Monday 25 March 2019

Stuart McCloskey scores crucial try on his 100th Ulster appearance as they edge out the Ospreys

Ulster players celebrate after the Guinness PRO14 Round 15 match between Ospreys and Ulster at Brewery Field in Bridgend, Wales. Photo by Ben Evans/Sportsfile
Ulster players celebrate after the Guinness PRO14 Round 15 match between Ospreys and Ulster at Brewery Field in Bridgend, Wales. Photo by Ben Evans/Sportsfile

Gareth Hanna

Stuart McCloskey was the hero on his 100th Ulster cap as the province edged out Ospreys 8-0 in an attritional game at Brewery Field.

McCloskey started and finished the move, making a big break and a fine offload to Peter Nelson before being in the right place to provide the finishing touches wide on the right when the ball was recycled.

Despite a scoreless first half, Ulster had unquestionably carved out the greater chances.

They would have been ahead at the break had the ball stuck to Angus Kernohan rather than squirming loose as he prepared to touch down. In the visitors' next purposeful attack, a forward pass from McCloskey ended the danger just as the spaces looked to be opening in the defence.

McCloskey more than made amends with the piece of quality that proved the difference between the sides just a few minutes into the second half.

Ospreys did cause some nerves in the final few minutes but a late penalty was kicked successfully by John Cooney, who had earlier missed the conversion, to deny Ulster's hosts a losing bonus point.

Even though Edinburgh overturned a half-time deficit to beat Dragons, the result is enough to lift Ulster into third place in the Pool B table ahead of Benetton's game at home to Scarlets on Saturday.

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