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Five-Try Ulster Overwhelm Connacht

Five-Try Ulster Overwhelm Connacht

Connacht had no answer to Ulster’s combination of pace and power at Ravenhill on Friday night as Mark McCall’s side easily netted a 36-10 bonus point win.

Matt McCullough contests a lineout with Andrew Farley

Connacht had no answer to Ulster’s combination of pace and power at Ravenhill on Friday night as Mark McCall’s side easily netted a 36-10 bonus point win.

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CELTIC LEAGUE: Friday, October 7

Ulster 36 Connacht 10, Ravenhill (Att: 9,546)

Scorers: Ulster: Tries: Matt McCullough, Rory Best, James Topping, Andrew Trimble, Tommy Bowe; Cons: David Humphreys 2, Bryn Cunningham, Paddy Wallace; Pen: Cunningham

Connacht: Try: Keith Matthews; Con: Ted Robinson; Pen: Paul Warwick

Ulster swept aside Michael Bradley’s outfit, leaving the westerners firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.

Ulster began the opening 40 minutes with serious intent and, claimed their first try after eight minutes when Matt McCullough was driven over. David Humphreys converted and Ulster were up and running.

Connacht got on the scoreboard through a Paul Warwick penalty but Ulster were soon back on the score sheet as briefly interrupted proceedings before Rory Best claimed their second after diving on the ball after a lineout steal by the visitors.

Humphreys set up their third as he jinked his way through the defence to set up James Topping.
Humphreys’ conversion made it 19-3 to Ulster but then, three minutes later, he was shown the yellow card by referee Alain Rolland for what appeared to be a deliberate knock-on.

Connacht did not make the most of the extra man and were down to 14 themselves when hooker John Fogarty was binned two minutes later for interfering with the ball. Bryn Cunningham took over from the missing Humphreys’ and slotted the penalty.

Ulster claimed their bonus try on 36 minutes through Andrew Trimble, who sped away from the Connacht defence. Cunningham’s conversion made it 29-3 at the break.

The second half was a scrappy affair with both sides making multiple substitutions. Ulster’s new signing Isaac Boss made his debut and set up Tommy Bowe for Ulster’s fifth and final try seven minutes before the end. Replacement Paddy Wallace added the points.

Connacht did manage a consolation try right at the death when Keith Matthews ran in an intercept score which replacement Ted Robinson converted.

ULSTER: Bryn Cunningham; Tommy Bowe, Kevin Maggs, Andrew Trimble, James Topping (Tyrone Howe 46); David Humphreys (Paddy Wallace 72), Kieran Campbell (Isaac Boss 52); Justin Fitzpatrick, Rory Best (Paul Shields 59), Simon Best (Capt) (Bryan Young 72), Justin Harrison (Rowan Frost 59), Matt McCullough, Neil Best, Neil McMillan (Campbell Feather 20), Roger Wilson.

CONNACHT: Matt Mostyn; Keith Matthews, Darren Yapp (John Hearty 62), James Downey (Ted Robinson 69), Conor McPhillips; Paul Warwick, Chris Keane (Conor O’Loughlin half-time); Ray Hogan (Dan McFarland 73), John Fogarty (Joe Merrigan 62), Stephen Knoop, Christian (Michael Swift 75), Andrew Farley (Capt), John Muldoon (Merrigan 35-45), Matt Lacey, Colm Rigney (Brendan O’Connor 75).

Referee: Alain Rolland (Leinster); Sin-bin: David Humphreys (Ulster) (31 mins), John Fogarty (Connacht) (33)