RaboDirect PRO12: Unbeaten leaders Ulster see off Edinburgh
Last Updated: 02/11/12 9:34pm
Jared Payne: two tries for Ulster
RaboDirect PRO12 leaders Ulster claimed a seventh straight victory with a 45-20 bonus-point win over Edinburgh at Ravenhill.
Jared Payne scored two of Ulster's six tries as they moved four points clear at the top of the standings.
Ulster made an error-strewn start and it was little surprise that the visitors took the lead when winger Tom Brown crossed in the left corner after only 10 minutes, following Paul Marshall's fumble on Ulster's put-in.
Gregor Hunter's conversion was good and though Niall O'Connor - on as a blood replacement for Ruan Pienaar - slotted a penalty shortly afterwards, Hunter's 19th minute penalty saw Edinburgh deservedly lead 10-3.
Ulster responded when Roger Wilson stole an Edinburgh lineout. They swept up the field and after Chris Cochrane was denied in the left corner from a Jared Payne chip through, a penalty try was awarded after the third re-set.
Pienaar converted to level the scores and then did so again as he helped launch an immediate Ulster counter from the re-start, which saw the impressive Craig Gilroy make great yardage down the left wing before he put Payne in space for the 30th minute try.
Four minutes later Hunter's kick was charged down by Pienaar who easily collected and ran in from 40 metres before converting to give Ulster a 24-10 lead and their third try in six minutes.
The Scots hit back when Brown barged over for his second three minutes before the break, but shortly after the re-start Marshall took a tap penalty under Edinburgh's posts and after he was taken high at the line, the ball was spun right to Wilson who scored the bonus-point try in the corner.
Pienaar converted brilliantly and Ulster now led 31-20 before, after 68 minutes, Payne dashed over for his second under the posts, while Gilroy finished the scoring with a try in the 80th minute which Pienaar again converted.
The only downside to another fine night for Ulster was the sight of Stephen Ferris hobbling off in the second half of his first game back in a month, which will raise further concern over his fitness for club and country.