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First win for Ulster

Ulster racked up the first win of their Guinness PRO12 campaign on their home debut by putting Zebre to the sword with some ease despite a shaky first half for interim coach Les Kiss' side.

Ulster crossed the Italians' line five times, with Nick Williams, Craig Gilroy, Robbie Diack, Andrew Trimble and Dan Tuohy all touching down, which gave them their second consecutive try bonus point.

Samuela Vunisa scored Zebre's try but they were ultimately outclassed by the Irish side, who drew 32-32 at Scarlets last week.

Ulster hit the ground running after four minutes when, after Rory Best had knocked on on the Zebre line from Darren Cave's pass, the home side stole the scrum and Williams powered over. Ian Humphreys converted and Ulster were 7-0 up.

But the visitors hit back when sub Vunisa charged over after eight minutes and Kelly Haimona converted. The latter then added a penalty four minutes later to give Zebre the lead.

Ulster's cause was not helped by Humphreys missing a head-on penalty shot on 14 minutes b ut three minutes later, Trimble began a move which ended up with Gilroy scoring on the left and Humphreys' wonderful conversion put Ulster four points ahead at 14-10.

That became 19-10 nine minutes later when Ricky Andrew's pass put Diack clear to score, though Humphreys failed to convert.

Haimona then had a chance to narrow Ulster's lead but missed a long-range penalty and then Ulster were denied a try from substitute Louis Ludik - on for the injured Cave - after the scoring pass was adjudged forward.

Shortly afterwards, Luke Marshall lost the ball on the line for a try which would not have stood in any case as Ulster had infringed at the scrum.

The Italians survived another late Ulster onslaught and the half ended with the home side leading 19-10.

Ulster began the second half defending their line and then had to make do with 14 men in the 55th minute after Andrew was yellow-carded for hitting Brendon Leonard when the Zebre scrum-half was in mid-air.

Still, Ulster had the wherewithal to score when, off a scrum, Paul Marshall broke right and fed Trimble, who stormed in at the right corner for Ulster's bonus-point score. Humphreys added a superb conversion to take the score to 26-10.

Just before Andrew returned came the score of the night when Humphreys superbly gathered a ball on the touchline and launched Trimble through the middle. He linked with Best and with the ball recycled, Humphreys chipped for Tuohy to score.

Humphreys added yet another excellent conversion to take Ulster's lead to 33-10, which became 33-13 with 10 minutes to go as Haimona kicked a second penalty.

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