Monday 20 May 2019

Henderson inspires Ulster to seal play-off spot

Edinburgh 7 Ulster 29

Edinburgh coach Roddy Grant prior to the match. Photo by Ross Parker/Sportsfile.
Edinburgh coach Roddy Grant prior to the match. Photo by Ross Parker/Sportsfile. Sportsdesk

Ulster produced an inspired performance to overwhelm Edinburgh at Murrayfield with a bonus-point win that guarantees them a place in the knock-out stages of the Guinness Pro14.

Returning man-of-the-match Iain Henderson was inspirational for the visitors, who were determined to atone for last week's roasting by Glasgow.

They started strongly and soon went in front with a penalty by John Cooney.

Ulster quickly piled more pressure on Edinburgh and a clever kick from Jacob Stockdale led to Jordi Murphy bursting over from close range, with Cooney converting.

Edinburgh missed a chance to cut the deficit when Jaco Van der Welt's penalty came back off the upright.

Thereafter, Ulster took control and went further in front with a try by wing Robert Baloucoune from a long looping pass by Billy Burns for a 15-0 interval lead.

Ulster's dominance continued in the second half against an Edinburgh side that offered little threat.

Increasingly confident, they got a third try when crisp handling involving Burns and Stockdale (playing at full-back) put wing Rob Lyttle in, with Cooney converting from the touchline.

Edinburgh finally got on the scoreboard with a score that came from patient handling that ended with John Barclay dummyin his way over for a try converted by fellow replacement Simon Hickey.

But Ulster grabbed their fourth try from powerful forward play that demolished the Edinburgh defence before swift transfer of the ball allowed Burns to cruise over.

Cooney added the conversion to seal an emphatic and important win.

Edinburgh - D Graham; D Hoyland (G Taylor 44), M Bennett, M Scott, D Van der Merwe; J Van der Welt (S Hickey 32), H Pyrgos (C Shiel 63); P Schoeman (A Dell ), S McInally (R Ford 68), WP Nel (S Berghan 45); G Gilchrist, B Toolis (C Hunter-Hill 68), M Bradbury (J Barclay 49), H Watson, V Mata.

Ulster - J Stockdale P Nelson 15); R Baloucoune (A Kernohan 50), L Marshall, S McCloskey, R Lyttle; B Burns, J Cooney (D Shanahan 78); E O'Sullivan (A Warwick 73), R Herring (J Andrew 78), M Moore (R Kane 9), I Henderson, K Treadwell (A O'Connor ), N Timoney (S Reidy 67), J Murphy, M Coetzee

Ref - N Owens (WRU)

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