Published Sunday, 18 November 2012
Ulster flyhalf Paddy Jackson kicks a penalty against Glasgow last month. (© Getty)
Mark Anscombe's much-changed side just managed to see off a strong challenge from Italian minnows Zebre in Parma on Sunday.
The province almost became a victim of their own success. With so many players away on international duty, Zebre sought to exploit an understrength Ulster line-up.
They got off the mark with the opening try of the game with Tito Tebaldi touching down after Ulster had failed to collect from the restart after Niall O'Connor's early penalty.
But O'Connor's boot kept the visitors in the game, and Ulster led by a point at the break.
The Italians grabbed another try soon after the restart when out-half Daniel Hangalahu crossed after collecting a superb flicked pass from Tebaldi.
Rampaging Zebre number eight Andries Van Shalkwyk then scored a third for the visitors in the corner, but Ulster fought back well and a fine team try finished off by veteran centre Paddy Wallace helped them to edge back into the lead.
However, some disastrous defending opened the door for the hosts again - Van Shalkwyk ghosting in to claim his second try of the afternoon.
Ulster's blushes were spared thanks to a penalty try in the dying moments - 27-25 the final score.