Ulster move up to second
Ulster climbed to second place in the Magners League standings with a hard-fought 22-15 victory over Italian outfit Aironi.
Niall O'Connor and Robbie Diack starred for the visitors as Brian McLaughlin's side made it two wins out of two at the start of the new season.
The visitors fell behind early on when Ludovic Mercier kicked through the posts but Ulster were soon back on level terms through an O'Connor penalty.
Ulster grew into the match after their early wobble and pegged Franco Bernini's troops back in their own half with a series of aggressive attacks.
The Irish side were rewarded on 22 minutes with another penalty. O'Connor had to work much harder for the three points on this occasion, the ball almost on the halfway line and way out on the right touchline, but the fly-half got his angles right to fire the hosts into the lead for the first time in the match.
O'Connor spurned a chance to increase Ulster's lead after Nick Williams picked up a yellow card for the hosts, and Aironi punished that miss moments later when Mercier kicked over for three points.
But Ulster went in at the break with the lead as another foul by Aironi gave O'Connor the chance to take his personal haul for the match to nine points.
The tide turned swiftly after the break, however, Mercier landing a drop goal and a penalty in quick succession as Aironi found themselves on target for their first victory in the Magners League.
But those hopes were swiftly dashed as O'Connor pulled his side level after 58 minutes before the only try of the night arrived two minutes later as Diack intercepted a loose pass by Mercier and crossed the line for a score which O'Connor converted.
Mercier made partial amends by sending over another penalty to reduce the deficit but O'Connor tallied with another three-pointer with eight minutes remaining to settle the match in Ulster's favour.