacht: T O’Halloran, D Poolman, R Henshaw, B Aki, M Healy, M Nikora, K Marmion, D Buckley, T McCartney, R Ah You, Q Roux, A Muldowney, J Muldoon (cpt), E Masterson, G Naoupu.

Replacements, E McKeon for Naoupu (50”), U Dillane for Roux (57”), J Carty for Nikora (59”), R Loughney for Buckley (66”) and J Cooney for Marmion (66”), D Leader for Aki , F Bealham for Ah You, S Delahunt for McCartney (all 68”), Roux for Dillane (71”)

Ulster: L Ludik, T Bowe, J Payne, D Cave, C Gilroy, P Jackson, R Pienaar, C Black, R Best (C), W Herbst, D Tuohy, F Van der Merwe, I Henderson, C Henry, R Wilson.

Replacements, McCloskey for Ludik (58m), R Bronson for Herbst, and R Diak for Henderson (63m), A Warwick for Black (68m), I Humphries for Cave(72m)

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)

Attendance: 5921 (SOLD OUT)

Man of the Match: Franco Van der Merwe

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