Match Report: Ulster Rugby 14-7 Edinburgh Rugby

Kyle McCall was Man of the Match

Kyle McCall was Man of the Match

Storm Desmond wasn’t able to put a dampener on Ulster’s home form as they leapt up to fifth in the Guinness PRO12 with a 14-7 over Edinburgh at the Kingspan Stadium.

A penalty try and a score from Rory Scholes ensured the four points for Ulster while a Cornell du Preez try converted by Jack Cuthbert secured a losing bonus point for the Scots.

It truly was a game of two halves with the wind blowing firmly at the backs of one team and it was the hosts who mastered the conditions better and they were deserved winners.

Ulster’s night did not get off to the perfect start as after just four minutes they lost both Iain Henderson and Darren Cave to early injuries, with Henderson requiring the aid of a stretcher to get off the pitch.

But despite the early blow, Ulster would get the game’s first try a minute later when they were awarded a penalty try after an Edinburgh player was guilty of impeding Ruan Pienaar on the line having come from an offside position.

Edinburgh full-back Cuthbert had a chance to peg the hosts back with a long range penalty, but into the prevailing wind his kick fell a long way short.

And the miss would prove costly as almost immediately Ulster went up the other end and scored their second try – this time a fantastic strike move from the back of a scrum and after Louis Ludik had made the initial break, Scholes was on his shoulder to take the ball the rest of the way.

Paddy Jackson added the extras and the home side led 14-0 after just 11 minutes, however they did have the storm force wind at their backs.

Edinburgh were making good progress with ball in hand, refraining from kicking the ball into the wind, but it was Ulster who were carving out the opportunities and they passed up a great chance to score a third try when they spilled the ball metres from the line.

They would also suffer another injury blow as full-back Peter Nelson was carted off as well on the half hour mark to join Henderson and Cave in the dressing room.

And they could very well have notched that third try just before the break as well when a break from Pienaar took them all the way up to the Edinburgh 5 metre line but again the away defence held firm.

Instead they conceded a try eight minutes after the restart – the wind advantage very evident as Edinburgh worked their way into the Ulster red zone and a stabbed kick through was easily touched down by Cornell du Preez.

The roles were reversed from the first half with Edinburgh now looking to ping the corners more with Ulster having to run the ball into a stern breeze, however they were doing well to hold onto possession.

And it was they who came closest to scoring just before the game hit the hour mark as substitute Stuart McCloskey was held up twice over the line by the resolute Scottish defence, while they also had Dan Tuohy taken off injured too.

But despite having the wind, Edinburgh never really looked like coming back and levelling the scores at any point and it was still Les Kiss’ men who were in the ascendancy for most of the second half.

They thought they had the vital score just before the end when Luke Marshall powered over for a try, however upon reflection with the TMO it was ruled out due to an infringement earlier in the move.

It was not to matter though as Ulster comfortably held onto their seven point lead for the win that takes them above their opponents into fifth for the time being.

 

The teams

For Ulster

Tries: Penalty, Scholes

Cons: Jackson (2)

For Edinburgh

Try: du Preez

Con: Cuthbert

 

ULSTER RUGBY

(15-9) Peter Nelson (Stuart McCloskey 28), Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave (Louis Ludik 5), Luke Marshall, Rory Scholes, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; (1-8) Kyle McCall (Andrew Warwick 62), Rob Herring, Ricky Lutton (Wiehahn Herbst 42), Dan Tuohy (John Andrew 60), Franco van der Merwe (Alan O’Connor 58), Iain Henderson (Clive Ross 4), Chris Henry, Nick Williams.

Sub not used: Paul Marshall.

EDINBURGH RUGBY

(15-9) Jack Cuthbert (Blair Kinghorn 53), Dougie Fife, Chris Dean (Mike Allen 66), Matt Scott, Will Helu, Phil Burleigh, Sean Kennedy (Nathan Fowles 55); (1-8) Alasdair Dickinson (Rory Sutherland 47), Ross Ford (Neil Cochrane 47), WP Nel (John Andress 47), Anton Bresler, Alex Toolis, Mike Coman (Hamish Watson 40), John Hardie, Cornell du Preez.

Sub not used: Jamie Ritchie.

 

Man of the Match: Kyle McCall (Ulster)

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)