Planet Rugby

Ulster stop the rot

08th March 2009 08:21

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Ulster climbed from ninth place to fifth in the Magners League after halting their two-match losing run in atrocious conditions on Saturday at Ravenhill.

Matt Williams' side had not experienced the joy of victory in the league since seeing off Munster in Limerick in early January, but first-half tries from Darren Cave and Andrew Trimble ensured they would get back to winning ways.

However the game as a spectacle was forgettable and there were no points scored in the second half.

The weather had a hand in how the match progressed, with a deluge of rain marring the start of the second half.

Playing into the strong wind, Ulster opened the scoring after two minutes when, from a scrum, Simon Danielli came on a diagonal run off Ian Humphreys' pass and the Scotland international offloaded to Cave who scored close to the posts. Humphreys kicked the straightforward conversion.

Dan Parks then had a chance to narrow Ulster's lead but his 13th-minute penalty was snatched at and went wide.

That set the tone for most of the rest of the half as Glasgow's error count and poor decision-making increased as the weather worsened.

Prop Kevin Tkachuk was sin-binned by referee Nigel Owens after 25 minutes for handling on the deck and, while Glasgow were still down to 14 men, Ulster struck again with man-of-the-match Danielli putting Trimble into space for the winger to burst through two tackles and run in for a well-taken score.

Humphreys missed the conversion and then, with two minutes remaining on the clock, Parks put another penalty effort wide.

Glasgow full-back Bernardo Stortoni, in the final move of the half, chose to grubber kick with an overlap outside him and Ulster went in 12-0 to the good.

With driving rain and a howling wind dominating the opening exchanges of the second half, it was no surprise that there was little action to be enjoyed.

Humphreys booted a 50-metre penalty wide, and then with replacement prop Tom Court having to briefly leave the field for attention and Justin Fitzpatrick sin-binned for killing the ball, Ulster briefly had no props on the field.

Even with Court's return, the scrums remained uncontested until Fitzpatrick's release from the sin bin two minutes before the hour mark.

Glasgow just about finished the match as the stronger side but had nothing to show for their effort.

The scorers:

For Ulster:

Tries: Cave, Trimble

Con: Humphreys

Ulster: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Simon Danielli, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Chris Henry, 7 David Pollock, 6 Matt McCullough, 5 Ed O'Donoghue, 4 Ryan Caldwell, 3 Brendon Botha, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Justin Fitzpatrick.

Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Tom Court, 18 Carlo Del Fava, 19 Kieron Dawson, 20 Cillian Willis, 21 Niall O'Connor, 22 Mark McCrea.

Glasgow: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Hefin O'Hare, 13 Jose Maria Nunez Piossek, 12 Ruaridh Jackson, 11 Chris Kinloch, 10 Dan Parks (C), 9 Mark McMillan, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Calum Forrester, 5 Opeta Palepoi, 4 Dan Turner, 3 Moray Low, 2 Fergus Thomson, 1 Kevin Tkachuk.

Replacements: 16 Eric Milligan, 17 Ed Kalman, 18 Tim Barker, 19 Stevie Swindall, 20 Richie Gray, 21 Peter Jericevich, 22 Peter Horne.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Touch judges: John Carvill (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)

Television match official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

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