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Mighty Ulstermen stand tall against French giants


Luke Marshall on his way to scoring Ulster's third try

Luke Marshall on his way to scoring Ulster's third try

Luke Marshall on his way to scoring Ulster's third try

Ulster blew mighty Toulouse away to restore their interest in Pool 1 of the Champions Cup at the Kingspan Stadium last night.

When the home side could get into double-figures in phases, Toulouse looked ragged.

The first gilt-edged chance fell to Toby Flood, whose penalty was well wide of the mark.

Their number eight, Louis Picamoles was forced off with an arm injury in what must have been a positive sight for Ulster eyes.

They promptly went for the corner instead of the sticks from a penalty using Nick Williams on a peel.

When that didn't work, they stayed patient for Robbie Diack to send a pumped up Williams through Gael Fickou for Paddy Jackson to make it 7-0 in the 23rd minute.

Stuart McCloskey powered down the right and Paddy Jackson took the ball on well.

It was too much for Sebastian Bezy to resist. He played the ball close to his line, saw yellow from referee Wayne Barnes, and Jackson put Ulster 10 ahead.

England international Flood leaked his second shot at goal to the left.

Then, Williams was binned for using no arms in a tackle.

The expected surge from the French was disarmed by Andrew Trimble's break, chip, chase and gather for a try converted by Jackson for a 17-point lead at the break.

This was compounded by flanker Yacouba Camara's period in the bin for tripping Ruan Pienaar in the build-up.

Craig Gilroy's failure to shift the ball into his left arm cost his side a third try.

There was redemption when the wing was the creator-in-chief for Luke Marshall's take of Pienaar's cross-field kick to put them out of sight.

McCloskey claimed the fourth in the 54th minute and Chris Henry concluded a dream night with the final try to put them back in the race for the quarters.