Ulster in sensational comeback against 14-man Munster
Ulster in sensational comeback against 14-man MunsterSHARE
Munster had two men carded in the game – replacement Fineen Wycherley was yellow-carded in the 54th minute and centre Sam Arnold red-carded four minutes later.
Munster – chasing a third successive win at the Kingspan Stadium for the first time – stormed into a 17-0 lead at the interval thanks to a dominant pack performance, but were undone after Arnold's red card.
Niall Scannell twice went over at the back of rolling mauls in the first half, while the Munster scrum also won a penalty try as a shellshocked Ulster were outfoxed up front time after time.
But after the break, Ulster turned it around, although John Cooney had a first score disallowed soon after the break.
Fineen Wycherley was then sent to the sin bin for the visitors as Ulster fought back up front and Darren Cave eventually went over to begin the fight back.
Cooney slotted the extras but the real key was that Sam Arnold was also shown a red card for a high tackle on Christian Lealiifano in the build-up.
With Munster down to 13 men and the Kingspan bouncing, Gilroy dived onto Cave's grubber to make it 12-17 after the hour mark.
And the wing had his second soon after down the right and the hosts were, unbelievably, leading a clash they had been outclassed in for huge chunks.
And there was still time late on for Rob Lyttle to dive over down the left wing to seal a bonus point that means Ulster keep pace with Scarlets and Leinster in Conference A.
Munster have now won only twice on their travels in the Pro14 and have slipped to back to back league defeats under new boss Johan van Graan meaning the Cheetahs could catch them in Conference B later this month.
Tries: Cave, Gilroy 2, Lyttle
Cons: Cooney 2
Tries: Scannell 2, Penalty try
Con: Penalty try does not require a conversion
Yellow card: Fineen Wycherley (Munster, 54)
Red card: Sam Arnold (Munster, 58)
Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Rob Lyttle, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 John Cooney, 8 Jean Deysel, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Greg Jones, 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Alan O'Connor, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Rob Herring (captain), 1 Kyle McCall.
Replacements: 16, Adam McBurney, 17 Callum Black, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Matthew Rea, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Johnny McPhillips, 23 Andrew Trimble.
Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Sammy Arnold, 11 Alex Wootton, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Jack O'Donoghue, 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Tommy O'Donnell, 5 Billy Holland (captain), 4 Darren O'Shea, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O'Byrne, 17 Rory Loughman, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Fineen Wycherley, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 James Hart, 22 Bill Johnston, 23 Ronan O'Mahony.
Referee: Sean Gallagher (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Correll, Paul Haycock (Ireland)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)