Jump to main content


Forwards Lay Platform For Ravens’ Second Win

Forwards Lay Platform For Ravens’ Second Win

Ulster Ravens finally broke clear of a gritty Currie side in the second half of this British & Irish Cup pool clash. Tries in the dying minutes from Ricky Andrew and Chris Cochrane wrapped up a deserved win for Gary Longwell’s men.

The Ravens ventured to Scotland on the back of an opening bonus point win over Doncaster Knights, and they did enough in the second half here to overcome the challenge of Currie.

Under the floodlights at Malleny Park, the Ulstermen had to soak up some early pressure and some poor handling cost them amid an error-ridden opening quarter.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Crucially, Gary Longwell's charges were in dominant form in the scrums and lineouts but they had to be patient in terms of converting that pressure into points.

Some loose play and an offside decision at a ruck allowed Jamie Forbes kick Currie into the lead from a 30-metre penalty, but his half-back partner Chris Leck was then sin-binned for tugging a player back without the ball.

James McKinney stepped up to convert the resulting penalty from the 22-metre line and the Ravens were beginning to click, full-back Peter Nelson slicing open the Currie midfield only to be called back for a crossing offence.

The Ravens pinned the home side back and their forwards pressed home their advantage in the scrum. Currie collapsed the set piece, five metres from their try-line, and two resets later McKinney was converting a penalty try.

However, there was still time for Currie to hit back just before the break. They managed to create enough space for winger David Smith to score in the corner. Forbes' impressive conversion squared things up again at 10-10.

The Ravens resumed on the attack and an Ian Whitten surge should have led to a second try. Loose passing let them down out wide and after another strong scrum yielded a penalty, McKinney missed a 25-metre penalty.

The loss of flanker Conor Joyce, who was yellow carded for repeated offsides, invited Currie to force the issue for a short time, but Ulster eventually edged ahead on the scoreboard.

Despite missing Joyce, the Ulster scrum won another penalty which this time McKinney put through the posts. Currie were back level though just minutes later, Forbes landing his second penalty of the night.

McKinney was short with a left-sided kick but the Ravens were quickly in to squeeze down the space and set up camp in the Currie half.

When they got possession back, winger Chris Cochrane thought he was through for a try but he was called back for hands in the ruck earlier in the attack.

Nonetheless, the Ravens kept pushing for scores and they were rewarded during a profitable final 10 minutes. McKinney's third successful penalty gave them some breathing space at 16-13.

And the points were sealed when the Currie defence, missing the yellow carded Forbes, was split for replacement full-back Ricky Andrew to score a try which McKinney converted.

The Ravens duly pushed the winning margin out to 15 points as Cochrane showed off his finishing skills in injury-time.

The province's second successive win keeps them in sight of Pool 6 front runners Nottingham and Leeds Carnegie, who have both played three games to date.