Ulster were well and truly in the Reds at Ravenhill on Friday night with an excellent win over Queensland to boost their pre-season preparations.
It was an exciting night of rugby at Ravenhill as Ulster Rugby clocked up 24 points to 0 against visiting Super 14 side Queensland Reds.
Ulster dominated the first half of the match, consistently creating scoring opportunities that left the crowd on the edge of their seat however Queensland Red’s solid defensive line meant that the points didn’t come easily for the home side.
After 17 minutes of play a speedy break from Isaac Boss seemed sure to reap rewards as his pass eventually found Timoci Nagusa down the right wing but the Fijian speedster was brought down just feet from touch by two of the Red’s defence.
Queensland reacted with some impressive play of their own as they took possession to push Ulster deep into their own 22. A penalty kick to touch helped the visitors surge closer to Ulster’s score line but they were unable to capitalise after a long kick from the boot of Ian Humphreys cleared the ball from danger. Ulster claimed the first points of the night in the 24th minute with a penalty kick from Clinton Schifcofske.
The scoreboard still read 3-0 as the halftime whistle blew with neither side able to gain the upper hand to cross the whitewash.
It was only four minutes into the second half when Scottish International Rob Dewey took the first try of the night after an impressive run from Clinton Schifcofske, who added his own 2 points with the conversion to extend Ulster’s advantage.
Then it was Ulster’s young talents time to shine. Calculated play from Darren Cave helped him to storm through the Red’s defence to off load to Chris Cochrane. The Ireland Under 19’s and Ulster Academy player touched down for his first try in a senior Ulster jersey in the 56th minute.
Schifcofske was on target again with the conversion to bring the score line to 17-0 with less than 30 minutes left of play.
Both sides produced some solid opportunities with Queensland narrowly missing out on getting some points on the score board several times. The Super 14 side almost held their ground until full time but as the clock counted down the intensity remained high. Paddy Wallace managed to cross the whitewash in the 80th minute but was unable to ground the ball, however it was only seconds later as the match entered injury time that Ulster snatched their final try of the night.
After narrowly missing out a number of times throughout the night Timoci Nagusa finally clocked up a well deserved 5 points as he touched down for his new club. Paddy Wallace was on hand to convert and seal the Ulstermen’s victory.
Final Score Ulster 24 v 0 Queensland
Uster: Schifcofske, Nagusa, Cave, Wallace, Cochrane, Humphreys, Boss, Young, Best, Court, O’Donaghue, McCullough, Anderson, Pollock, Diack
Replacements Hanna, Carey, Henry, Paulo, Willis, Dewey, Cunningham
Ulster: Holmes, Hanson, Slipper, Humphries, Brynes, Higginbotham, Luafutu, Houston, Gollings, Ioane, Fetoai, Turinui, Morahan, Toua,
Replacements Anae, Kennedy, Simmons, Shaw, McKibben, Faingaa, Davies
Tickets for Ulster’s final pre-season friendly Ulster vs Worcester Warriors, Wednesday 27th August are still available for the Main Stand, Promenade and Terrace. Please note that the Ulster Rugby ticket office will be closed on Monday 25th August, but you can still purchase tickets on our website www.ulsterrugby.com and tickets can be collected at turnstile 8 on the Ravenhill Park/Onslow Parade entrance to the ground on Wednesday night.