Pro12: Ulster 68-21 Zebre
|Pro12: Ulster v Zebre|
|Ulster (35) 68|
|Tries: L Marshall 2, Piutau 2 Pienaar, Stockdale, Gilroy, Andrew, Olding, P Marshall Cons: Pienaar 7, Olding 2|
|Zebre (7) 21|
|Tries: De Marchi, Roan, Greeff Con: Bordoli, Palazzani 2|
Ulster moved into a play-off spot in the Pro12 with five sets of games left after a thumping 10-try win over bottom club Zebre at Kingspan Stadium.
Luke Marshall and Charles Piutau both notched two tries as Stuart Olding impressed for Ulster at fly-half.
Ruan Pienaar, Jacob Stockdale, Craig Gilroy, John Andrew, Olding and Paul Marshall also scored tries as Ulster ran the Italians ragged.
An Ulster concern was a knee injury picked up by Marcell Coetzee.
The Springboks star had to be helped off after only 18 minutes and it was not immediately clear whether it was the same knee that he injured seriously last April when he suffered cruciate ligament damage.
Andrea De Marchi's early score helped Zebre level at 7-7 with Guillermo Roan and Lloyd Greeff notching late scores for the outclassed visitors.
Ulster are now fourth in the table, having moved four points ahead of the Scarlets, while Les Kiss' side are six points behind their third-placed Irish rivals Munster.
Saturday's game saw Ulster rack up their biggest ever points total, beating the 67 points scored against Caerphilly in 2002
Ulster secure bonus point by 26th minute
Ulster had their bonus point in the bag by the 26th minute after centre Marshall's two early scores and further tries from Pienaar and Piutau.
Zebre prop De Marchi had barged his way through some weak Ulster tackling for a 13th-minute score but it was the visitors' only moment of success in the first period as the home side cut through them at will.
Ireland centre Olding suggested he could be a future fly-half option for club and country as he impressively directed the Ulster backline in addition to scoring a late try.
Jared Payne, meanwhile, is likely to be in Joe Schmidt's thoughts for next week's Six Nations finale against England after his assured full-back display before being hauled off after 55 minutes.
Payne's brilliant long pass set up Gilroy's try shortly after the resumption and a horrible Greeff fumble on his own line gifted Piutau Ulster's seventh try before replacements Andrew and Paul Marshall got in on the scoring act to bring up the home team's try count to double figures.
A misdirected Olding pass helped gift Zebre's second try to replacement prop Roan while Greeff's late effort was the final touchdown of the game but those scores didn't mask another chastening evening for Italian rugby.
Ulster: J Payne; C Gilroy, J Stockdale, L Marshall, C Piutau; S Olding, R Pienaar; C Black, R Herring (capt), W Herbst; K Treadwell, A O'Connor; R Diack, C Henry, M Coetzee.
Replacements: J Andrew for Henry 50, A Warwick for Black 50, R Ah You for Herbst 50, F van der Merwe for O'Connor 66, C Ross for Coetzee 18, P Marshall for Pienaar 46, P Nelson for Payne 55, D Busby for Piutau 74.
Zebre: D Berryman; M Bellini, T Boni, T Castello, L Greeff; S Bordoli, C Engelbrecht; A De Marchi, O Fabiani, B Le Roux; Q Geldenhuys (capt), V Bernabo; M Cornelli, G Koegelenberg, F Ruzza.
Replacements: L Ferraro for Fabiani 58, B Postiglioni for De Marchi 61, G Roan for Le Roux 55, J Furno for Bernabo 50, J Nibert for Cornelli 59, G Palazzani for Engelbrecht 41, M Pratichetti for Boni 62, M Mornas for Bordoli 66.
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)