Planet Rugby

Ulster scrape past Clermont

12th November 2011 15:21

Share:

Lionel Faure tackling Andrew Trimble in Ulster v Clermont

Nothing given: Ulster and Clermont

Ulster came from behind to pick up a vital home success in Pool 4 of the Heineken Cup, seeing off Clermont 16-11 at Ravenhill on Saturday.

Fly-half Ian Humphreys kicked three penalties and converted his own try as Ulster got their European campaign up and running with four key points.

The late five-pointer was created by replacement full-back Adam D'Arcy, whose step from inside his own half led to an inside ball to his number ten.

Humphreys remained cool to add the extras from wide out as Ulster held on against one of the favourites for the Heineken Cup crown in 2011/12.

Clermont were arguably the better team but individual performances from Stephen Ferris and Paul Marshall ultimately earned the hosts victory.

The first half proved to be a scrappy affair, with neither side managing to hold on to possession for long enough to cause the opposition continued difficulties, but the visitors deserved their 11-6 lead at the break at Ravenhill.

Clermont, who sit second in the Top 14 just a point behind Toulouse, claimed the half's solitary try through Fijian U20 wing Noa Nakaitaci after the youngster saw off Marshall's desperate tackle.

But while it was Nakaitaci left celebrating the score on his Heineken Cup debut, the real inspiration was Wales and Lions star Lee Byrne. The ex Osprey ghosted through on the edge of the 22 to give his new side's Heineken hopes an early boost.

With the normally reliable boot of Morgan Parra failing to add the extras and an earlier penalty attempt, David Skrela took over the duties from the tee and landed a seventeenth minute effort that cancelled out Humphreys' first successful strike of the game.

Skrela slotted a second shot at goal to hand Clermont an eight-point advantage just two minutes before the break but Humphreys cut the gap to five on the stroke of half-time.

The game came alive in the second period although the scoreboard was rarely troubled. Humphreys reduced the deficit even further ten minutes in before his try late on.

Brock James could have kept Clermont on track for a vital victory but he twice missed the target after replacing Skrela and Clermont were left to ponder what might have been.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Try: Humphreys
Con: Humphreys
Pen: Humphreys

For Clermont:
Try: Nakaitaci
Pen: Skrela 2

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 (capt), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Willie Faloon, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Nevin Spence, 23 Adam D'Arcy.

Clermont: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Regan King, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 David Skrela, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Elvis Vermeulen, 7 Gerhard Vosloo, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Nathan Hines, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Lionel Faure.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Clément Ric, 18 Mattheus Kotze, 19 Jason White, 20 Julien Bardy, 21 Kevin Senio, 22 Brock James, 23 Jean-Marcel Buttin.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
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
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615