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Ulster Crash in Franklin’s Gardens

Ulster Crash in Franklin’s Gardens

Second half tries from Matt Dawson and John Leslie saw Northampton open their Heineken Cup campaign with a 32-9 win over Ulster in Franklin’s Gardens.

Ulster were well in the hunt at the end of the opening half of their Heineken Cup clash with Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens when they trailed by 15-6. The home side were fortunate to end the half with a full complement of players following an incident involving Saints lock Matt Connors. The Australian lock delivered a haymaker to Ulster scrum-half Neil Doak right under the nose of Italian referee Antonio Lombardi, but instead of the expected yellow card, (or even red), Connors earned just a warning from the Italian official. How he remained on the pitch remains an absolute mystery. It might even have been all square had Ulster not missed three penalties in the final ten minutes of the half.
Doak was wide with two of those efforts having taken over the kicking duties from a troubled David Humphreys.

In the second half Doak and Paul Grayson traded penalties before Matt Dawson scored the decisive try at the close of the third quarter. Ulster continued their effort to claw their way back into the game but conceded a second try in injury time when Bryn Cunningham had his attempted clearance blocked down by John Leslie who then gained the touchdown.

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