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Keane And Patterson Score In Ulster’s Defeat To Baa Baas

Keane And Patterson Score In Ulster’s Defeat To Baa Baas

A rain-sodden Kingspan Stadium hosted a fitting tribute for exiting Ulster stars Ruan Pienaar and Roger Wilson last night as the Barbarians came out on top in an entertaining 11-try extravaganza, winning 43-28 in the end.


ULSTER 28 BARBARIANS 43, Kingspan Stadium
Scorers: Ulster: Tries: Stuart McCloskey, Mark Keane, Callum Patterson, Alan O’Connor; Cons: Roger Wilson, Ruan Pienaar 2, Brett Herron
Barbarians: Tries: Corey Flynn, Waisea Nayacalevu 2, Chris King 2, Penalty try, Joe Tekori; Cons: Ian Madigan 2, Horacio Agulla, Thierry Dusautoir

HT: Ulster 21 Barbarians 22

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Both the retiring Roger Wilson and the Montpellier-bound Ruan PIenaar got their names on the scoresheet – albeit through conversion kicks – as newcomers Mark Keane and Callum Patterson capped fine debut performances with tries, while the more established Stuart McCloskey and Alan O’Connor also crossed the whitewash for the Ulstermen.

The end-of-season clash was also a momentous occasion for two much-loved international players as Leinster and Ireland prop Mike Ross bowed out in his final professional game, while former France captain Thierry Dusautoir also hung up his boots after delivering yet another man-of-the-match performance.

Boasting 11 internationals of seven different nationalities in their starting ranks, the Barbarians were nonetheless left flailing in McCloskey’s wake on five minutes as the bulldozing centre shrugged off three challenges to reach the line for the opening try, Wilson the unlikely hero as he coolly slotted over the conversion with all the panache of a certain Paddy Jackson.

Instonians and Ireland Under-19 winger Keane was next on the scoresheet, diving onto McCloskey’s chip forward to ground wide on the left, with Pienaar this time taking on kicking duties – a controversial choice given Wilson’s 100% record to date, but perhaps a judicious one as the Springbok expertly dispatched his kick from a tight angle.

New Zealander Corey Flynn pulled a try back for the Baa Baas on the 20-minute mark after some muscular close range mauling, with centre Waisea Nayacalevu finishing off a slick move to touch down in the corner four minutes later.

A supremely powerful rolling maul took Pau prop Chris King over for the visitors’ third try in the 32nd minute, and just when it began to look like Pienaar and Wilson’s parade may be subjected to some heavy precipitation, a rolling maul of Ulster’s own set up Ballymena youngster Patterson’s first try in provincial colours.

Pienaar converted before making way for Paul Marshall to rapturous applause from across Kingspan Stadium – but there was still time left before half-time for King to notch his second try of the encounter, sending his side off one point to the good (22-21).

The second half opened with a well-taken try from second row O’Connor off Marshall’s offload, Brett Herron this time adding the extras. However, the pendulum soon swung back in the Barbarians’ favour with the award of a penalty try on 55 minutes, former Leinster out-half Ian Madigan restoring the one-point advantage with the conversion.

Quick hands and feet from Nayacalevu brought the Baa Baas their sixth try of the night on the hour mark, and with Les Kiss’ men now eight points adrift, a fine interchange between Herron and replacement Dave Shanahan only just failed to produce a try due to an unfortunate knock-on a metre from the line from Marshall, the final recipient.

Saracens full-back Alex Goode thought he had added a late try only for play to eventually be pulled back for a dangerous tackle on Patterson. Nonetheless, Joe Tekori powered over just before the whistle, giving the departing Dusautoir the chance to emulate Wilson’s first half conversion, which the Toulouse legend duly did.

ULSTER: Peter Nelson; Mark Keane, Callum Patterson, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy; Brett Herron, Ruan Pienaar (co-capt); Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Rodney Ah You, Peter Browne, Alan O’Connor, Matthew Rea, Clive Ross, Roger Wilson (co-capt).

Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane, Stephen Mulholland, Chris Henry, Paul Marshall, Dave Shanahan, Callum Smith, Ricky Lutton.

BARBARIANS: Alex Goode (Saracens/England); David Smith (Castres Olympique), Waisea Nayacalevu (Stade Francais/Fiji), Robbie Fruean (Bath), Horacio Agulla (Castres Olympique/Argentina); Ian Madigan (Bordeaux-Begles/Ireland), Rory Kockott (Castres Olympique/France); Chris King (Pau), Corey Flynn (Star/New Zealand), Mike Ross (Leinster/Ireland), Paul Willemse (Montpellier), Patricio Albacete (Toulouse/Argentina), Joe Tekori (Toulouse/Samoa), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse/France) (capt), Facundo Isa (Lyon/Argentina).

Replacements: Richard Hibbard (Gloucester/Wales), Vincent Pelo (La Rochelle/France), Census Johnston (Toulouse/Samoa), Jeremy Thrush (Gloucester/New Zealand), Chris Masoe (Racing 92/New Zealand), Kahn Fotuali’i (Bath/Samoa), Brock James (La Rochelle), Jean-Marcellin Buttin (Bordeaux-Begles/France).

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)