Edinburgh too strong for Ulster

Date published: November 4 2016

Edinburgh survived a second-half fightback from Ulster to secure a 28-17 win in their PRO12 clash on Friday.

The match was effectively won by the hosts in the first half. Tries from Viliame Mata and Damien Hoyland helped Edinburgh establish an 18-point lead at the interval. Their third try was scored after the break by Magnus Bradbury.

This was before Ulster mounted a late challenge with tries from debutant Aaron Cairns and Jacob Stockdale but it was not enough.

The defeat is Ulster's third on the bounce as their impressive start, leaving them sitting fifth. Meanwhile, Edinburgh's win leaves them in eighth. Edinburgh opened the scoring in just the third minute of the match. Mata powered through the Ulster defence to score a try. Jason Tovey added the extras to make the score 7-0. 

The second try of the match was scored soon after by the Scottish hosts, Hoyland sniped over to touch down after patient build-up play from the hosts. Tovey missed his conversion attempt, leaving the home side's lead at 12 points. 

After 16 minutes, hands in the ruck from Ulster gave Blair Kinghorn the chance to extend the lead. His long-range kick was well-struck and extended his side's lead to 15 points. Ruan Pienaar kicked Ulster's first points of the match in the 25th minute with a penalty after Edinburgh were penalised at the scrum.

Tovey had suffered a blood injury after 24 minutes and was replaced by the returning Duncan Weir and five minutes later Weir had kicked his first points with a penalty. In the 34th minute Weir kicked another penalty before Tovey's return to make the score 21-3.

With 48 minutes on the clock Edinburgh scored their third try. Sean Kennedy and Michael Allen linked up well on the break before playing in Bradbury to score. Tovey converted to extend the hosts' lead to 25 points.

Ulster scored a try of their own in the 68th minute, Cairns touching down two minutes into his senior debut for the club after seizing upon a kick through from Luke Marshall. Pienaar converted to cut the deficit to 18 points. The visitors' late rally continued as Jacob Stockdale ran through the middle to score a good try in the 72nd minute. Pienaar was on target once more to make the final score 28-17.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Mata, Hoyland, Bradbury
Cons: Tovey 2
Pens: Kinghorn, Weir 2

For Ulster:
Tries: Cairns, Stockdale
Cons: Pienaar 2
Pen: Pienaar

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Chris Dean, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Magnus Bradbury, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Viliame Mata, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Neil Cochrane (c), 1 Jack Cosgrove
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Kyle Whyte, 18 Felipe Arregui, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 Cornell Du Preez, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Michael Allen

Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Sam Windsor, 11 Rob Lyttle, 10 Brett Herron, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Sean Reidy, 7 Clive Ross, 6 Pete Browne, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Dan Tuohy, 3 Wiehan Herbst, 2 Rob Herring (c), 1 Kyle McCall
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Andrew Warwick, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Conor Joyce, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Aaron Cairns, 23 Jacob Stockdale

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Dudley Phillips (Ireland), Lloyd Linton (Scotland)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)