Planet Rugby

Ulster back to winning ways

05th November 2011 19:53

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Ian Humphreys Ulster kicking ML 2011

Ian Humphreys: Try, two conversions and a penalty for Ulster

Ulster ended a run of four successive RaboDirect PRO12 defeats after beating Connacht 22-3 at Ravenhill on Saturday.

The Ulster men put their recent poor form in the RaboDirect Pro12 league behind them, as they ran out convincing winners over Connacht in the battle of the Irish.

A certain Guy Fawkes night was being celebrated in Belfast, and in the spirit of the occasion, the home side got off to an explosive start, taking the lead within two minutes when Ian Humphries slotted over a penalty.

Connacht were struggling to get up to match pace early on, but Ulster failed to extend their lead in the opening quarter of an hour.

Indeed, the visitors managed to draw level after fifteen minutes when Miah Nikora kicked a penalty, but Ulster were certainly looking the better of the teams, as they pressed for tries.

They had chance after chance to go over the Connacht try-line in the opening period, and approaching half-time, the crowds were growing understandably restless as Ulster failed to make their dominance show on the scoreboard.

However, they eventually made the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time, when Craig Gilroy's diagonal run was spotted by Humphries - try at last for the home side.

Ulster pushed on from there after the break, and had a try within two minutes of the restart, when the physical pressure of the Ulster pack became too much for the Connacht defence, and Tom Court went over - Humphries adding the extras.

The home side created a whole host of chances after that but didn't add to their tally until injury time, when Humphries provided a moment of individual brilliance to round off a great win for the hosts with a try under the posts with Connacht failing to score in the second period.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Tries: Gilroy, Court, Humphreys
Cons: Humphreys 2
Pens: Humphreys

For Connacht:
Pen: Nikora

Ulster: 15 Simon Danielli, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Nevin Spence, 23 Adam D'Arcy.

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O'Halloran, 14 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13 Gavin Duffy (c), 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Brian Tuohy, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Paul O'Donohoe, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Eoghan Grace, 6 TJ Anderson, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Dylan Rogers, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 John Muldoon, 21 Frank Murphy, 22 Niall O'Connor, 23 Matthew Jarvis.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

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