Planet Rugby

Ulster close in on Biarritz

11th December 2010 12:24

Share:

Ian Humphreys kick against Bath

17 points: Ian Humphreys

Ulster gave their Heineken Cup Pool qualification chances a significant boost on Saturday as they beat Bath 22-18 in a physical game at Ravenhill.

The visitors would be the first to admit that Ulster gifted them a great deal of their points in this topsy-turvy encounter, although messieurs Cuthbert and Moody would retort by saying that they were in the right place at the right time. Twice Ulster made an unforced error and twice they paid for it. It was a strange old game in Belfast.

Many were expecting a home victory following their two wins against Bath in the 2009/10 Heineken Cup, and for a long time it looked like they would not make it three as Ian Humphreys' risky pass was intercepted by full-back Jack Cuthbert, who ran the length of the field despite the best efforts of Scotland international winger Simon Danielli.

That converted score added to Olly Barkley's earlier penalty, which was the perfect way for England's forgotten man to start his 200th.

However that physical edge ultimately won the day for the Northern Irish as BJ Botha and Tom Court dominated matters at scrum-time while the back-row pair Stephen Ferris and Pedrie Wannenburg always got Ulster going forward. The forward duo were key in sealing a vital victory, particularly as Pool leaders Biarritz lost 28-27 away to Aironi in a shock result.

As mentioned, Bath took the lead early on but Humphreys sent over a penalty as Ulster got themselves back into the game after some errors on the Bath side.

But then came a mistake from the side in white as Adam D'Arcy spilled a high ball and Lewis Moody stretched his legs and fended off a weak attempted tackle from Nigel Brady.

The trend continued after the break too as a second interception try saw South African number eight Pedrie Wannenburg snap up Simon Taylor's wayward pass on halfway and cruised over the whitewash. Humphreys' conversion made it 13-15 in Belfast.

Barkley and Humphreys then traded penalties - the latter by two to one - so the scores were 19-18 with a quarter of the game remaining. And Ulster held on to claim the victory as Bath threw everything at them in search of the four points.

Man-of-the-match: Another immense carrying performance from Stephen Ferris. Hats off too to Pedrie Wannenburg and Dan Tuohy who were strong in both attack and defence.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Try: Wannenburg
Con: Humphreys
Pen: Humphreys 5

For Bath:
Tries: Cuthbert, Moody
Con: Barkley
Pen: Barkley 2

Ulster: 15 Adam D'Arcy, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Nevin Spence, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Simon Danielli, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 BJ Botha, 2 Nigel Brady, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Bryan Young, 19 Tim Barker, 20 Willie Faloon, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Ian Whitten, 23 David McIlwaine.

Bath: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Michael Claassens (capt), 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 David Barnes, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Ben Skirving, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Shontayne Hape, 23 Nick Abendanon.

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Laurent Cardona (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , September 20
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 20
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , September 20
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Preview
Wellington vs TasmanWellington vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Exeter310
4Leicester Tigers39
5Harlequins38