A Rob Herring hat trick fired Ulster to a superb eight-try victory over a depleted Zebre side. The result, combined with Edinburgh’s defeat at home to Cardiff, sees Ulster move up to third in Conference B.

It wasn’t until the 15th minute before Ulster opened the scoring with Herring’s first try thanks to a rolling maul. Zebre were down a man in the pack when James Brown was sent to the sin bin for a cynical infringement at the maul.

Tries two and three for Herring were from similar positions with 15 minutes separating all three tries. Zebre struggled to control Ulster’s dynamic maul and this resulted in a penalty try six minutes into the second half.

Zebre’s only flurry into the Ulster 22 in the first half resulted in a penalty try. They worked an opening down the right wing and, faced with a two-on-one, Louis Ludik was unfortunate not intercept the ball but left Mike Adamson with no choice but to march under the posts and award the penalty try.

The bonus point was secured on the stroke of half time which lifted a weight off the shoulders of the players and faithful alike. Rob Lyttle was the recipient and finished well in the corner.

The penalty try was number five before Louis Ludik crossed ten minutes into the second half. The South African native had enough pace to escape the straggling Zebre defender and reach the line from 30 metres out,

The second yellow followed shortly before the hour mark allowing Robert Balouocune to score his fourth try of the season. The eighth and final try was scored by Peter Nelson six minutes before the end of the match and capped off a fine evening for the Ulstermen.

7.0 Performance

Zebre weren’t up to much tonight but Ulster put in a sterling performance to send them packing. Rob Herring’s three tries saw him pick up the man of the match award.
Peter Nelson put in an assured performance at out half and had a good range on his touch-finding penalty kicks. Wingers Robert Baloucoune and Rob Lyttle chalked up impressive attacking numbers: Baloucoune made 117m off 11 carries, beat seven defenders and made four clean breaks while Lyttle made 74m off ten carries with four defenders beaten and three clean breaks.
In the forward pack Ulster’s maul demolished their counterparts and is ticking along nicely into the business end of the season. Alan O’Connor and Kieran Treadwell seem to be forming a great partnership with the former stepping up in the last number of games in a leadership capacity.

  • Eric O'Sullivan 7
  • Rob Herring 8
  • Marty Moore 7
  • Alan O'Connor 7
  • Kieran Treadwell 7
  • Clive Ross 7
  • Sean Reidy 7
  • Nick Timoney 7
  • Dave Shanahan 8
  • Peter Nelson 8
  • Rob Lyttle 9
  • Stuart McCloskey 7
  • Darren Cave 8
  • Robert Baloucoune 8
  • Louis Ludik 7
  • John Andrew 6
  • Andy Warwick 6
  • Ross Kane 6
  • Ian Nagle 6
  • Greg Jones 6
  • Jonny Stewart 6
  • Johnny McPhillips 6
  • James Hume 7
  • User Ratings (3 Votes) 5.8

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