RaboDirect PRO12: Ulster boost title hopes with gutsy win at Leinster
Last Updated: 30/03/13 9:06pm
Robbie Diack: Crossed for Ulster's first try
Ulster claimed their first win at Leinster since 1999 as tries from Robbie Diack and Iain Henderson helped set up a 22-18 victory in Dublin.
The hosts had to absorb some early pressure but took the lead through Ian Madigan's two penalties.
Ulster responded as Nick Williams charged onto Dan Tuohy's inviting pass and Paddy Jackson then flung the ball out wide for Diack to score in the left corner.
Ruan Pienaar was unable to convert and Madigan replied for Leinster in the 26th minute, splitting the posts from outside the 22 after Ulster were pinged at a scrum.
Leinster's well-organised defence held Ulster in check until replacement Andrew Conway was caught offside from a kick ahead and Pienaar nailed the resulting penalty.
Ulster's discipline let them down at times and Williams was whistled up for not rolling away quickly enough in injury-time, leading to Madigan's fourth successful penalty of the night.
Increased pressure on the Ulster scrum saw Leinster resume on the front foot with Madigan adding another three-pointer to their total.
Pienaar, with the breeze now behind him, cancelled that kick out with a crisp penalty strike from distance and gave Ulster further momentum with a sure-footed 57th minute kick from the right.
After a defence-dominated third quarter, Ulster began to make headway and when Andrew Trimble was brought down just short of the whitewash in the 62nd minute, a quick recycle allowed Pienaar to put replacement Henderson over in the right corner.
The South African failed to add the extras and with their scrum giving way, Madigan split the posts to cut the gap to a single point.
Conway conceded a needless penalty when he tackled Jackson in the air as he gathered a kick, and Pienaar stepped up to make it 22-18.
Time was not on Leinster's side and having turned down a late kickable penalty, the hosts put their faith in their solid set-piece.
It was not enough in the end as despite giving away penalties within scoring range, Ulster - with Rory Best leading by example - defiantly held on for a precious win in Dublin.
Fri 24th Apr
Edinburgh37 - 0Zebre
Ulster26 - 10Leinster
Sat 25th Apr
Connacht0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Ospreys
Munster0 - 0Treviso
Dragons0 - 0Scarlets
Fri 8th May
Dragons0 - 0Edinburgh
Leinster0 - 0Treviso
Ospreys0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Sat 9th May
Ulster0 - 0Munster
Zebre0 - 0Connacht
Sun 10th May
Scarlets0 - 0Cardiff Blues
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Zebre
Connacht0 - 0Ospreys
Edinburgh0 - 0Leinster
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Munster0 - 0Dragons
Treviso0 - 0Scarlets
RaboDirect PRO12 2012/13 Round 19
Ulster will aim to finish at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table when they take on Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill.
Connacht say goodbye to their number seven Johnny O'Connor when they take on Glasgow at the Galway Sportsground.
Paul O'Donohoe's last-minute try salvaged a 23-23 draw for Connacht in Treviso.
- Weir injury blow for Glasgow
- Leinster boost play-off hopes
- Davies stars in Scarlets win
- Ulster bag bonus at Connacht
- Soaring Glasgow claim points
- Forwards seal Treviso win
- Dragons hold off Munster rally
- Scarlets v Cardiff: Teams
- O'Driscoll seals Leinster win
- Ospreys soar into top four
- Cardiff ease past Zebre
- Connacht hold off Edinburgh
- Bowe inspires Ulster romp
- Scarlets see off Glasgow
- Munster v Leinster: Teams
- Cardiff Blues v Zebre: Teams
- Edinburgh v Connacht: Teams
- Scarlets v Glasgow: Teams
- Treviso-Connacht postponed
- Ospreys stay in play-off hunt
- Scarlets hold off Dragons
- Glasgow top with Munster mash
- Successive wins for Edinburgh