Ulster Rugby (15) 37
TRY: Tommy Bowe, Sean Reidy, Jacob Stockdale (2), Ruan Pienaar. CON: Ruan Pienaar (3). PEN: Ruan Pienaar (2).
Glasgow Warriors (5) 17
TRY: Brandon Thomson, Scott Cummings (2). CON: Brandon Thomson.
Ulster Rugby produced one of their better displays of the season with an enjoyable bonus point win against Glasgow at Ravenhill on Saturday afternoon.
Tommy Bowe and Sean Reidy scored in the first half but the game really opened up after the break with Ruan Pienaar scoring a wonder try either side of an impressive brace from Jacob Stockdale. Pienaar, making his first appearance in 2017, converted three of the tries and added two penalties.
I’d said last week that Ulster’s win against Edinburgh was only papering over the cracks, but they certainly moved it on a step this week, took the paper of and filled the cracks if you like, and new signing Marcell Coetzee does indeed look like someone that will give a solid foundation. His biceps and his hips certainly kept Stevie Ferris and the annoying Watson entertained throughout the match anyway! 🙂
Pienaar got the ball rolling with an 11th minute penalty. An injury to Louis Ludik, shortly after, saw Jacob Stockdale take the field and the youngster was on hand to put Tommy Bowe over at the start of the second quarter to give Ulster an 8 – 0 lead.
A penalty turnover in the middle of the park led to a lineout for Ulster on the Glasgow 22. Despite the resultant maul being brought down, the ball was punched up the middle by Coetzee and a quick recycle allowed Pienaar to feed an inside ball to the impressive Sean Reidy who touched down close to the posts. Pienaar added the extras to take the score to 15 – 0 in the 33rd minute.
All impressive stuff, but the first blip came on the stroke of half time when Glasgow’s Brandon Thomson crossed out wide after good work by Alex Allan. The teams turned round with the score reading 15 – 5.
This week, Ulster pushed on after the break.
Pienaar landed a 45th minute penalty before Stockdale crossed for his first try of the afternoon. The youngster running a lovely line off phase one lineout ball, Luke Marshall putting him through the gap. Pienaar added the extras and Ulster looked home and hosed with the score bumping along nicely to 25 – 5.
The crowd went wild minutes later when Ulster added their fourth try. Glasgow looked to have worked a scoring chance from the restart as they broke up the left but Pienaar intercepted the scoring pass and set Peter Nelson on his way down the wing. Quick hands and a quick recycle and the ball was fed out to Ulster’s left for Pienaar to go over in the corner. Fantastic work from the scrum half, the speed of the move breathtaking. No conversion but it didn’t matter as Ulster had the bonus point in the bag and looked well set at 30 – 5.
To their credit, Glasgow refused to lie down and two quick tries from thier impressive second row Scott Cummings brought the score back to 30 – 17 with six minutes to go! However, the crowd were able to relax when Jacob Stockdale chased up his own grubber kick from deep to beat the last defender and touch down close to the posts. Pienaar added the extras to give a final score of Ulster 37 Glasgow 17.
Ulster Rugby: Louis Ludik, Tommy Bowe, Luke Marshall, Darren Cave, Craig Gilroy, Peter Nelson, Ruan Pienaar, Callum Black, John Andrew, Ricky Lutton, Pete Browne, Franco vd Merwe, Sean Reidy, Chris Henry, Marcell Coetzee. Replacements: Rob Herring, Andrew Warwick, Wiehahn Herbst, Kieran Treadwell, Robbie Diack, Paul Marshall, Jacob Stockdale, Jack Owens.
Photo credit Ian Humes Photography.