Ulster Rugby’s U18 Club side gained revenge for last season’s defeat with a comfortable 36 – 10 win against, American touring side, Eagle Impact Rugby Academy on Saturday afternoon at Newforge Country Club. 

It was a much improved performance from the Ulster Club side who certainly look to have put in a lot of work on their conditioning in the intervening period. 

After an intensive pre match workout Ulster started the game with some intent and, pretty much, controlled the first half. 

Busy winger, Thomas Leitch opened the scoring, going over out wide, with impressive outhalf Thomas McDevitt adding the extras.

Prop Jamie Allen was next to cross, burrowing over in the same corner, McDevitt just short with the conversion attempt, and Ulster’s third try followed in quick succession with winger Elliott Donaldson breaking from deep to score close to the posts. McDevitt knocked over the conversion to give Ulster a 19 – 0 lead. 

The Academy started to get more into the match as the first half wore on but it was Ulster who had the final word with scrum half Adam Scott burrowing over after Donaldson was brought down short of the line. The conversion was missed giving Ulster a 24 – 0 lead at the break. 

Donaldson got over for his second try shortly after the resumption, to push the score to 31 – 0,  but the second half was a much more competitive affair as the Academy got their hands on the ball with a bit more frequency. 

The visitors worked themselves into Ulster territory on several occasions only to be let down by a malfunctioning line out. However they eventually found the line with Lucan Pattinson going over for an unconverted try. 

Ulster responded with a try from replacement Robbie Grant but the Eagles had the final say. What would have been the try of the game, as they broke down the left with some nice interchanges, was ruled out for a foot in touch. The tourists got their reward shortly after as the ball was worked right only to be held up over the line for an attacking scrum. After the pack presented a strong platform No. 8 Logan Weidner powered over for the final score of the game. 

Final score: Ulster Rugby U18 Club 36 Eagle Impact Rugby Academy 10

Ulster Rugby U18 Club: Josh Kyle, Thomas Leitch, Tyler McNeill, Michael Tate, Elliott Donaldson, Thomas McDevitt, Adam Scott, Jamie Allen, Ben McCulloch, Philip Nicholl, John Glasgow, James McNabney, Sam Glasgow, Jack Milton (c), Sebastian Hastings. Replacements: Robbie Grant, Owen Warren, Lewis Beattie, Adam Barron, Marcus McNeill, James Crummie, Adam Sheriff, Toby O’Neil, Ben Goodfellow, Lorcan Hanratty. 

Photo credit – Bob Given Photography & John McMurtry

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