The Jackson Five

No, not those old rockers that many of us old rockers on the terrace remember, but the five strikes at goal from young Paddy Jackson, to carry the day.

Ulster, playing against the wind and their arch rivals, saw Munster stretch out an early 9 – 0 lead.  The visitors were quicker out of the blocks, and more clinical, despite enjoying slightly less territory and possession.

Following two successful Jackson penalty goals and two superb Ulster break outs (which could have delivered tries), a score line of  9 – 6 was bearable, but a superb period of wide sweeping back play saw a Munster seven pointer stretch the lead.  At 16 – 6 the writing was scratched faintly on the wall.

Cue young Jackson, again, who secured three more precious points on the stroke of half time.

The second half saw the better rugby by far from both sides.  Another strike from our young No 10 closed the gap to four. Then a superb try from Jared Payne, after one of the best periods of sustained, high pressure rugby seen at Ravenhill for some time, saw Ulster gabbing the lead at 17 – 16.  A drop goal from Keatley, his second of the evening, a fifth penalty for Jackson and Ulster, and a frantic last stand eventually saw us home and hosed.

 “They shall not pass” must surely have been the motto as the crowd built a wall of sound and the thin white line held firm to the end.  (Oh yes, it finished 20 –19).