Ulster do enough to stay top
Connacht again fell victim to Clancy’s whistle and Michael Swift’s clash with Jared Payne led to a penalty being reversed against the home side in their 22. Ulster took the lineout and several drives later, Williams drove over and Jackson converted to give Ulster a 17-0 lead at the break.
Connacht spared Wilkinson any more punishment by bringing on Denis Buckley at the break and they finally got a decent line break when Robbie Henshaw brushed off Paddy Wallace but his pass to Fetu’u Vainikolo was forward.
Ulster took their next kickable penalty which Jackson converted to make it 20-0 at the hour mark after Connacht were offside. After that, the game became fractured as both sides emptied their benches and then out of nowhere Tommy Bowe won a 78th minute cross-kick from Wallace, now at outhalf, and substitute Luke Marshall skidded in. Wallace missed the drop-kicked conversion.
ULSTER: J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; P Jackson, P Marshall; T Court, R Best, J Afoa; J Muller (c), D Tuohy; S Ferris, C Henry, N Williams. Replacements: R Herring for R Best (58 mins), M McComish for S Ferris, C Gilroy for A Trimble, L Stevenson for J Muller (all 67 mins), L Marshall for P Jackson, C Black for T Court (both 69 mins), M Heaney for P Marshall (72 mins), A Macklin for N Williams (75 mins).
CONNACHT: R Henshaw; T O’Halloran, E Griffin, D McSharry, F Vainikolo; D Parks, K Marmion; B Wilkinson, A Flavin, R Loughney; M Swift, M McCarthy; D Gannon, W Faloon (capt), G Naoupu. Replacements: Mata Fifita for McSharry (17-29 mins, blood), N White for R Loughney (35 mins), D Buckley for B Wilkinson (half-time), J Muldoon for Gannon (47 mins), J O’Connor for W Faloon, D Moore for K Marmion (both 56 mins), J Harris-Wright for A Flavin (61 mins), M Nikora for D Parks (66 mins), M Fifita for D McSharry (69 mins).
Yellow card: D Gannon 32 mins.
Referee: George Clancy(IRFU).