Ulster v Glasgow Warriors
Second-half tries from Irish internationals Craig Gilroy and Tommy Bowe inflicted a first defeat of the season on Glasgow Warriors and moved Ulster Rugby up to third in the GUINNESS PRO12 table.Gilroy's quick feet and Bowe's opportunism transformed a game that looked destined to be a battle of the kickers between Ian Humphreys and Finn Russell.
Humphreys ultimately notched 19 points to Russell's nine in the 29-9 triumph.
The match started in a frantic manner at the Kingspan Stadium with both teams looking to play at pace but it was the visitors who drew first blood.
Following a spell of good attacking play, the visitors were awarded a seventh minute penalty which fly-half Russell duly slotted between the uprights.
That lead didn't last long however, and by the 16th minute the boot of Humphreys had given the home side a 6-3 lead.
To their credit, both sides showed continual willing and creativity in their attempts to land a game-changing blow but a pair of well-marshalled defences ensured the contest remained a battle of the fly-halves.
A quick-fire exchange of penalties just after the 20 minute mark maintained Ulster's three point lead but that was extended as the half wore on.
Firstly, the Warriors were penalised at the scrum, allowing Humphreys to bisect the posts once again, before Glasgow's Fijian lock, Leone Nakarawa, saw yellow six minutes before the break.
The Irishmen pressed, hoping to convert their man advantage into considerable points but were forced to settle for another three from the boot of Humphreys and a 15-6 half-time lead.
With Nakarawa back on the field after the interval, Russell again stepped up to reduce the deficit to six points but on 59 minutes Ulster could have notched the game's first try.
Paul Marshall's clever kick through bounced off the corner flag, which is no longer considered in touch, but agonisingly rolled out of bounds before an incoming Ulster attacker could touch down for the score.
But just seven minutes later, the quick feet and brain of Gilroy struck a decisive blow.
The speedster took the perfect line to collect Marshall's pop pass and scythe through the Glasgow back-line before using his pace to get over the line.
Humphreys added the extras and the victory was sealed following a breakaway from an interception on the 70 minute mark.
A loose pass from experienced prop Euan Murray just inside the Ulster half was gleefully seized upon by two-time British & Irish Lion Bowe and he burst clear to dot down under the posts.
The visitors tried to salvage something from the game but the Irish side stayed strong to move just one point behind their opponents in the GUINNESS PRO12 table.
The Warriors now face Aviva Premiership side Bath at Scotstoun Stadium next Saturday in their European Rugby Champions Cup opener