Ulster progress to United Rugby Championship semi-finals after beating Munster 36-17

John Cooney scored Ulster's opening try
John Cooney scored Ulster's opening try
©Steve Haag

Ulster 36-17 Munster, Kingspan Stadium

Stewart Moore scored two tries as Ulster progressed to the semi-final of the United Rugby Championship following a 36-17 win over Munster at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday.

Ulster now will face the winner of Edinburgh and Stormers game scheduled to be played on Saturday.

Ulster got off to a promising start as John Cooney collected a perfect pass from James Hume to score and he also followed with a conversion to make it 7-0. The scores were levelled inside the opening quarter as Jean Kleyn collected a pass from Gavin Coombes to touchdown and Joey Carbery kicked the extras.

Robert Baloucoune prevented Munster from scoring with a try saving tackle and eventually combined Ethan McIlroy, who offloaded for Moore to score in the 23rd minute and nine minutes later he completed his second try when he dived in the corner with a 19-7 lead at the end of the opening half.

Ulster extended their momentum into the second half as they scored two minutes after the restart as Nick Timoney collected a pass from Hume to score and 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 Keith 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 substitute Nathan Doak converting.

A second try from Earls provided Munster with a glimmer of hope but they could not find any more breakthroughs as they succumbed to a 19-point defeat.

Team line up:

Ulster: S Moore, R Baloucoune, J Hume, S McCloskey, E McIlroy, B Burns, J Cooney; A Warwick, R Herring, T O'Toole, A O'Connor, I Henderson, M Rea, N Timoney, D Vermeulen.

Reserves: J Andrew, E O'Sullivan, G Milasinovich, K Treadwell, M Rea, N Doak, I Madigan, B Moxham.

Munster: M Haley; A Conway, C Farrell, D de Allende, K Earls; J Carbery, C Murray; J Wycherley, N Scannell, S Archer; J Kleyn, F Wycherley, P O'Mahony, A Kendellen, G Coombes.

Reserves: D Barron, J Loughman, J Ryan, J Jenkins, T Ahern, C Casey, B Healy, C Cloete.