Report | Ospreys 19 Ulster 13

Report | Ospreys 19 Ulster 13

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Match Reports

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Ulster men as Ospreys ground out a 19-13 win at Swansea.com Stadium on Saturday.

Ulster had an early penalty at the breakdown for Ospreys going off the feet at the ruck, which Billy Burns duly kicked to touch for Brad Roberts to throw in for the line-out. They enjoyed a good spell of possession as they looked to suss out the Ospreys’ defence.

The visitors – in their saffron alternative jerseys – had a chance through Robert Baloucoune after Billy Burns went wide with the pass, but Max Nagy and Alex Cuthbert worked well in tandem to counter-ruck and allow Luke Morgan to poach the ball.

Ulster dominated the possession and territory stats in the first 15 minutes but found it difficult to break through the Ospreys’ line. From just over five metres out, David McCann attempted to tip-on to an unopposed Angus Curtis but Luke Morgan illegally intervened and was sent to the bin. Referee Sam Grove-White awarded the penalty try to Ulster.

Ospreys quickly responded when they made a rare entry into Ulster’s half and Stephen Myler slotted the penalty to reduce the gap to four. Just two minutes later, Ospreys’ discipline faltered, and John Cooney landed the penalty to put Ulster into double figures.

Momentum started to shift in the hosts’ favour and Ulster now had to defend. Ospreys eventually got over the line through Number Eight, Morgan Morris and Stephen Myler kicked the conversion to draw level. A few minutes later, they then took the lead through another Myler penalty.

The visitors started the second half as they did the first, their forwards making hard carries with Kieran Treadwell and Tom O’Toole to the fore. They got into a great area of the field but a scrum penalty on the five-metre line allowed the Welsh side to get out of danger.

Ulster continued to have the lion’s share of possession and eventually got dividend through a John Cooney penalty to make it all-square once again.

However, the balanced tipped once again and Ospreys were able to get change when entering Ulster territory, Stephen Myler converting two penalties within six minutes to put them six points ahead.

Ospreys were able to snatch the ball from Ulster at the breakdown. They sent the ball skyward and Mike Lowry made a superb break, but his offload to Robert Baloucoune didn’t cleanly go to hand.

The Ulster men looked to come back, but the Welsh side managed to keep them out until the final whistle.

Full-time score: Ospreys 19 Ulster 13

Scorers

Ospreys

Tries: Morgan Morris

Cons: Stephen Myler

Pens: Stephen Myler (4)

Ulster

Tries: Penalty try

Pens: John Cooney (2)

Line-ups

Ospreys

(15-9) Max Nagy, Alex Cuthbert, Michael Collins, Owen Watkin, Luke Morgan, Stephen Myler, Rhys Webb (Capt.);

(1-8) Gareth Thomas, Sam Parry, Tomas Francis, Rhys Davies, Bradley Davies, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris.

Replacements: Elvis Taione, Nicky Smith, Tom Botha, Jack Regan, Ethan Roots, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler

Ulster

(15-9) Mike Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, Angus Curtis, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Bradley Roberts, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Alan O’Connor (Capt.), Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney, David McCann.

Replacements: Tom Stewart, Jack McGrath, Marty Moore, Mick Kearney, Marcus Rea, Nathan Doak, Stewart Moore, Craig Gilroy.

Ospreys vs Ulster Gallery

Next Up

Attention turns to the Heineken Champions Cup now with Ulster facing back-to-back weekends in European rugby's premier cup competition.

First up is a trip to the iconic Stade Marcel Michelin to take on French giants ASM Clermont Auvergne next Saturday 11 December.

The following Friday 17 December, the Ulster men will host Northampton Saints, in what will be the first European tie in front of a significant crowd at Kingspan Stadium in almost two years.

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