Planet Rugby

Ulster see off Zebre

30th November 2013 15:51

Share:

PADDY JACKSON ULSTER V LEICESTER TIGERS HEINEKEN CUP

Fourteen points: Paddy Jackson

Fourteen points from the boot of Paddy Jackson helped Ulster overcome a spirited Zebre side 19-11 at Stade XXV Aprile on Saturday.

It was the emerging Italian franchise that made the superior start, their experienced internationals driving hard at the Ulster defence in the first minute.

But the visiting rearguard held firm, and cleared their lines superbly through fine counter-rucking from Roger Wilson.

The game was rather fractured in the first five minutes, with both sides struggling to retain possession. It was Zebre who opened proceedings on 10 minutes through the boot of Gonzalo Garcia, capitalising on good work by his front-row who forced their opponents into collapsing the scrum; making it 3-0 to the Italians.

But Ulster responded purposefully and marched up field, with the hosts conceding a penalty in kickable range. Paddy Jackson duly slotted the kick on the 12-minute mark to level the scores at 3-3.

Ulster's resistance continued to look ragged, however, and the evergreen Mauro Bergamasco placed the Irish side's defence firmly on the back foot, deservedly allowing Garcia to restore Zebre's lead with a second penalty on 16 minutes.

The visitors began to string some phases together thereafter, and a neat interchange involving Jackson and the impressive Cave nearly saw Wilson barge over for a try.

The Irishmen, by now, had injected some fluidity and structure into their game and were stretching their hosts. The increase in intensity paid dividends on 23 minutes when Jackson restored Ulster to level terms.

And the visitors ignited the contest on 27 minutes when a neat switch between Jackson and Craig Gilroy saw centre Cave gallop under the posts. Jackson converted to make it 6-13.

The Irishmen were now less passive in defence then they had been earlier in the encounter, preventing big Italian forwards like Bergamasco and Bortolami from getting over the gain line. By half time, it seemed that Ulster had recovered from their early jitters, and were beginning to wear the home side down.

Akin to the first, it was Zebre who made the better start to the second period with the powerful wing Venditti exerting pressure on the visitors. But it was Jackson who increased Ulster's lead on 46 minutes to make it 6-16. And the fly-half further added to his tally on 49 minutes when he kicked a penalty following a period of concerted pressure from the Ravenhill men.

Home full-back Trevisan gave his side renewed hope on 53 minutes when he evaded a lax Ulster defence to score. But replacement Luciano Orquera missed the conversion to make it 11-19. Jackson had a gilt-edged chance to extend Ulster's lead on 66 minutes, but missed the relatively simple kick.

Zebre tried manfully to close the gap further, but were unable to infuse their attack with any real creativity. Ulster held on, therefore, to secure an essential but uninspiring win. It was a disappointing end for a brave Zebre side, but Ulster will certainly need improve ahead of the sterner challenges awaiting them.

Scorers:

For Zebre:
Try: Palazzani
Pens: Garcia 2

For Ulster:
Try: Cave
Con: Jackson
Pens: Jackson 4

The teams:

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Tommaso Iannone, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Nicola Cattina, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 David Ryan, 2 Tommaso D'Apice, 1 Matias Aguero
Replacements: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Luciano Leibson, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Alberto Chilloni, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Roberto Quartaroli

Ulster: 15 R Andrew, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Mike McComish, 6 Robbie Diack (c), 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Neil McComb, 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Tom Court
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Callum Black, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Craig Joyce, 20 Sean Doyle, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 James McKinney, 23 Michael Allen.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)

by Rory McGimpsey

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 Samoa
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820