Ulster vs Edinburgh Rugby, Fri, 04/12/2015 - 19:35

Ulster
14 - 7
Full time
Edinburgh Rugby
Friday, 4 December, 2015 - 19:35 | Kingspan Stadium

It was stormy weather all round in Belfast this evening as Edinburgh made heavy going of the conditions and the opportunity to maintain their league table lead on the hosts, however couldn’t be faulted for their commitment.

After the game head coach Alan Solomons said: “I thought the side played with a tremendous amount of commitment, a lot of physicality – it was unfortunate Ulster lost a number of players but I think that was due to the physicality we brought to the game.”

Ulster seized home advantage from the outset, dictating the pace and forcing errors. Sustained pressure on the Edinburgh line saw the visitors under the cosh. A charged down clearance from the scrum led to the eventual penalty try – as Edinburgh were penalised for illegally preventing Pienaar from scoring – after four minutes, with the score converted by Jackson.

With Ulster pinged just inside Edinburgh’s half less than five minutes later, Jack Cuthbert lined up the long shot, however the elements ensured it came up short.

The Irish province hammered home the advantage on the 12th minute when, despite some clever footwork from Cornell Du Preez and Matt Scott, leading to a scrum advantage, Rory Scholes saw the gap and wrong-footed the last line of defence to dot down by the posts. The extras added again by Jackson, put the home side 14-0 ahead in as many minutes, the last points they would score.

Ulster were, however, racking up enough injuries to rival an episode of casualty causing frequent breaks in play and stalling any momentum for either side.

Edinburgh’s forwards were providing the platform however a series of promising breaks, including footie skills from Cuthbert matched by circus skills from Fife, came to nothing as the conditions began to dictate performance for both sides, who went in still 14-0 at half time.

Having hit their stride in the final minutes of the opening half, the visitors came out for the second forty minutes with more purpose and with Hamish Watson on for Mike Coman, who had taken a knock late in the first period.

Du Preez, who had impressed throughout the opening half, then put the first points on the board for Edinburgh on 49 minutes with a lovely take five metres out to cross in the top corner. With the weather conditions swirling wind in all directions, Cuthbert’s conversion attempt from the touchline – the ball steadied for him by scrum half Kennedy – was applauded by supporters from both sides as it sailed through the uprights, to make it 14-7.

Time and again each side made what looked like a promising foray into the other’s half, only to spill ball, knock on or fumble the pass, Ulster making the best of the chances with what looked like a try on 54 minutes. After lengthy consultation with his assistant in front of the big screen, the referee judged the score had been held up.

Our entire front row had been replaced just short of 50 minutes and Cuthbert was replaced by Blair Kinghorn five minutes later, the youngster again showing no reticence in attack with a sparky break down the wing, wrongfooting two Ulster players before he was stopped short of the 22.

Edinburgh’s Ulster contingent doubled when Michael Allen joined the fray at 67 minutes, joining prop John Andress, playing at his former ground for the first time since transferring to the capital club over the summer.

Ulster pushed time and again, looking to have scored again with eight minutes to go, when another score was judged to have followed an infringement. And that’s the way it ended – considerably later than scheduled due to the numerous injury breaks and TMO calls. A losing bonus point for Edinburgh who must maintain their spirit but cut out the errors as they return to European duty next weekend.

Team lineups

Ulster
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 Peter Nelson
14 Andrew Trimble
13 Darren Cave
12 Luke Marshall
11 Rory Scholes
10 Paddy Jackson
9 Ruan Pienaar

Backs

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Forwards

1 Kyle McCall
2 Rob Herring
3 Ricky Lutton
4 Dan Tuohy
5 Franco van der Merwe
6 Iain Henderson
7 Chris Henry
8 Roger Wilson

Forwards

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Substitutes

16 John Andrew
17 Andy Warwick
18 Wiehahn Herbst
19 Alan O'Connor
20 Nick Williams
21 Paul Marshall
22 Stuart McCloskey
23 Louis Ludik

Substitutes

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Man of the match: 
Kyle McCall

GUINNESS PRO12 2015/16 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Leinster 22166073
2Connacht 22157073
3Glasgow Warriors22147172
4Ulster22148069
5Munster22139063
6Scarlets22148063
7Cardiff Blues221111056
8Ospreys221110155
9Edinburgh Rugby221111054
10Dragons Rugby22418026
11Zebre22517024
12Benetton Treviso22319020

GUINNESS PRO12 2015/16 latest results

Leinster 50 v 19 Benetton Treviso
Munster 31 v 15 Scarlets
Ospreys 26 v 46 Ulster
Zebre 47 v 22 Dragons Rugby
Connacht 14 v 7 Glasgow Warriors