Planet Rugby

Gilroy double guides Ulster

22nd November 2013 20:56

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Brace: Craig Gilroy

Craig Gilroy scored two of Ulster's five tries in their comfortable 41-17 win over struggling Edinburgh at Ravenhill.

Both teams were quite slow out of the blocks following the international break but, after an error-strewn opening quarter of an hour, it was the visitors who took a surprise lead.

Scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne swept up after the ball had squirted out of a scrum and he fed former South Africa U20 number eight Cornell du Preez, who forced his way past Michael Allen far too easily close to the right touchline before touching down in the corner.

Edinburgh weren't ahead for long though as 22-year-old fly-half James McKinney slotted a penalty and that was soon followed by tries from Gilroy and Paul Marshall.

The excellent Darren Cave was the architect of both as he first floated a long pass from right to left for Gilroy to score in the corner and then broke through the Edinburgh defensive line before offloading to Marshall, who tapped the ball on with his right boot and touched down.

McKinney added his second penalty of the evening with the last kick of the first half to leave the Scots more than two converted tries behind at 20-5 at the interval.

Edinburgh did keep the hosts at bay for the opening 20 minutes of the second half but it all fell apart for them when Izak van der Westhuizen was sent to the sin bin on the hour mark.

Three tries in the space of six minutes immediately after they were reduced to 14 men secured the bonus point for Ulster and then added a little bit of extra gloss to the scoreline.

Robbie Diack crashed onto a deft short pass from Marshall before Gilroy intercepted a Harry Leonard pass and streaked away to score and then replacement Grayson Hart's kick was charged down to allow McKinney to score in the corner.

The visitors did grab a pair of consolation tries as quick hands from Greig Tonks put Dougie Fife in the right-hand corner and a good break and offload from captain Roddy Grant allowed Hart to cross.

A try at the very start and two at the very end added at least added an air of respectability to the scoreline, but Ulster were better in every facet and deserved their comprehensive victory.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Tries: Gilroy 2, P.Marshall, Diack, McKinney
Cons: McKinney 5
Pens: McKinney 2

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Du Preez, Fife, Hart
Con: Leonard
Yellow Card: Van der Westhuizen

Ulster: 15 Craig Gilroy,14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Michael Allen, 10 James McKinney, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Sean Doyle, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Lewis Stevenson, 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Callum BlackReplacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Tom Court, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Dan Tuohy, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Peter Nelson, 23 Ricky Andrew.

Edinburgh: 15 Greg Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Joaquin Dominguez, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Jack Cuthbert, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Roddy Grant (c), 6 Tomas Leonardi, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Ollie Atkins, 3 WP Nel, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Wicus Blaauw
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Ross Rennie, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Sam Beard, 23 Tom Brown

Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gary Conway (Ireland), Kevin Beggs (Ireland)
Television match official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)
Assessor: Jack Young (Ireland)

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