ULSTER returned to winning ways on Friday night by beating provincial rivals Leinster by 12 points at Ravenill.
Roared on by a packed house in east Belfast, Ulster recovered from last weekend’s Heineken Cup defeat to Northampton by a single point.
A penalty try in the first half by Ruan Pienaar and two tries in the second half by Mick Williams and Andrew Trimble warmed up the Ulster crowd on a cold and damp night in the stands.
Leinster were six points to the good after 19 minutes with two penalties by Ian Madigan before Jackson and Pienaar popped over two penalties to put Ulster’s first six points on the board.
Madigan increased Leinster’s lead to three points with another penalty before Ulster were awarded a penalty try and and Pienaar stepped up to convert, giving Ulster a 13 -9 lead at half time.
Three minutes into the second and McFadden’s penalty helped to close the gap with Ulster to one point.
But not for long. On 45 minutes Mick Williams powered over the line for a try which Pienaar converted and Ulster were widening the gap to 20-12.
And Irish international Andrew Trimble gave his Ulster team mates more breathing space on 75 minutes with another try.
With a Pienaar conversion, Ulster were 27-12 ahead of Leinster and the crowd were delighted to see Ulster put last week’s defeat behind them and put on a try-scoring show.
However, Leinster were not prepared to roll over and Fergus McFadden went over for a try on 78 minutes which Madigan converted.
At the final whistle Ulster ran out worthy winners by 27-19 and continue their unbeaten run in the Pro-12 tournament.
They now lead the table with 10 wins from 10 and have amassed 43 points, including three bonus points.
Friday night’s win puts them nine points ahead of Scarlets in second place.