"No way!" - Ben Healy and Jack Crowley the heroes as Munster beat Ulster at the death
ULSTER 14-15 MUNSTER
"If there was a camera on my face at the end, when Ben Healy went over, the colour completely drained from it!"
Munster were dreadful for long, grim stretches against Ulster but two second half tries saw them puncture another tyre in Ulster's teetering bandwagon.
Munster have lost six of their 11 United Rugby Championship seasons but have recorded morale-boosting wins away, against Edinburgh and Northampton (in the Champions Cup) and now against Ulster.
The hosts led 9-0 at half-time but Munster tore into them from the start of the second half and were rewarded when Paddy Patterson scampered over, in the right-hand corner, for an unconverted try.
Ulster's lineout was given major grief by Munster, all evening, so their usual rolling maul weapon was annoying wedged in their pocket. One moment of class saw Stuart McCloskey find Robert Baloucoune with a bold, 30-metre pass. The winger did the rest and dived over to score. Nathan Doak missed the conversion, and it would prove crucial.
McCloskey's pass 👏
Baloucoune's finish 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Zs3CWFVRRF
— Pat McCarry (@patmccarry) January 1, 2023
Ben Healy the Munster match-winner
Rather than press home their advantage, Ulster stalled after that Baloucoune score and it was Munster that exerted the most pressure.
Graham Rowntree's side wisely took an easy penalty when it was awarded to them, and backed themselves to fashion a late try-scoring chance. So it proved after an electric Jack Crowley break that left four Ulster players for dead.
Ulster managed to staunch that attack, but Munster retained the ball and went through multiple phases - with Conor Murray the conductor - until Ben Healy spotted a gap and got the ball down. In the commentary booth, former Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris could be heard declaring, "No way!"
80 nóim #ULSvMUN@UlsterRugby - 14@Munsterrugby - 15
Deireadh dramatiúil le Ben Healy ag aimsiú úd ag deireadh an chluiche
Dramatic ending as Munster steal the win with Ben Healy getting the try and then converting to win the game
@IrishRugby @URCOfficial#URC #Rugby pic.twitter.com/zmuDmw52sD
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) January 1, 2023
The try was scored so close to the Ulster sticks that Ben Healy was able to chip over the match-winning conversion.
The Cork native is being linked with a switch to a Scottish side - Edinburgh or Glasgow - so he can opt to play Test rugby for Scotland. Many Munster fans would be crestfallen if he were to leave, and even more so after these late heroics.
Next up for Munster, a home game against Northampton Saints that could all but secure Champions Cup knock-out rugby. For Ulster, the reigning European champions La Rochelle at Stade Marcel Deflandre.
Our Man of the Match: Gavin Coombes (Munster)
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