Planet Rugby

Ulster see off Ospreys

07th February 2014 19:38

Share:

Ulster recovered from an early Sam Lewis try to overcome a tenacious Ospreys side 10-7 during Friday's PRO12 clash at Ravenhill.

A try from Darren Cave and a penalty from Ruan Pienaar saw a scrappy Ulster secure victory in a turgid and insipid game, played in appalling conditions at a windy Ravenhill.

It was the Ospreys who opened the scoring with a try from openside Lewis, before the effort was cancelled out by Cave. The hosts did well to grind out their win, but this was definitely not a game for the purists.

It was the visitors who made the brighter start, driving fiercely at the Ulster defence. The Welshmen showed decent continuity in the first five minutes, dominating possession and territory. The visitors bombarded the home line, and earned their reward on 10 minutes when flanker Lewis touched down for the opening score. Davies converted to make it 0-7 to the Swansea-based side.

The score ignited the home team, with big runners like Lewis Stevenson driving hard at the away defence. Ulster seemed to have replied with a well-worked try in the corner, but Michael Allen failed to ground the ball. The game was very scrappy and fragmented in the first quarter, but Pienaar narrowed the gap on 22 minutes to make it 3-7.

Both sides were perhaps guilty of playing too much rugby under the dreadful conditions; the inclement weather made handling problematic. Ulster reverted to a kicking game in the second quarter of the half in a bid to regain control of the game. But the errors remained for both sides. All in all, it was pretty dire fare.

Ulster were determined to turn in a more productive second half performance. Cave made a good start to the mission when he crossed the line on 43 minutes, having sliced through the Ospreys' defence with a smart dummy and turn of pace leaving prop Duncan Jones clutching at thin air. Pienaar converted to make it 10-7 to the hosts.

The introduction of Irish international Iain Henderson infused his side with renewed impetus. The home side were now playing a much more territorial game through the trusty boot of Pienaar. Henderson seemed to have extended his side's lead on 53, minutes, but referee Nigel Owens disallowed the try.

The match was riddled with errors by this stage. Even the normally unflappable Pienaar was struggling to retain the pill in the rapidly deteriorating conditions. The Ospreys made some inroads through replacement scrum half Tito Tebaldi, but struggled to turn possession into points. Try as they might, they just couldn't create a clear-cut opportunity. The Ulster rearguard hung to, therefore, to secure a vital win. But this dreadful game will not live long in the memory.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Try: Cave
Con: PienaarPen: Pienaar

For Ospreys:
Try: Lewis
Con: Davies

The teams:

Ulster: 15 Ricky Andrew, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Darren Cave, 11 Michael Allen, 10 James McKinney, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Sean Doyle, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Callum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Nick Williams, 21 P Marshall, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Rory Scholes.

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Jonathan Spratt (c), 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Aisea Natoga, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 Perry Parker, 4 Lloyd Peers, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Dan Baker, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Richard Fussell, 23 Eli Walker.

Referee: Nigel Owens

By Rory McGimpsey (@RoryMcGimpsey) at Ravenhill

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale13:00
Castres vs Leinster15:15
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles19:45
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Brive vs Zebre19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade FrancaisTBC
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615