Ulster battle past Aironi

05th Mar 2011, 13:25

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Try for Ulster: Tom Court

Try for Ulster: Tom Court

Ulster got the better of Aironi for the fourth time this season, winning 23-10 at Ravenhill in the Magners League on Friday.

Ulster got the better of Aironi for the fourth time this season, winning 23-10 at Ravenhill in the Magners League on Friday.

The home side struggled to overcome the spirited Italian side in an unconvincing display.

Despite the disappointing manner of their win, the result aids the hosts' play-off push and condemned the Italian side to yet another defeat.

Early tries by prop Tom Court and winger Craig Gilroy in the opening quarter looked to set up a possible bonus point victory, but a dogged Aironi fought back.

However, a Luke Marshall try and five points from the boot of fly-half Ricardo Bocchino couldn't prevent them from losing their 16th Magners League match.

In a match they were expected to win comfortably, Ulster opened the scoring after three minutes with Court burrowing over from close range.

Ruan Pienaar missed the relatively simple conversion, but they weren't to be denied for long, when back-row Chris Henry off-loaded out of the tackle for Gilroy to touch down, Pienaar this time adding the extras.

Their lead was then extended further by a penalty from the Ulster stand-off, but Aironi managed to register their first points of the evening when Bocchino put over a penalty.

However, the Italians got themselves firmly back into the game when a lovely move ended in full-back Marshall touching down, Bocchino converting, leaving them five points down at half-time.

The second period started as the first ended with a spell of Aironi pressure and that led to lock Johann Muller being sin-binned.

But that seemed to concentrate Ulster's mind and Pienaar kicked them two scores ahead, before a converted Declan Fitzpatrick try sealed the win.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Tries: Court, Gilroy, Fitzpatrick
Con: Pienaar
Pens: Pienaar 2

For Aironi:
Try: Marshall
Con: Bocchino
Pen: Bocchino

Yellow card: Muller (Ulster - 55th min)

The teams:

Ulster :15 Adam D'Arcy, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Nevin Spence, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Chris Henry, 5 Tim Barker, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 Tom Court, 2 Nigel Brady, 1 Paddy McCallister.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Declan Fitzpatrick, 18 Jerry Cronin, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Luke Marshall, 22 Simon Danielli, 23 Tommy Seymour

Aironi: 15 James Marshall, 14 Kaine Robertson, 13 Gilberto Pavan, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Riccardo Bocchino, 9 Pietro Travagli, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Gareth Krause, 6 Josh Sole, 5 Marco Bortolami (cap), 4 Joshua Furno, 3 Ulyses Gamboa, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Luca Redolfini, 18 Andrea De Marchi, 19 George Biagi, 20 Nicola Cattina, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Gabriel Pizarro, 23 Giulio Rubini.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU)