Planet Rugby

Ulster edge closer to quarter-finals

15th January 2011 14:28

Share:

Adam DArcy; Dane Haylett-Petty ulster v biarritz

Ulster: Nearly let it slip

Ulster are on the brink of making the Heineken Cup play-offs for the first time in 12 years after beating Biarritz 9-6 at Ravenhill on Saturday.

The victory came courtesy of an Ian Humphreys penalty kick two minutes from full-time in what was an extremely tight contest with nothing seperating the two teams heading into the last quarter of the match.

Fate was in the home side's own hands, and now a Heineken Cup quarter-final place - at Ravenhill - beckons. It's a realistic scenario for which their players and supporters have waited since 1999.

Only Italian side Aironi stand in Ulster's way, to whom Brian McLaughlin's men must travel next weekend for their final Pool 4 fixture.

Ulster won the toss and elected to play against a strong wind in the first half and the gale-like conditions were highlighted when Humphreys' first penalty attempt was collected by Dimitri Yachvili in the Biarritz 22.

The France scrum-half booted the Basques ahead with the aid of the wind and landed a second penalty kick just before half-time to give the visitors a 6-0 advantage.

Midway through the first half Biarritz's English back Iain Balshaw had denied Adam D'Arcy a try-scoring opportunity with Erik Lund cooling off in the sinbin for not rolling away.

Humphreys reduced the deficit after the restart from his first successful penalty and levelled the scores with 20 minutes left from a second.

Drop-kick specialist Damien Traille missed a pot at goal from in front of the Ulster posts before the home defence bravely repelled 17 phases of Biarritz possession camped on their own tryline.

And, with less than three minutes remaining, the Ulster pack rumbled forwards and were rewarded with a long-range penalty decision.

Irish fly-half Humphreys coolly slotted from just inside his own half to snatch an important victory and it is now all to play for against Aironi next week.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Pens: Humphreys 3

For Biarritz:
Pens: Yachvili 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 Willie Faloon, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Rory Best (capt), 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Bryan Young, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Tim Barker, 20 Chris Henry, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Ian Whitten, 23 David McIlwaine.

Biarritz: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Laurent Tranier, 11 Iain Balshaw, 10 Damien Traille, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy, 6 Magnus Lund, 5 Erik Lund, 4 Jérôme Thion, 3 Sylvain Marconnet, 2 Benoit August, 1 Eduard Coetzee.
Replacements: 16 Romain Terrain, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Alexandre Barozzi, 19 Pelu Taele, 20 Samiu Vahafolau, 21 Julien Peyrelongue, 22 Michael Bond, 23 Ilikena Bolakoro.

Referee: Nigel Owens

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615