In a game billed as make or break for their season, Ulster got a much-needed win against Connacht at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night.
A try in either half and eight points from the boot of Paddy Jackson produced the required result even if the hosts could not add to their lead when the league-leaders were reduced to 13 men in the final stages.
The victory, temporarily at least, lifts the side back into the top four and the play-off places ahead of their final three games but they could be left counting the cost of their endeavours after losing both centres, Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall to injury.
Rory Best and Craig Gilroy provided Ulster's tries, while it was Caolin Blade who crossed for Connacht.
The side will now have a two week break before they return to action away to Zebre on April 16.