Jump to main content


Second Half Slump Sees Ulster Leak 55 Points To Saints

Second Half Slump Sees Ulster Leak 55 Points To Saints

Tries in each half from Charles Piutau and David Shanahan were Ulster’s only scores of note as they suffered a heavy 55-15 defeat to an experienced Northampton Saints side at Frankin’s Gardens tonight.

PRE-SEASON MATCH: Friday, August 25

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 55 ULSTER 15, Franklin’s Gardens
Scorers: Northampton Saints: Tries: Ben Foden, Kieran Brookes, Tom Collins 2, Alex Mitchell 2, Michael Paterson 2, James Grayson; Cons: Harry Mallinder 2, James Grayson 3
Ulster: Tries: Charles Piutau, David Shanahan; Con: Brett Herron; Pen: John Cooney

HT: Northampton Saints 12 Ulster 5

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

The English Premiership outfit scored nine tries with seven coming in the second half, leaving Ulster with much improvement needed ahead of the visit of the Toyota Cheetahs to kick off the GUINNESS PRO14 next Friday night.

It took the home side just five minutes to register the game’s opening try as the Saints forwards rumbled their way into the 22, before the ball was released to the backs with Harry Mallinder and Ahsee Tuala showing slick hands to put Ben Foden over in the corner for an unconverted score.

Northampton continued to dominate territory and possession and were rewarded with a second try on 10 minutes. They kicked a penalty to touch, and from the resulting lineout the forwards set up a rolling maul allowing England prop Kieran Brookes to barge over from close range. Mallinder converted for a 12-0 lead.

Referee Tom Foley lost patience with Ulster constantly infringing at the maul, sin-binning prop Callum Black on 14 minutes. Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Ulstermen got back into the contest on 20 minutes with a try from former All Black Charles Piutau.

Les Kiss’ men were awarded a penalty and they took a quick tap, scrum half John Cooney, a debutant after his summer move from Connacht, making a quick break before putting width on the ball to send Piutau over. Cooney was off target with the conversion.

Ulster had a chance to narrow the hosts’ lead with the final kick of the first half – after they forced a scrum penalty – but Cooney’s long range effort drifted wide and the Saints went into the break with a 12-5 advantage.

Springbok Marcell Coetzee made his long-awaited return from injury, coming off the bench at the start of the second half, and the province managed to close the gap to four points thanks to a 44th minute penalty from Cooney.

Northampton got their third try a minute later, scrum half Nic Groom made a sniping break before offloading to Tom Collins and the winger showed great pace to outstrip the Ulster defence and cross the whitewash. Mallinder failed to convert.

Ulster had flanker and captain Chris Henry yellow carded on 56 minutes for illegally taking down a maul five metres from his own line. Saints went quickly from the penalty but knocked on close to the line. However, Groom was able to force a knock on from Ulster at the base of the scrum.

From the Saints scrum, their forwards made the hard yards before going wide, Mitch Eadie and Day went close before the ball was moved back inside and Collins claimed his second try with Mallinder adding the extra two points.

Replacement scrum half Alex Mitchell crossed for the home side on 64 minutes, finishing off a break by Juan Pablo Estelles. James Grayson converted and then a clever break by Ken Pisi opened up the Ulster defence to allow Mitchell to score his second try just two minutes later, with Grayson converting

The influential Estelles broke through to set up Michael Paterson for a converted try and Saints soon reached their half-century with a well-taken individual effort from Grayson but he could not convert his own try.

David Shanahan, one of the province’s replacements this evening, registered a late solo score for Ulster, which fellow reserve Brett Herron converted, but Northampton still had the final word when Paterson grabbed his second try in the last minute.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS: Ahsee Tuala; Ben Foden, Luther Burrell, Rory Hutchinson, Tom Collins; Harry Mallinder, Nic Groom; Alex Waller, Dylan Hartley (capt), Kieran Brookes, David Ribbans, Christian Day, Teimana Harrison, Lewis Ludlam, Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: Campese Ma’afu, Mikey Haywood, Paul Hill, Courtney Lawes, James Craig, Michael Paterson, Jamie Gibson, Sam Dickinson, Ben Nutley, Alex Mitchell, James Grayson, Ken Pisi, Tom Stephenson, Nafi Tuitavake, Jamie Elliott, George Furbank, Juan Pablo Estelles.

ULSTER: Charles Piutau; Louis Ludik, Tommy Bowe, Stuart McCloskey, David Busby; Peter Nelson, John Cooney; Callum Black, Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst, Robbie Diack, Alan O’Connor, Clive Ross, Chris Henry (capt), Jean Deysel.

Replacements: Zack McCall, Kyle McCall, Rodney Ah You, Peter Browne, Marcell Coetzee, David Shanahan, Brett Herron, Andrew Trimble, Andrew Warwick, Jonny Simpson, Matthew Rea, Nick Timoney, Caleb Montgomery, Paul Marshall, Jack Owens, Johnny McPhillips, Callum Patterson.

Referee: Tom Foley (RFU)