A Stuart McCloskey try on his 100th appearance guided Ulster to a fifth away victory of the season.and move them up to third position albeit for 24 hours.

The away side started promising putting together a number of phases inside the Ospreys half. The forwards carried hard and looked to soften up the Ospreys defence but ultimately the possession didn’t result in any points.

After Ulster’s possession, Ospreys had several chances to penetrate the away side’s defence. A lovely move from Luke Morgan allowed the former Sevens player some space but slow ball allowed the Ulster to regroup and send the home side back 12 metres.

Ulster returned and almost scored through Angus Kernohan. Darren Cave made the break and quick ball was recycled to the right thanks to a fizzed pass from Stuart McCloskey. With the line at his mercy, Kernohan couldn’t quite gather the ball to dot down over the line.

While on the whole Ulster were fairly accurate in the first half, mistakes in the Ospreys’ red zone punished Dan McFarland’s men. Three knock ons inside the 5m line ended promising Ulster moves and left the scores 0-0 at half time.

The deadlock was broken seven minutes after the break. Ulster won a turnover in the middle of the pitch and, with numbers out wide, Pete Nelson drove deep into the Ospreys’ 22. Quick ball allowed Stuart McCloskey to dot down despite an intentional knock down from an Ospreys player.

Ulster began to turn the screw on the home side midway through the second half however couldn’t add to their five points. There were two opportunities in the second half for Ulster to nudge over a penalty to extend their lead but on both occasions they opted for the corner resulting in a loss of the ball.

It very nearly cost them in the last five minutes as Ospreys won a penalty deep in the Ulster half. The crisis was diverted however as Ulster’s maul defence was excellent and Andy Warwick popped up with the crucial turnover.

John Cooney kicked an 80th minute penalty to secure Ulster’s fifth away win of the season. Next up for Ulster is the visit of Zebre next Saturday.

6.8 Performance

I don’t think it was a particularly bad Ulster performance. It wasn’t a classic but it’s a precious away win. Ulster looked good going forward but handling errors prevented the score being added to.
Stuart McCloskey was the man of the match and was very good going forward. He beat four defenders and made two linebreaks as well as contributing to a defensive effort with 13 tackles.
Eric O’Sullivan also impressed with 13 tackles without miss as well as several strong carries. He also varied the attack with a few pop balls which kept the Ospreys’ defence honest.

  • Eric O'Sullivan 8
  • Rob Herring 7
  • Marty Moore 7
  • Alan O'Connor 6
  • Iain Henderson 6
  • Clive Ross 6
  • Jordi Murphy 7
  • Nick Timoney 6
  • John Cooney 7
  • Michael Lowry 7
  • Louis Ludik 6
  • Stuart McCloskey 8
  • Darren Cave 7
  • Angus Kernohan 6
  • Pete Nelson 7
  • John Andrew N/A
  • Andy Warwick 7
  • Tom O'Toole N/A
  • Kieran Treadwell 7
  • Sean Reidy N/A
  • Dave Shanahan N/A
  • James Hume N/A
  • Rob Lyttle N/A
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