Newport Gwent Dragons came agonisingly close to snatching a draw in Ravenhill but in the end had to settle for a losing bonus point as they went down 14-7 to Ulster.
The Dragons went into the game having not lost in 2007 but knew it would be a tough place to secure a win and they put up a tremendous battle against the reigning league champions Ulster.
The first half saw them under enormous pressure with Ulster topping the territory and possession stats.
It was the home side who got on the scoring sheet first following a try from Irish international scrum half Isaac Boss. He tool advantage of some lazy Dragons defence and touched down for a deserved try which fly half David Humphreys converted.
Andrew Trimble got Ulster's second after breaking down the wing and avoiding the tackles of Gareth Cooper and Bedwas centre Phil Dolman.
The Dragons were continually under pressure with Ulster bossing the ruck area and The Dragons uncharacteristically were falling off first up tackles. However, The Dragons hit back when Michael Owen took a quick tap penalty to inject some pace into attack, he fed Ben Daly and Gareth Wyatt held onto the shoulder high pass, he chipped ahead only for the ball to bounce awkwardly and he stumbled while trying to collect. This was one of the first times The Dragons had ventured into Ulster's half and they got on the try scoring sheet when they drove from a lineout, moved the ball quickly and Dolman found Aled Brew on his inside shoulder who sprinted away for the converted try. At the interval The Dragons trailed by just seven points having spent most of the first forty minutes under immense pressure.
Colin Charvis steadied the ship when he came on at half time; he tackled with purpose and foraged for every ball at the breakdown. Nic Fitisemanu replaced Michael Owen on 60 minutes and he was able to get over the gain line and The Dragons came agonisingly close on a few occasions to scoring but were held up by some tremendous Ulster defence.
"On 50 minutes we'd silenced the crowd but we just didn't take our chances.
"Ulster will probably feel themselves fortunate but we've come to the league champions and deserved a draw in the end.
"It's all part of our development and I'm really proud of the players, although perhaps we had too many unforced errors." - Paul Turner