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
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
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
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
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
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
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia 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
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys 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
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821