Herring hat-trick the highlight of Ulster's thumping win over Zebre
Ulster made it back-to-back Guinness PRO14 wins with a 54-7 drubbing of Zebre, with Rob Herring scoring a hat-trick of tries in the eight-try romp.
The result, with Rob Lyttle Ulster's top scorer on 17 points from six conversions and a try, saw the Irish province move up to third in Conference B.
Ulster's second try bonus of the season came at a timely moment in the close race to make the play-offs and was secured just on half-time at Kingspan Stadium when Lyttle scored in the corner.
Ulster's other tries came from Louis Ludik, Robert Baloucoune and Peter Nelson, as well as a penalty try.
Hooker Herring opened the scoring for the hosts with a 15th-minute try which came off the back of a driving maul just after Zebre flanker James Brown had been yellow-carded for pulling down a previous maul.
Wing Lyttle missed the conversion but landed the next one six minutes later when Herring scored again, off the back of a driving maul.
Ludik was then yellow-carded in the 24th minute for slapping down a pass from Giulio Bisengi to Francois Brummer, with referee Mike Adamson consulting with the TMO before awarding the Italians a penalty try.
Ulster then came back with Herring's hat-trick, which came off yet another driving maul after Kieran Treadwell had taken the line-out. Lyttle converted to extend the home side's lead to 19-7.
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Just on half-time, Ulster again went for the corner and even though they failed to launch the maul, Lyttle made the left corner for the bonus point try after an assist from Darren Cave.
The score was awarded after going to the TMO and Lyttle then added a superb touchline conversion to give Ulster a 26-7 interval advantage.
It took five minutes for the hosts to score again, this time they tried to do it through their maul only to be awarded a penalty try as Zebre dragged it down on the line.
Try number six for Ulster was scored by Ludik in the 50th minute, with Lyttle again adding a great conversion to put Ulster 40-7 up.
The scoreline became 47-7 when Baloucoune was put over by replacement James Hume, with Lyttle adding his fifth conversion.
Nelson wriggled over for Ulster's eighth try with less than 10 minutes remaining, Lyttle again converting to wrap up the scoring.