Thanks to Bob Given for sending in this match report along with his match photos.
At a very sunny but cold Belmont yesterday, an Ulster Development XV, made up of players from the U18, U19 and U20 squads, entertained the touring Georgia U20 XV.
From kick off the large Georgia pack dominated possession. A touch was found from a penalty just inside the Ulster half, possession was won, and Georgia mauled the ball over the Ulster line to score an unconverted try after 8 minutes.
The visitors continued to dominate possession in the set and loose with Ulster making occasional forays into the Georgia half. On 23 minutes Ulster’s James Beattie cut in from the right wing to out pace the defence on the left before dotting the ball down under the posts. Cormac Fox was successful with the conversion. Georgia continued to dominate possession, but there was no further scoring to leave Ulster in the lead 7 – 5 at half time.
The second half was only minutes old when Georgia went for touch, rather than kick a 30 metre penalty in front of the posts.They were rewarded when their pack mauled the line out take and No 8 Iilia Spanderashvili scored a try mid way out on 42 minutes. The conversion was missed.
Georgia continued to dominate the scrummage and from a strike against the head in the Ulster 22, the Georgia right wing Akaki Tabutsadze created an overlap, scoring in the left corner after 48 minutes. The conversion was missed.
On 60 minutes, from another strike against the head, close to the Ulster line, No 8 Iilia Spanderashvili picked up and was driven over by his pack. Scrum half Gela Aprasidze was successful with the conversion.
Ulster intermittently attempted to break out, running the ball from deep and on 77 minutes Mark Keane found space on the left and out placed the Georgia defence to score in the corner. The conversion was missed.
On the stroke of full time, Georgia mauled another line out take over the Ulster line to score their fifth try. The conversion was missed leaving the score 27 – 12 in favour of Georgia.
Ulster faced a torrid time in the set piece, particularly their scrum, and also in the loose, but for some very stout defence they would have conceded many more points.
Ulster Development: Jack Owens, James Beattie, Rory Butler,Tom Stapley, Mark Keane, Cormac Fox, Jonny Stewart, Anton Lupari, Alexander Clarke, Peter Cooper, John McCusker, Alex Thompson, Alistair Burke, David Whitten, Joe Dunleavey. Replacements: Paul McGookin, Paul Mullen, Jack McIntosh, Callum Smyth, Zac Ward, Greg Jones, Andrew Foster, Glen Baillie, Evin Crummie, Olly Brown, Josh Jordan.