Match Report: Edinburgh Rugby 28-17 Ulster Rugby
In one of their worst performances of the season so far, Ulster were completely outplayed by a half strength Edinburgh side, losing 28-17 at BT Murrayfield Stadium.
They did themselves no favours, conceding two early tries to Viliame Mata and Damien Hoyland, and when Magnus Bradbury crossed just after the break the lead was unassailable.
There was a debut try for Aaron Cairns and Jacob Stockdale also crossed late on, but this was Ulster a long long way from their best, and they can't argue with the outcome on the night.
Within the first ten minutes, Edinburgh found themselves two scores to the good, first Mata hammered his way through several flailing Ulster tackles to cross, before Hoyland had the easy task of picking and going across a gaping try line.
Fly half Jason Tovey converted the first effort but was wayward with the second from the touchline before he had to be replaced after taking a knock to the head.
In fact the hosts were 15 points to the good by the time Ulster even showed signs of threatening, full back Blair Kinghorn knocking over a long range penalty before Ulster finally made a briefly lived foray into the Edinburgh 22.
They did get the next points through a Ruan Pienaar penalty, before Clive Ross' charge down gave the crowd a moment of pause as Pienaar bore down on it, however Kinghorn raced back to save the try.
Instead the Scots would take a commanding advantage heading into the second period as Weir put over two more three pointers to give Edinburgh a 21-3 half time lead.
It got even better for them seven minutes after the restart when Cornell du Preez broke away from the back of a scrum and when the ball rebounded off Pienaar's legs, Magnus Bradbury scooped it up and cantered over.
Ulster were now playing for nothing more than a losing bonus point, and the introduction of Paul Marshall and moving Pienaar out to fly-half helped up their tempo going into the latter stages of the game.
Arguably they were denied a perfectly good try when Charles Piutau gathered a Pienaar chip kick through and slid over, but the TMO decided the full-back had knocked the ball on, while Tommy Bowe was also held up over the line.
But they did get a score, moments after Ross Kane had to be carted off on a stretcher, when debutant Aaron Cairns soared highest for a kick through and dotted down.
One try quickly became two as Ulster worked their way back up into the red zone and a perfectly executed strike move sent another sub, Jacob Stockdale, sprinting over at pace.
But they couldn't get that crucial third try that would give them at least a point to go home with. Although, arguably they didn't even deserve it.
Tries: Mata, Hoyland, Bradbury
Cons: Tovey (2)
Pens: Kinghorn, Weir (2)
Tries: Cairns, Stockdale
Cons: Pienaar (2)
(15-9) Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean (Sam Hidalgo-Clyne 75), Phillip Burleigh, Tom Brown (Mike Allen 40), Jason Tovey (Duncan Weir 23-34, 67), Sean Kennedy; (1-8) Jack Cosgrove (Kyle Whyte 70), Neil Cochrane (Stuart McInally 62), Murray McCallum (Felipe Arregui 58), Fraser McKenzie (Lewis Carmichael 67), Ben Toolis, Viliame Mata (Cornell du Preez 45), Jamie Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury.
(15-9) Charles Piutau, Tommy Bowe (Aaron Cairns 64), Luke Marshall, Sam Windsor (Paul Marshall 64), Rob Lyttle, Brett Herron (Jacob Stockdale 42), Ruan Pienaar; (1-8) Kyle McCall (Andy Warwick 54), Rob Herring (John Andrew 72), Wiehahn Herbst (Ross Kane 40), Dan Tuohy (Conor Joyce 40), Franco van der Merwe (Robbie Diack 41), Pete Browne, Clive Ross, Sean Reidy.
Man of the Match: Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh)
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)