Planet Rugby

Ulster keep play-off hopes alive

22nd April 2011 21:37

Share:

Paul Marshall ulster

Ulster: Crucial win

Ulster continued their march towards the Magners League play-offs with an unconvincing 27-16 victory over Irish rivals Connacht.

Hooker Rory Best, full-back Adam D'Arcy and centre Darren Cave all scored tries, with fly-half Ian Humphreys adding 12 points with the boot.

But the visitors were determined to upset the odds and were rewarded with a superb converted try by hooker Sean Cronin, plus three more penalties from stand-off Ian Keatley.

Despite their defeat to Leinster last time out, Ulster were looking to continue their fine recent run, and they displayed that confidence in the opening minutes.

An excellent inside ball from Humphreys to D'Arcy saw the full-back break clear of the Connacht defence before he off-loaded to Cave, who then fed Best for an easy run to the line.

The hosts' stand-off converted to open up a seven point gap. However, Connacht responded almost immediately through a Keatley drop-goal.

A period of stagnant play followed but on 31 minutes, Humphreys weaved his magic once more and the supporting D'Arcy was on his shoulder to touch down for a converted score.

Keatley reduced the arrears on the stroke of half-time with a penalty to leave Ulster in control at 14-6.

However, Keatley kicked his second penalty to bring Connacht to within losing bonus-point territory before Humphreys responded with one of his own.

Cronin then showed impressive pace to outstrip the hosts' defence for a converted try. Suddenly, after looking in control, only one point separated Ulster from a surprise defeat.

But they reasserted their control and Humphreys eased their nerves with another three points. And Cave made sure of the win five minutes from time, Humphreys converting.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Tries: Best, Cave, D'Arcy
Cons: Humphreys 3
Pens: Humphreys 2

For Connacht:
Tries: Cronin
Cons: Keatley
Pens: Keatley 2
Drops: Keatley

Ulster: 15 Adam D'Arcy, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Nevin Spence, 11 Simon Danielli, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Willie Fallon, 6 Chris Henry, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller 3 Jerry Cronin, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Paddy McAllister
Replacements: 16 Andy Kyriacou, 17 Bryan Young, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Tim Barker, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Ian Whitten, 23 C Gaston.

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Eoin Griffin, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Troy Nathan, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Johnny O'Connor (c), 6 Mike McCarthy, 5 Bernie Upton, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Brett Wilkinson
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran

Referee: JP Doyle

  • Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
  • Guinness PRO12 Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Report
Scarlets 28 - 13 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
Friday , October 31
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Sunday , October 12
Ospreys 26 - 15 Cardiff Blues
Saturday , October 11
Edinburgh 24 - 10 Newport Gwent D'gons
Zebre 3 - 20 Leinster
Ulster 29 - 9 Glasgow
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Guinness PRO12 Table
Guinness PRO12 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ospreys730
2Glasgow Warriors727
3Ulster726
4Munster723
5Leinster721