Duncan Weir snatched a win for Edinburgh with the last kick of the game as Ulster fell out of the Champions Cup spots in the Guinness PRO14.
John Cooney scored the opening try but Jason Harries and Lewis Carmichael responded for Edinburgh, either side of half time.
Ulster piled early pressure onto Edinburgh and worked a fabulous score inside the first ten minutes. John Cooney ran a great support line after starting the move to score under the sticks. Kieran Treadwell created the overlap by pulling the ball behind to McPhillips and, by simply fixing the defender and passing, Ulster scored the opening try.
Ulster’s defensive line speed put pressure on Edinburgh’s attack which forced mistakes. However Edinburgh almost crossed through Villiame Mata but for a great last gasp challenge from Nick Timoney. Ulster survived a period of pressure caused by an irregular bounce of the ball. Edinburgh did score just before the interval. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne made a break and a kick through allowed Jason Harries to score.
The first half saw Craig Gilroy and Johnny McPhillips leave the pitch due to injury which forced Cooney to out half and allowed David Busby to come on.
The Scottish side had a great chance to take the lead at the end of the half with close forward play on the line but when the ball was shipped out to the backs, Luke Marshall nailed his man and forced the turnover.
John Cooney added a penalty at the start of the half to regain the lead for Ulster but Edinburgh continued where they left off. The away side showed superb ball retention but Ulster stood up and answered any questions that they posed, Marshall again forcing the crucial turnover. Edinburgh couldn’t convert the pressure and two careless penalties from the visitors allowed John Cooney to take Ulster’s lead out to six points.
Edinburgh scored their second try with 17 minutes to go. Lewis Carmichael capitalized on the a poor defensive read from Alan O’Connor. The second row stepped Louis Ludik and had enough strength to get over. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne added the extras to give the away side the lead for the first time in the match. It did not last long as Cooney added his third penalty shortly after to push Ulster back in front at 16-14.
Edinburgh kept coming back at Ulster but the home side kept answering the questions, this time Louis Ludik provided the turnover.
Ulster were in control of the ball on the Edinburgh 10m line in the last couple of minutes but a penalty allowed Edinburgh to regain the ball. Tommy Bowe was unlucky to not keep the ball in play from the kick but his tap saw the ball roll out for a lineout closer to the home line. With Ulster camped in their 22, a 5m scrum allowed Edinburgh to fashion a drop goal opportunity which Duncan Weir slotted to sent Edinburgh ahead of Ulster in the table.
A trip to Parc-y-Scarlets awaits next week as Ulster take on the PRO12 champions. No Champions Cup rugby is slowly becoming a vivid reality for Ulster as only two home fixtures and four away fixtures remain and this would surely financially hit Ulster were it hurts.
Ulster: Louis Ludik, Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Tommy Bowe, Johnny McPhillips, John Cooney; Andy Warwick, Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, Nick Timoney, Jean Deysel. Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Rodney Ah You, Matthew Dalton, Chris Henry, Jonny Stewart, Darren Cave, David Busby.
Uster v Edinburgh Player Rataings
Ulster did not have the tactical nous to push themselves over the line. The pack fronted up magnificently tonight with stand out performances from Nick Timoney, Andy Warwick, Rob Herring and Kieran Treadwell. Timoney in particular made 25 tackles tonight.
In the backline, Luke Marshall was the standout player as his defensive reads often bailed Ulster out of trouble. John Cooney took his try well while Johnny McPhillips kicked superbly when he was on the pitch.
- Andy Warwick
- Rob Herring
- Wiehahn Herbst
- Alan O'Connor
- Kieran Treadwell
- Matthew Rea
- Nick Timoney
- Jean Deysel
- John Cooney
- Johnny McPhillips
- Tommy Bowe
- Stuart McCloskey
- Luke Marshall
- Craig Gilroy
- Louis Ludik
- John Andrew
- Kyle McCall
- Rodney Ah You
- Matthew Dalton
- Chris Henry
- Jonny Stewart
- Darren Cave
- David Busby