Pienaar punishes Munster indiscipline as Ulster capitalise on fast start

Munster 16 Ulster 22

Thomond Park

The head coach of Ulster, Brian McLaughlin, described his side's stunning Heineken Cup quarter-final victory over Munster as probably the biggest day in his rugby career. Ulster became only the second team to beat Munster here at Thomond Park in the history of the competition, joining Leicester who won a pool game there in January 2007.

McLaughlin said: "It was a big highlight in my career, probably the biggest day in my life in rugby terms. It is also important to mention the impact and energy we gleaned from our fans in the stadium. The support was outstanding."

Ruan Pienaar had a key kicking contribution of 14 points, landing four penalties from five attempts and converting a sensational early try from the nippy Craig Gilroy. Pienaar's half-back partner, Ian Humphreys also weighed in with a drop goal to give the Ulstermen a 19-0 advantage.

Simon Zebo went over in the left corner before half-time and Ronan O'Gara kicked 11 points to give Munster a decent shot at pulling off a comeback. But Ulster stood firm to set up a semi-final meeting with Edinburgh at the Aviva Stadium on 28 April.

"Ruan's place-kicking was exemplary and Craig Gilroy's try, to be 19-0 up after 25 minutes was a dream," said McLaughlin. "We played brilliantly. It was our game plan personified.

"We knew Munster were going to come at us and they certainly did. We knew after half-time it was going to be another battle. All credit to the guys on the pitch, they were magnificent today.

"Today is the culmination of three years' hard work. We have been emphasising the importance of getting Ulster up the ladder and getting to that top table," said McLaughlin. "We are not there yet. Edinburgh showed in their quarter-final win over Toulouse what they can do and it is all set up for another magnificent semi-final."

Ulster's captain Johann Muller described the result as a "special" victory. "It was a special effort from everyone, not just players- and management-wise, everyone," said the South African lock. "The start was something special. Hats off to the guys, to make sure we got the victory, is a special thing and a special victory for everyone."

Munster's head coach, Tony McGahan, was hugely disappointed by the result. "You need to give the opposition credit. I thought Ulster were terrific today right across the park," he said. "They controlled the scoreboard and they controlled field position in that first half.

"Full credit to the Munster team for the way they fought back to 19-13. But when Ulster pushed out to 22-13 it put a big dent in what we were trying to do."

Munster Try Zebo; Conversion O'Gara; Penalties O'Gara 3; Ulster Try Gilroy; Conversion Pienaar; Penalties Pienaar 4; Drop goal Humphreys.

Munster Jones; Hurley (Murphy 52), Earls, Mafi, Zebo; O'Gara, Murray (O'Leary 72); Du Preez, Sherry (Varley 67), Botha, Ryan, O'Connell (capt), O'Mahony (Wallace 72), O'Donnell (O'Callaghan 59), Coughlan

Ulster Terblanche; Trimble, Cave, Wallace, Gilroy; Humphreys, Pienaar; Court, Best, Afoa, Muller (capt), Tuohy, Ferris, Henry, Wannenburg.

Referee R Poite (FRFU).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum