Planet Rugby

Five-try sweetness for Ulster

25th October 2013 20:53

Share:

Ulster lock Dan Tuohy scored twice at Ravenhill as the hosts ran in five tries to defeat Cardiff Blues 39-21.

A double from Tuohy, combined with tries by Jared Payne and Andrew Trimble, helped a clinical Ulster ascend the Pro12 table.

Cardiff Blues fought back with tries from Robin Copeland and Richard Smith, as well as the devastating boot of Leigh Halfpenny. The visitors were never less than competitive in an absorbing contest but Ulster, who led for most of the game, were worthy winners.

It was Ulster that made the more adventurous start, taking the Blues through several phases early on. It was a busy start to the game for the home side, but a knock-on two minutes in undid their hard work.

The Ravenhill men's scrummaging prowess was evident, with late call-up John Afoa particularly impressive.

One such shove earned a penalty on eight minutes, which Paddy Jackson successfully slotted. Lions' full-back Halfpenny restored parity three minutes later when he kicked a penalty though from close range.

The game ignited from an Ulster perspective on 17 minutes when some lovely handling involving Olding, Marshall, and Diack to unleash Tuohy in the corner. Jackson missed the resultant conversion to leave the score at 8-3.

The Welsh region responded with hard running and aggression, but the home defence was quite impressive.

Things got even better for the Irish side on 24 minutes when Jared Payne touched down after Jackson bravely spurned a gilt-edged three points and elected to run a penalty from five metres out. The Irish international once again missed the extras, however.

The Belfast outfit were now 13-3 in credit. Jackson redeemed himself on 28 minutes when he kicked another penalty following destructive work by the Ulster scrum. But Cardiff cleverly manoeuvred their way into the game, with fly-half Rhys Patchell orchestrating superbly.

The Welsh club's prospects were enhanced further on 34 minutes when number eight Copeland finished off some neat passing - Halfpenny uncharacteristically missing the conversion to make it 16-8.

The Lion stars made no mistake a fewminutes later however, when he reduced the gap to only five points. By half time, the visitors were certainly regaining their foothold in the match.

Ulster upped the tempo at the beginning of the second period, and the increased intensity paid dividends on 42 minutes when Marshall scored following an incisive jink by Olding. Jackson though neglected to add the extra points.

Copeland conceded another penalty three minutes later when he illegally prevented the release of the football - the big number eight yellow carded for his intervention. This time Jackson punished the Welshmen to make it 24-11.

The Blues responded resolutely, with Lions' skipper Sam Warburton leading the charge, and it was the Welsh club that struck next when wing Richard Smith dived over on 51 minutes. Halfpenny converted to leave the Blues only trailing by six points with Cardiff's increased physicality was beginning to grind the hosts down in this segment of the game.

But the unerringly accurate Pienaar settled Ulster's nerves on 55 minutes when he landed a sublime penalty from close to the half way line. Halfpenny responded as the match descended into a battle of place kickers, and Pienaar missed two difficult chances to augment his side's lead.

Andrew Trimble, excluded from the Ireland squad this week, managed to put some daylight between the teams when he finished a nice move on 67 minutes to earn Ulster a nine-point advantage as at last the forward supremacy of the home side began to tell and gaps began to emerge in the Blues' hitherto concrete defence.

Tuohy completed an unlikely brace on 80 minutes when he barged over in the corner.

The score may have flattered the hosts, but this was a decent victory nonetheless. The Welsh kingpins will be disappointed by their failure to follow up last week's heroics against mighty Toulon. For Ulster, this gritty home win, achieved through old-fashioned forward power and precision, keeps their title ambitions on track.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Tries: Tuohy 2, Payne, L.Marshall, Trimble
Con: Pienaar
Pens: Jackson 3, Pienaar

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Copeland, Smith
Con: Halfpenny
Pens: Halfpenny 3
Yellow Card: Copeland

Ulster: 15 Stuart Olding, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Jared Payne, 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 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Callum Black
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Tom Court, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Darren Cave, 23 Michael Allen

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c).
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Taufa'ao Filise, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Chris Czekaj

Referee: Giuseppe Vivarin (FIR)
Assistant Referees: Gary Conway, Eanna O'Dowd (both IRFU)
TMO: Peter Ferguson (IRFU)

by Rory McGimpsey

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411