Click here for photos of the Ulster players as they celebrate their Celtic League triumph at the Liberty Stadium.
Pictured above: Justin Harrison raises the trophy aloft after Ulster’s tenth consecutive Celtic League win – a 19-17 victory over the Ospreys. Mark McCall’s charges are unbeaten in the League since their New Year’s Eve slip-up (22-12) at Connacht.
Justin Harrison with the cup. Ulster coach Mark McCall said afterwards: “It was frustrating to be a point down (17-16) late on but I knew if we could get back into their half, David (Humphreys) could do something like he did.
“I take my hat off to the players for the effort they have put in all season and for the defence they showed in this game. It is a privilege to be involved with them and they deserve to win this title.”
Ulster’s players celebrate becoming the third Irish province to win the Celtic League – Leinster (2001/02) and Munster (2002/03) managed the feat previously.
Justin Harrison and David Humphreys, two of Ulster’s heroes, pose with the trophy. Humphreys converted Matt McCullough’s 17th-minute try and kicked three penalties and the match-winning drop goal for a 14-point haul. That took his tally for this season’s League to 243 points (2 tries, 31 conversions, 54 penalties and 3 drop goals). Overall, the 35-year-old Humphreys has scored 635 points in 49 League appearances.
Versatile prop Bryan Young, who was called up to the Ireland squad for the summer tour to New Zealand and Australia during the week, kisses the trophy.
Justin Harrison celebrates with his second row partner Matt McCullough, who crossed for his fourth try of the League campaign early on.
Andrew Maxwell, Paddy Wallace and David Humphreys will have little time to reflect on Ulster’s Celtic League success. Both Maxwell and Wallace are in the Ireland ‘A’ squad that is Stateside-bound for the Churchill Cup. Humphreys, who announced his retirement from international rugby last month, has been included in the Barbarians (v England, today) and World XV (v South Africa, June 3) squads for upcoming invitational games.
**All photos by Huw Evans on behalf of Inpho Photography**