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Will Addison injury mars Ulster’s URC win over Emirates Lions

Ulster 26 Emirates Lions 10

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Will Addison of Ulster during the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and Emirates Lions at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Will Addison of Ulster during the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and Emirates Lions at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Will Addison of Ulster during the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and Emirates Lions at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ulster may still be perfect after their fourth straight bonus point win of the season, this one a 26-10 success over the Emirates Lions at Kingspan Stadium, but their night was marred by a significant-looking injury to Will Addison.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell will have been watching on between his fingers as the luckless full-back was stretchered off six minutes into the second-half with a leg injury that looks certain to rule him out of the Autumn Internationals, and probably longer.

That put a significant dampener on another night where Ulster got the job done when it was required of them and flanker Nick Timoney furthered his international credentials with two tries in the win, with James Hume and Matty Rea also crossing.

The win keeps Dan McFarland's side top of the United Rugby Championship standings with a perfect record and they will head to the Aviva Stadium next week to face Irish rivals Connacht looking to stay unbeaten heading into the international break.

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Nathan Doak of Ulster clears under pressure from Reinhard Nothnagel of Emirates Lions during the United Rugby Championship match at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Nathan Doak of Ulster clears under pressure from Reinhard Nothnagel of Emirates Lions during the United Rugby Championship match at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Nathan Doak of Ulster clears under pressure from Reinhard Nothnagel of Emirates Lions during the United Rugby Championship match at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ulster had their first try within the opening five minutes and it was a bit of pre-planned line-out trickery that worked to perfection on the night, Rob Herring throwing short to Andrew Warwick, the prop turning to find Timoney racing onto the ball and the flanker going over for the score.

But despite being beaten in both the territory and possession stakes, it would be the Lions who struck next, a long line-out finding the rampaging Ruhan Straeuli, who took them five metres shy and, after a big carry from Carlu Sadie, winger Stean Pienaar dived over in the corner.

No.8 David McCann missed a gilt-edged chance to cross when he dropped Ethan McIlroy's pass with the line at his mercy, but a fine team try finished by Hume shortly after spared his blushes, with EW Viljoen converting a penalty on the stroke of the interval for the Lions to make it 12-10.

But it was one-way traffic after the restart and, following Addison's latest stroke of injury misfortune, Rea managed to bulldoze his way over from close range to at least make sure the win was going the way of the hosts, leaving the bonus point the last thing they needed to secure.

And it duly arrived 13 minutes from the final whistle, Timoney managing to hold off two flailing Lions defenders to place the ball on the line and cap off another good night at the office for the unbeaten province.

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