Ulster leave it late in Italy as plucky Zebre pay the penalty

Zebre 25 Ulster 27
Mark Anscombe demanded an improvement in travel arrangements after his drowsy Ulster side were brought to the brink by Zebre yesterday.

In a remarkable game, the league leaders were outscored four fries to two by the Italian whipping boys, and needed a late penalty try to eventually get out of jail.

The absence of their Irish contingent notwithstanding, Ulster were nevertheless out of sorts, and bore little resemblance to the side which has beaten all comers this season.

Their inertia, however, seemed reasonable once Anscombe threw light on their preparation.

“I don’t want to make excuses, but yesterday we spent fourteen hours getting here,” said the relieved New Zealander.

“I think we have to be better as an organisation about how we organise our travel.

“Getting to a hotel at 11 o’clock on the night before a match is not ideal preparation.”

Flagging from the word go, Ulster relied heavily on the boot of Neil O’Connor to keep them in touch on a day when Zebre – still chasing their first ever win – went try-crazy.

They scored four in all, one each for halfbacks Tito Tebaldi and Dan Halangahu complimenting a brace by Andries Van Schalkwyk.

Sandwiched in between, Paddy Wallace scored one of his own for Ulster, but the writing still appeared to be on the wall as the game entered its dying embers.

Cue two collapsed scrums by the Zebre in front of their posts, and a timely intervention by referee Neil Paterson.

Zebre scorers: Tries: Tebaldi, Halangahu, van Schalkwyk 2. Cons: Halangahu. Pens: Halangahu.

ZEBRE: Odiete, Sarto, Pratichetti, Pace, Castagnoli, Halangahu, Tebaldi, Aguero, Manici, Redolfini, Sole, Cazzola, Ferrarini, Cristiano, van Schalkwyk.

Replacements: Perugini for Aguero (52), Tripodi for Redolfini (65), Cattina for Ferrarini (65).

Ulster scorers: Tries: Wallace, Penalty try. Cons: O’Connor. Pens: O’Connor 5.

ULSTER: Andrew, Allen, Payne, Wallace, Cochrane, O’Connor, Heaney, Black, Brady, Afoa, Diack, McComb, Williams, McComish, Wilson.

Replacements: Court for Black (55), Herring for Brady (52).

Referee: A McMenemy (SRFU).


© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

‘Mad professor’ Kieran Keane happy with Connacht chemistry

Health is wealth for talismanic Sophie Spence

Free-scoring French will pose tough test to Ireland

After mission impossible, Leo Cullen in search of glory with Leinster


Breaking Stories

Celtic plant one foot in Champions League group door with comfortable 5-0 win over Astana

Everton complete club-record signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea

Conor McGregor's father 'impressed' with son's waxwork

Robert Byrd to referee Conor McGregor v Floyd Mayweather bout

Lifestyle

Irish fans remember Elvis Presley 40 years after his death

How the Rose of Tralee captured public imagination from the start

Rose of Tralee is many a splendored thing

This new app will be a lifesaver for hayfever sufferers

More From The Irish Examiner