Johann van Graan was left to rue Munster’s poor discipline for a second defeat in six days as both he and Ulster boss Les Kiss were left to ponder an archetypal game of two halves at Ravenhill.
Munster, beaten at home by Leinster on St Stephen’s Day, looked all set to atone with a powerhouse first-half performance in Belfast. Leading 17-0 at the interval, Munster failed to trouble the scoreboard further and Ulster took full advantage of a yellow card for Fineen Wycherley and red for Sammy Arnold to score four-second-half tries in a pulsating Guinness PRO14 derby.
Arnold’s dismissal came after a high tackle on Ulster fly-half Christian Lealiifano in the 58th minute and both coaches agreed referee Sean Gallagher had little option but to issue a red card to the centre. Yet for Munster, it was all the more galling given their fine first-half display that subdued a normally raucous sell-out crowd.
“I’m very disappointed after that start,” van Graan said. “In this game, you have got to keep 15 guys on the field and we went down to 13 and momentum went their way and left us in a very difficult spot.
Simon Lewis Irish Examiner