Ulster Rugby (15) 22
TRY: Andrew Trimble, Franco van der Merwe, Darren Cave. CON: Paddy Jackson (2). PEN: Paddy Jackson.
Bordeaux Begles (20) 26
TRY: Yann Lesgourgues, Marco Tauleigne. CON: Ian Madigan (2). PEN: Ian Madigan (2), Simon Hickey (2).
Ulster Rugby completed their European Cup campaign in pretty much the same way as it began with an error-strewn performance against Bordeaux Beagles.
Despite scoring three tries, Andrew Trimble, Franco van der Merwe and Darren Cave all crossing, Ulster coughed up too many penalties to allow the French side to pull clear in the last ten minutes at Ravenhill on Saturday afternoon.
The result sees Ulster’s win ratio for the season to date drop to 50%, their worst return in six seasons.
The French side raced to a ten point lead after an early Ian Madigan penalty was followed by a try from Yann Lesgourgues after he dispossessed David Shanahan. Madigan added the extras and Ulster found themselves in a bit of a hole.
There was plenty of endeavour and Ulster hit back with an unconverted try from Andrew Trimble but worse was to come for Ulster as they were driven over their own line on their own put in for a scrum, Marco Tauleigne touching down for the score. Madigan converted and Bordeaux led 5 – 17.
Ulster’s chastened forwards managed a response by driving a maul over the Bordeaux line in the 28th minute and with Jackson converting the score moved along to 12 – 17.
Madigan knocked over another penalty shortly after but as the game approached the half way mark a yellow card for Bordeaux’s Geoffrey Cros, followed by a Jackson penalty saw the teams turn around with the score reading Ulster 15 Bordeaux 20.
Ulster failed to take further advantage of their extra man on the resumption but, at the end of the third quarter, they finally got the noses in front after Darren Cave dotted down at the base of the post. Jackson converted and Ulster had a two-point lead with twenty minutes left.
Unfortunately, the rest of the game was hugely disappointing with Ulster coughing up two further penalties for the French to take the game.
Final score: Ulster Rugby 22 Bordeaux Begles 26.
Ulster Rugby: Charles Piutau, Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Jackson, David Shanahan, Andy Warwick, Rory Best, Jonny Simpson, Robbie Diack, Franco Van Der Merwe, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Sean Reidy. Replacements: John Andrew, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Kieran Treadwell, Clive Ross, Paul Marshall, Brett Herron, Craig Gilroy.
Despite the result we did manage to get some great action shots from the game.
Picture credit Ian Humes Photography.