Planet Rugby

Ulster respond at Ravenhill

24th October 2009 19:49

Share:

Ian Humphreys kick against Bath

Vital points: Ian Humphreys

Ulster moved top of the Magners League standings on Saturday with a hard-fought 16-14 victory over rivals Leinster at a sold-out Ravenhill.

Three penalties and a conversion by Ian Humphreys from a second-half try from Isaac Boss saw Ulster home, though a late converted try from the last move of the game from substitute Luke Fitzgerald saw Leinster grab a valuable bonus point.

Ulster, who were without Paddy Wallace due to the Irish Rugby Football Union's player management programme and Stephen Ferris because of an ankle injury, played the conditions with far more intelligence than their star-studded opponents, who suffered their second league defeat.

With the swirling wind and rain behind them, it was no surprise when Leinster had the opening scoring opportunity after Ian Whitten was penalised for going off his feet at a ruck, however outside half Shaun Berne was wide with his opening effort from about 40 metres.

The missed penalty certainly set the template for much of the opening half, as neither side managed to get the scoreboard ticking over until a late flurry of points at the end of the half.

Berne missed two more penalty attempts before a marvellous forward effort from Ulster - when they retained the ball for around 10 phases - resulted in Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman being sent to the bin after referee Andrew Small blew with the Leinster tryline open for Humphreys and Andrew Trimble.

Humphreys landed the penalty into the teeth of the gale but then, from the restart, Leinster turned the screw and, with Brian O'Driscoll pulling the strings, they surged towards Ulster's line in injury time.

Tamaiti Horua was binned for killing the ball, and Leinster ran the penalty with O'Driscoll putting Berne clear for the right corner. The Leinster outside half superbly converted and, suddenly, the visitors trooped off 7-3 in front.

With the conditions now behind Ulster, Humphreys narrowed the deficit with a second penalty five minutes after the resumption and then, three minutes later,

Boss scooped a ball up from a ruck and broke down the blindside to run in from just short of 50 metres.

Humphreys made the tight angle conversion to give his side the lead 13-7 and was then just short with a penalty attempt from 55 metres.

Leinster were pinned at a scrum on Ulster's line and then saw substitute Jonathan Sexton spill an inside flip pass from O'Driscoll with the Ulster line open.

All that remained was Humphreys' 73rd-minute strike which seemed to take it beyond the visitors, until that is Isa Nacewa's chip through for Fitzgerald, which Sexton then converted.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Tries: Boss
Con: Humphreys
Pen: Humphreys 3

For Leinster:
Tries:
Berne, Fitzgerald
Con: Berne, Sexton

Ulster: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Chris Henry (c), 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Tamaiti Horua, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dan Tuohy, 3 Brendon Botha, 2 Nigel Brady, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Andy Kyriacou, 17 Bryan Young, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Paul Marshall, 21 Niall O'Connor, 22 Simon Danielli.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Girvan Dempsey, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (c), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Shaun Berne, 9 Chris Keane, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Bernard Jackman, 1 Ronan McCormack.
Replacements: 16 John Fogarty, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Malcolm O'Kelly, 19 Stephen Keogh, 20 Simon Keogh, 21 Jonathan Sexton, 22 Luke Fitzgerald.

Referee: Andrew Small (England)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Jude Quinn (Ireland)
Assessor: Brian Stirling (Ireland)
Television match official: John Carvill (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820