Zebre Rugby (10) 17
TRY: Guglielmo Palazzani, Mattia Bellini. CON: Guglielmo Palazzani (2). PEN: Guglielmo Palazzani.
Ulster Rugby(14) 40
TRY: Chris Henry, Ruan Pienaar, Stuart Olding, Jacob Stockdale, Robbie Diack, David Busby. CON: Ruan Pienaar (5).
Apologies for the late posting of this one. We were involved in Six Nations action down in Dublin last weekend and I didn’t get watching this until yesterday!
Despite Ulster scoring six tries this was far from a complete performance from Ulster Rugby. The late withdrawal of Marcell Coetzee brought back the old complacency and led to a substantial period with Zebre on top. However Ulster regrouped in the second half to claim the precious bonus point win.
Ulster started brightly in the Parma sun going up 0 – 14 after early tries from Chris Henry and Ruan Pienaar, both converted by Pienaar, in the first fifteen minutes. However the complacency that has dogged their season soon became evident as Zebre staged a comeback.
Zebre’s scrum half Guglielmo Palazzani got the ball rolling with a try and conversion on the 16th minute to take the score to 7 – 14. The home side enjoyed a period of dominance for the remainder of the half but only had a Palazzani penalty to show for it, the teams turning round 10 – 14 at the break.
The travelling Ulster support undoubtedly enjoyed the half time break, as they relaxed over a couple of small glasses of the local vino, but I suspect that it was all a bit more heated in the Ulster changing room!
Whatever was said seemed to have the desired effect as early tries by Stuart Olding and Jacob Stockdale gave Ulster the desired bonus point by the 51st minute. and with Pienaar converting the visitors lead extended to 10 – 28.
Zebre did hit back with a converted try on the hour mark, Mattia Bellini crossing and Palazzani converting, to take the score to 17 – 28 but late tries by Robbie Diack and debutant David Busby saw Ulster close the game out with a degree of comfort. Pienaar made it five out of six from the tee to give a final score of Zebre 17 Ulster 40.
Ulster Rugby: Jacob Stockdale, Tommy Bowe, Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding, Charles Piutau, Peter Nelson, Ruan Pienaar, Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst, Robbie Diack, Alan O’Connor, Clive Ross, Chris Henry, Sean Reidy. Replacements: John Andrew, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Pete Browne, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Jared Payne, David Busby.