ULSTER ARE DOWN to 14 men after loose-head prop Tom Court was given a straight red card for a dump tackle on Devin Toner.
With 14 minutes of the match gone, and Ulster trailing 6-0, Court teamed up with hooker Rob Herring to tackle the Leinster lock but lifted him above the horizontal and landed him on his head. After numerous video replays, Court was summoned over by referee Luke Pearce — officiating his first Pro12 game — and sent off.
It is the second time in four games that Ulster have lost a man to an early sending off. Jared Payne saw red in the Heineken Cup quarter final loss to Saracens.
Nick Williams, who has since been substituted for replacement prop Callum Black, was lucky not to see red for striking Rhys Ruddock after a scrum. The back row conceded a penalty for the offence but escaped further punishment.
On 24 minutes, Paddy Jackson steamed in for a marvellous try in the left-hand corner but Rob Kearney was yellow-carded for a high tackle on the out-half.
Two minutes later and Rhys Ruddock was sent to the sin bin for tackling Jackson as he jumped for a high ball. Leinster led 9-8 at half-time.
More to follow…