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Connacht 18 Ulster 34

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Ulster moved themselves closer to a home semi-final after they eased to a 34-18 victory over Connacht at the Sportsground.

In a see-saw first half, tries from Stuart Olding, Andrew Trimble and Rory Best took the away team into a 22-15 half-time lead.
The hosts were also impressive in the opening period and got their reward through George Naoupu and Fetu'u Vainikolo touchdowns.
And although it remained scrappy for the majority of the second period, quality told in the end when Tommy Bowe and Jared Payne rounded off a comfortable win.
Despite the visitors' position at the top of the league, it was the home side which opened the scoring.
Ulster failed to deal with the high ball properly and, after some excellent counter-rucking by the Connacht forwards, the ball was spread wide to Naoupu who touched down.
However, the Northern Irish province weren't to be denied for long. They have been renowned this season for their excellent off-loading game and that was to the fore as Olding went over.
Mark Anscombe's men were soon crossing the whitewash again when a sublime pass by Ruan Pienaar sent Trimble away.
But the Galway-based outfit levelled matters when another well-worked move ended in Vainikolo weaving his way over.
Dan Parks and Pienaar then traded penalties, but Best gave Ulster a half-time lead when he finished off a powerful driving maul.
Connacht continued to battle after the interval and Miah Nikora reduced the deficit with a three-pointer, but they struggled to get into their opponent's half.
And the pressure exerted by the visitors eventually paid off when both Bowe and Payne touched down late on.

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