Tuesday 17 July 2018

Stockdale and Piutau sting Wasps as Ulster kick off Champions Cup with a win

Ulster 19 Wasps 9

13 October 2017; Jacob Stockdale of Ulster celebrates after scoring his side's first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 1 match between Ulster and Wasps at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
13 October 2017; Jacob Stockdale of Ulster celebrates after scoring his side's first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 1 match between Ulster and Wasps at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ulster got the 2017/18 Champions Cup underway with a win, after a strong second half performance saw them see off Wasps 19-9 at a rainy Kingspan Stadium.

The wet conditions made for a scrappy first half, with penalties from Elliot Daly and Jimmy Gopperth giving the visitors a 6-3 lead at the break, with John Cooney responding from the tee for the home side.

The game finally sprung into life midway through the second half. Wasps extended their lead to six with another penalty, before Charles Piutau got an edge on Christian Wade and put Jacob Stockdale away in the left corner for the game's opening try.

Cooney was off target with the conversion, but Ulster crossed for a second try moments later.

Stockdale wriggled out of a tackle on the left wing before exchanging passes with Piutau.

Just before the Man of the Match was pushed into touch, he flicked an offload back in field, which was claimed by the on-rushing Stuart McCloskey to score.

Ulster saw the game out brilliantly thereafter, with Australian out-half Christian Lealiifano kicking a crucial penalty eight minutes from time which denied Wasps a losing bonus point, and put Ulster in a strong position after matchday one.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport