Planet Rugby

Impressive Ulster win in Montpellier

19th October 2013 17:40

Share:

Ulster Paddy Jackson C passes v Montpellier

Maturing: Paddy Jackson

Ulster claimed a crucial Heineken Cup win away from home on Saturday as they beat Montpellier 25-8 at Stade Yves-du-Manoir.

A try from Andrew Trimble, and kicks from Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson, saw a disciplined Ulster storm the Stade Yves-du-Manoir.

Montpellier replied with a try from Yoan Audrin, but were ultimately unable to turn pressure into points. The game ebbed and flowed, but Ulster's physicality and tactical nous told in the end.

The game got off to a physical opening, with the hosts subjecting the Irish visitors to early pressure. Jonathan Pélissié had a chance to open the scoring on two minutes, but he was off-target with his kick. The in-form scrum half made no mistake with an easier attempt two minutes later, to make it 3-0 to the Top 14 side.

Montpellier certainly had the superior opening with their formidable scrum giving them a decided set-piece advantage as expected.

But Ulster managed to soak up the pressure, and struck back superbly on 10 minutes when Darren Cave put Andrew Trimble away in the corner. Jackson converted to make it 7-3.

Pienaar had a chance to extend Ulster's lead five minutes later, but his kick fell just short. It appeared as if the visitors had weathered the early storm, and were beginning to put together some phases of their own. Jackson had another chance to extend the lead on 20 minutes, but was off-target with the attempt.

Ulster were having the better of this phase of the game, but a combination of the wind and poor execution left them profligate in front of goal. Thus Pienaar missed another penalty attempt on 27 minutes.

Montpellier sought to use the full width of the pitch and stretch 2012's beaten finalists, with the vastly experienced François Trinh-Duc pulling the strings.

But Ulster's vaunted defensive system largely kept the hosts at bay, enabling the Irishmen to enjoy their fair share of territory and possession. By half time, Ulster were more than happy with their efforts, but would have been disappointed not to be more clinical.

The scene was set for an explosive second half, therefore. The French club were determined to apply pressure to the visitors, but Ulster were now able to secure parity at scrum time.

The Irish club had another chance on 48 minutes, but this time Pienaar was able to execute successfully to make it 3-10.

But Montpellier were avidly determined to strike back, and a ferocious scrum on 50 minutes saw winger Audrin squeeze over despite frantic Ulster defence. The TMO adjudged the try to be good, but Pélissié missed the conversion.

The hosts were now subjecting their Irish visitors to fierce pressure. Pienaar eased the stress on his side when he augmented their lead on 52 minutes to make it 8-13.

And things got even better for the Ravenhill side on 58 minutes when talisman Pienaar slotted another kick to make earn his side an 8-point advantage. Pienaar further enhanced the cheer of the away contingent on 70 minutes, when he curled over another penalty to make it 8-19 to the men from the north of Ireland.

The response of the French hosts was relentlessly physical, and wave after wave laid siege to the Ulster line. But Pienaar put the result beyond doubt, when he struck another blow on 72 minutes to give his a side a 14-point lead.

The French side desperately tried to regain the momentum, but were continually thwarted by the Ulster rearguard. And Jackson sealed a fantastic win on 79 minutes with another well-struck kick.

Montpellier will be disappointed with this result, but this superb performance keeps Ulster's European campaign on track.

The scorers:

For Montpellier:
Try: Audrin
Pens: Pélissié

For Ulster:
Try: Trimble
Con: Jackson
Pens: Pienaar 5, Jackson

Montpellier: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Anthony Tuitavaké, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Yoan Audrin, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Jonathan Pélissié, 8 Kélian Galletier, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo (c), 5 Thibaut Privat, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Mickaël Ivaldi, 1 Yvan Watremez.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Misha Nariashvili, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Fred Quercy, 20 Robins Tchalé-Watchou, 21 Benoit Paillaugue, 22 Thomas Combezou, 23 Benoit Sicart.

Ulster:15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 John Afoa, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Stuart Olding, 23 Michael Allen

Venue: Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Montpellier
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)

By Rory McGimpsey

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , April 19
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058