Ulster racked up a bonus point 45-20 win over Edinburgh with six tries to take their season's impressive unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions and stay top of the RaboDirect PRO12.
Two tries from Jared Payne (pictured) and single scores from Roger Wilson, the excellent Ruan Pienaar and Craig Gilroy, as well as a first half penalty try, got Ulster home though the much-changed side did not have things all their own way and trailed Edinburgh 10-3 midway through the first half.
Pienaar - who kicked all six conversions and scored a try before departing for Springbok duty - was again a huge presence while Craig Gilroy and substitute Nick Williams put in big games as Edinburgh's awful season continued.
However, the sight of Stephen Ferris hobbling off in the second half of his first game back in a month will raise further concern over his season with both Ireland and Ulster.
Cardiff crashed to their sixth successive defeat and their fifth in a row against Munster, but it took a last-minute try from former Blues centre Casey Laulala to rob them at the death as they went down 24-18.
Following last weekend's 59-22 thrashing in Dublin, the Blues promised a fast start against Munster and although Jason Tovey missed a touchline penalty in the second minute, he was spot-on when given a second chance.
But the Irish hit back immediately, spreading the ball across field with both centres featuring before number eight Tommy O'Donnell trotted over on the left for the first of his two tries, with Ronan O'Gara converting.
The former British Lion saw a yellow card minutes later, however, when he illegally prevented the Blues capitalising on a breakaway by Robin Copeland.
But Munster survived their spell with 14 men after Cardiff butchered an overlap following a kick-and-chase by full-back Dan Fish.
O'Gara rubbed it in with a simple penalty to extend the visitors' lead before the break, but the Blues were level six minutes into the second period.
Ceri Sweeney replaced the ineffectual Tovey at fly-half and, with his first touch, fed centre Dafydd Hewitt, who burst through to touch down. Sweeney converted.
Midway through the half Sweeney slotted over a straightforward penalty, but the home side's lead was short-lived as O'Donnell smashed through weak tackling to score under the posts, with O'Gara once again adding the extras.
But O'Gara's long-time Ireland partner, Peter Springer, on as a substitute, had a kick charged down at the base of a scrum and opposite number Lewis Jones darted clear to score although Sweeney's kick drifted wide.
Just as the Blues fans were preparing to celebrate a much needed victory, however, Laulala evaded clutching hands to reach the line and O'Gara hammered the final nail in the coffin.
Glasgow Warriors closed the first phase of the RaboDirect PRO12 championship with a comprehensive 37-6 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons that took them to second in the table.
Despite a number of the hosts' top players being on Scotland duty ahead of the clash with the All Blacks, Glasgow put on a confident display and a potential star of the future was born in the shape of Fijian scrum-half Niko Matawalu, making his debut.
Well controlled by number 10 Scott Wight, Glasgow were in control at half-time with a 20-6 lead thanks to tries from Pete Murchie and Gordon Reid.
Glasgow continued in the driving seat and touched down three more times in the second half through Tom Ryder and a Tommy Seymour brace, with Wight converting the last.
It was yet another sad night for the Dragons, who remain second bottom after mustering nothing more than a brace of Tom Prydie penalties.