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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411