Sport Rugby

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Ravens prove their own worst enemy

Bristol 34 Ulster Ravens 28


Ulster Ravens followed up last week's demolition of Bridgend with a patchy display in defeat at Bristol.

The Ulstermen were consistently their own worst enemies as ill-discipline and poor handling stymied numerous promising spells.

Ulster Captain Neil McComb said: "We are still confident that we will go through and fought well for the two bonus points, which will be crucial. They now have to come to Belfast."

Bristol scored first through No 8 James Merriman after four minutes.

Ulster struggled to build any momentum early on until full-back Ricky Andrew superbly chased a towering kick before deftly off-loading for Roger Wilson to power over. The visitors slowly edged their way into the game, but their execution let them down as they trailed 14-7 at half-time.

Ulster exploded out of the blocks after the break when Chris Cochrane jinked over, but Bristol hit back immediately with a solo try by James Grindal. Ulster enjoyed a sustained period of possession and were rewarded through Wilson's second try.

Further indiscretions at the breakdown undid all of the Ulstermen's good work and Roberts' boot punished the Ravens as Bristol seized a 27-21 lead with eight minutes left.

Ulster threw caution to the wind and were punished by Iain Grieve's converted try late on. Trailing 34-21, the Ravens refused to give up and James Simpson crossed late on for their fourth try and bonus point.

Bristol -- G Watkins; R Edwards, L Eves, B Mosses, B Rennie (J Tovey 7); T Roberts (A Jarvis 81), J Grindal (R Tipuna 75); M Lilley, R Johnston, G Cortes (B Douglas 66); B Glynn, G Townson (R Winters 75); R Pennycook (I Grieve 67), J Merriman (capt), M Eadie.

Ulster Ravens -- R Andrew, R Scholes, M Allen (N O'Connor 37), L Marshall, C Cochrane, S Olding, M Heaney (B McIlroy78), R Lutton (K McCall 73), N Annett (N Brady 40), A Macklin, J Simpson 78), A O'Connor, N McComb (capt), R Diack, A Birch (C Joyce 59), R Wilson.

Ref -- T Hayes (Wales).

Irish Independent

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