Friday 9 December 2016

McCloskey seals bonus point for off-colour Ulster

Ulster 24 Cardiff Blues 17

Jim Stokes

Published 24/10/2015 | 02:30

Ulster's Paddy Jackson
Ulster's Paddy Jackson
Ulster's Stuart McCloskey is tackled by Rhys Patchell of Cardiff Blues

Ulster managed to scrape a bonus-point win last night despite a slip-shod performance at the Kingspan Stadium.

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Ulster had managed to land their bonus by the 50th minute with tries by Andrew Trimble, Paul Marshall, Nick Williams and Stuart McCloskey.

However, it was a performance full of errors. There appeared to be no cohesion, particularly in the opening quarter when the visitors looked likely to spoil Ulster's 14-game unbeaten home run, taking the lead with a penalty from Rhys Patchell.

Ulster hit back through Trimble after a surge from Williams and a delicious long pass from Ian Humphreys.

Two more Patchell penalties edged the Blues ahead again.

But when Blues No 8 Josh Turnbull was sin-binned for dangerous use of the boot Ulster gained the upper hand when the lively Marshall darted over, with Humphreys converting for a 12-9 half-time lead.

The hosts resumed with intent and Williams touched down from a driven lineout

Centre McCcloskey secured the bonus point following a strong run from Trimble to make it 24-9.

Ulster lost Weihahn Herbst to the sin-bin and Josh Navidi squeezed over in the corner, but the hosts held out, helped by the yellow-carding of Aled Summerhill.

Ulster - L Ludik (Shanahan 69); A Trimble, S Arnold (Cave 55), S McCloskey, C Gilroy; I Humphreys (Jackson 52), P Marshall; C Black (Warwick 55), R Herring, W Herbst (Lutton 68); L Stevenson (Browne 55), F van der Merwe; R Wilson, S Reidy (Faloon 71), N Williams.

Cardiff - D Fish; A Summerhill, T Isaacs, A Thomas, R Smith; R Patchell, T Knoyle (Jones 61); S Hobbs, M Rees (Lewis 65), C Mitchell (Filise 53); L Reed, J Down (Davies 74), C Dolan (Cook 57), J Turnbull, J Navidi.

Ref - B Whitehouse (WRU).

Irish Independent

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