United Rugby Championship: Five-try Ulster beat Munster to book semi-final spot

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Ulster booked their place in the United Rugby Championship semi-finals after they comfortably overcame Munster 36-17 at Kingspan Stadium.

It was a hugely impressive performance from Dan McFarland’s charges as they crossed the whitewash five times on Friday to canter into the last four.

Tries from John Cooney, Stewart Moore (2), Nick Timoney and James Hume saw them to victory on home soil, while Jean Kleyn and Keith Earls (2) scored for Munster on a disappointing evening for Johann van Graan’s side, whose season is now ended.

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Ulster will now face either the Stormers or Edinburgh in the semi-finals, with those two sides facing off in Cape Town on Saturday.

Nine minutes in, Cooney got on the end of a pass from Hume to score and convert his own effort.

Munster struck back on 18 minutes after the visitors launched a multi-phase attack which ended up with Gavin Coombes held short, before Kleyn collected the ball off his boot to score. Joey Carbery converted and the scores were level.

Ulster then scored a superb try off a line-out when Robert Baloucoune – who had previously landed a try-saving tackle on Carbery – was put through and Ethan McIlroy then offloaded for Moore to touch down after 23 minutes. Cooney again converted.

Moore scored his second after 32 minutes following a strong Iain Henderson carry which prompted Ulster to again put pace and width on the ball. Hume’s long pass gave Moore his chance and he made the corner with the TMO awarding the effort. Cooney missed the extras.

Two minutes into the second half Ulster had their fourth try, Hume bursting through and drawing the cover before hitting Timoney, whose pace took him clear. Cooney’s conversion made it 26-7.

Coombes then had a charge-down score ruled out by the TMO, but Munster did get on the scoreboard in the 51st minute through a spectacular finish in the corner from Earls, though Carbery failed to convert.

A Henderson turnover gave Cooney a penalty shot which he slotted after 56 minutes. Four minutes later, Hume made his way over the line, with replacement Nathan Doak converting.

Earls ran in for his second try with 11 minutes remaining, but the conversion was missed and the game had already got away from Munster.

READ MORE: United Rugby Championship: Johnny Sexton among those absent for rotated Leinster

The article United Rugby Championship: Five-try Ulster beat Munster to book semi-final spot appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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