Pro14: Ulster 10-25 Leinster
|Pro14: Ulster v Leinster|
|Ulster: (10) 10|
|Try: Reidy Con: Lealiifano Pen: Lealiifano|
|Leinster: (13) 25|
|Tries: Larmour, L McGrath 2 Cons: R Byrne, C Marsh Pens: R Byrne 2|
Ulster suffered their first home Pro14 defeat in a year as Leinster secured victory in Belfast.
Leinster struck first with a fine try by early replacement centre Jordan Larmour, who showed great pace to run through from near the halfway line.
Flanker Sean Reidy forced his way over the line for Ulster's reply but the 27th-minute try proved to be the hosts' sole touchdown of the night.
Luke McGrath scored two tries for Leinster in the second half.
And those scores sealed a victory which was the first for the away team in nine meetings between the inter-provincial rivals.
It was Ulster's first home defeat in the competition since losing 15-14 to Munster one year ago, and Leinster's first victory in Belfast since 2014.
Leinster, without Jonathan Sexton and Robbie Henshaw, were far more accurate and potent throughout to inflict Ulster's second defeat in the league this season, following last month's shock reverse at Zebre.
Christian Lealiifano opened Ulster's account with a sixth-minute wind-assisted penalty but Leinster hit back on the quarter-hour mark when Larmour, a second-minute replacement for Noel Reid at centre, stepped inside Iain Henderson and Aaron Cairns to score near the posts.
Ross Byrne added the conversion and Leinster led 7-3 but the home side roared back to regain the lead when Reidy powered over from a five-metre scrum in the 27th minute after young scrum-half Aaron Cairns had been held up over the visitors' line.
Lealiifano's conversion put Ulster 10-7 up but two Byrne penalties made it 13-10 to the visitors at the break.
Leinster struck for their second try just before the hour mark.
Rodney Ah You spilled a ball and the visitors moved it at pace out to the right wing. O'Brien dummied and straightened before giving McGrath the scoring pass to dot down in the corner, with Byrne failing to convert from a difficult angle.
Then with two minutes remaining, McGrath wriggled through the tackles of Ulster substitutes Louis Ludik and Rob Herring to score under the posts with replacement Cathal Marsh slotting the conversion.
Ulster: C Piutau, T Bowe, L Marshall, S McCloskey, J Stockdale, C Lealiifano, A Cairns, C Black, R Best, R Ah You, A O'Connor, I Henderson, S Reidy, C Henry, J Deysel.
Replacements: R Herring, A Warwick, R Kane, K Treadwell, R Diack, J Stewart, P Nelson, L Ludik.
Leinster: R Kearney, A Byrne, R O'Loughlin, N Reid, D Kearney, R Byrne, J Gibson-Park; J McGrath, J Tracy, T Furlong, D Toner, J Ryan, D Leavy, J Murphy, S O'Brien.
Replacements: R Strauss, C Healy, A Porter, R Molony, J Conan, L McGrath, C Marsh, J Larmour.