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Five-try Ulster secure bonus point in victory over Southern Kings

Ulster's Rob Lyttle scores against the Southern Kings (INPHO/Bryan Keane)
Ulster's Rob Lyttle scores against the Southern Kings (INPHO/Bryan Keane)
Marcell Coetzee is back in the Ulster starting line-up.

Ulster scored five tries on their way to second place in Conference B of the Guinness PRO14 with a 33-19 victory over the Southern Kings at Kingspan Stadium.

Winger Rob Lyttle was among the scorers as Dan McFarland's side stretched their unbeaten run to seven games and warmed up for their European quarter-final with Leinster next weekend with a bonus point win.

Stuart McCloskey, Marcell Coetzee, Robert Baloucoune and John Andrew also went over for the hosts, who were aided by late cards to Kings duo Tertius Kruger (red) and Alandre van Rooyen (yellow).

The hosts got off to the perfect start, forging two tries ahead inside the opening 15 minutes when McCloskey forced his way over in the corner before Michael Lowry set Lyttle over in the opposite corner for the second.

However, any thoughts that this would be an easy game where quickly ended when the Kings struck twice in quick succession, winger Yaw Penxe crossing for the first before full-back Ulrich Beyers crossed when the Ulster defence stopped playing thinking he had knocked it on.

But Ulster seized control of the game when Marcell Coetzee drove over late in the first half to extend their lead beyond a score, and the bonus point was secured nine minutes after the restart when Robert Baloucoune was set over after a dominant maul.

The Kings did look to fight back, and they did so when hooker Michael Willemse finished off from close range, but their race was run after Kruger was shown red for a shoulder tackle on Baloucoune, while Van Rooyen also received his marching orders at the same time for a high hit on John Cooney.

And there was still time with the extra two men for John Andrew to crash over from the back of a driving maul to add some gloss to the scoreline and set up the team perfectly for next week's huge clash with Leinster.

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