Wednesday 24 May 2017

Parks accuracy leaves Ulster all at sea

Glasgow Warriors 25
Ulster 18

Ulster were forced to travel by sea for this game at Firhill but in the event they failed to put clear water between themselves and Connacht, making for an intriguing battle for the third Irish place in next year's Heineken Cup.

There is still a gap between the two provinces but, judging by their performance last night, in which scrum-half Paul Marshall played a key role, Ulster should achieve their objective this season.

Ulster were playing having had only three days to recover from their match against the Ospreys on Tuesday, but they appeared to overcome tiredness to compete all the way.

It was Marshall who grabbed Ulster's opening try after sharp work at the breakdown and a 60m kick-and-chase that gave the scrum-half a score after only three minutes.

The only other first-half points came from a Parks penalty to leave Glasgow trailing 3-5 at the break.

Glasgow looked much more purposeful just after half-time but their points gain was restricted to a drop goal from Parks to give the Warriors the lead for the first time in the game.

A superb touch-finder from Marshall gave Ulster a crucial foothold in Glasgow territory and minutes later the Northern men capitalised with a penalty from Humphreys. Then Glasgow were penalised at the breakdown, allowing Humphreys to add a second penalty.

Parks replied with his second penalty, quickly followed by a second drop goal, to restore the lead for the Warriors. It seemed to give Glasgow the impetus they sought and Johnnie Beattie broke through to fragment the Ulster defence.

When the ball was recycled and switched to the left Scotland centre Graeme Morrison had room to build up pace and barge over for Glasgow's first try, converted by Parks.

The Scotland out-half then stamped his authority on the game with two further drop goals in quick succession as Glasgow's forwards began to dominate the tiring Ulster pack.

The visitors, however, showed their resolve, substitute Jamie Smith twisting out of a tackle before touching down in the corner, Humphreys adding the difficult conversion to give Ulster the bonus point they deserved.

Glasgow Warriors -- B Stortoni; C Shaw, M Evans, G Morrison, D Van Ser Merwe; D Parks (R Jackson 73 (H O'Hare 77)), M McMillan (C Cusiter 50); K Tkachuk (E Kalman 70), F Thomson (D Hall 50), M Low; T Barker (D Turner 50), A Kellock; K Brown, J Barclay, J Beattie.

Ulster -- S Danielli; A Trimble, D Cave, I Whitten, N Spence (J Smith 73); I Humphreys, P Marshall(I Boss 64); T Court, A Kyriacou (N Brady 48), D Fitzpatrick (BJ Botha 48); E O'Donoghue, R Caldwell; C Henry (D Tuohy 63), D Pollock, R Diack (T Anderson 35).

Referee -- P Allen (Scotland)

Irish Independent

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