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Ulster hit Dragons for a six

26th October 2012 21:18

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ruan pienaar

Ruan Pienaar: Inspires Ulster win

Ruan Pienaar scored 21 points to help Ulster emphatically beat the Dragons 46-19 and consolidate their status at the top of the table.

It was the visitors' sixth win from six league games and only the second occasion Ulster have won at Rodney Parade since 2006.

The Dragons, however, began the game with confidence and gusto as two long-range Tom Prydie penalties gave them an early lead.

Ulster opened their account when Ireland prop Tom Court finished a try of true quality from the Irish region. Inter-linking play between backs and forwards had the home side on the back foot before a neat offload out the tackle from Ruan Pienaar enabled Court to stroll over the Dragons' try-line.

Pienaar's conversion took the visitors into a 7-6 lead.

The Dragons retook the lead when Andy Tuilagi was on the end of well-worked try where patient phase-play and dominant forward runners breached Ulster's line.

The impressive Nick Williams brushed aside several flailing Dragons defenders on his way to scoring a converted try and restore the visitors lead to 14-13.

Prydie's third penalty edged the Dragons ahead before Ulster struck back when Pienaar tenaciously charged Prydie's misdirected kick and dotted down to take the score to 19-16.

After the break Ulster extended their lead to 25-16 thanks to two further penalties from Pienaar before Prydie responded with another penalty to leave the game finely posed with half an hour remaining.

Ulster showed their class as they put the squeeze on hosts when Darren Cave's converted try secured the bonus point.

Andrew Trimble intercepted a loose pass and raced to the line untouched to score and replacement Jared Payne scored his side's sixth try of the game to confirm Ulster's dominance in the final quarter of the game.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Try: Tuilagi
Con: Prydie
Pens: Prydie 4

For Ulster:
Tries: Cave, Court, Payne, Pienaar, Trimble, Williams
Cons: Pienaar 5
Pens: Pienaar 2

Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Will Harries, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Lewis Robling, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Jevon Groves, 6 Tom Brown, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Steve Jones (c), 1 Owen Evans.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Nathan Williams, 18 Dan Way, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Nic Cudd, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Steffan Jones, 23 Pat Leach.

Ulster: 15 Tommy Bowe, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry (c), 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Lewis Stevenson, 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Callum Black, 18 John Afoa, 19 Mike McComish, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Paddy Jackson, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Jared Payne.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

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