Ulster hit rock bottom in Ospreys demolition job

ANOTHER long, hard night at the office for Ulster and another defeat.

At the ground where they won the Celtic League 18 months ago, and against one of only two teams they have beaten this season, they were a shadow of their former selves.

Despite having 10 of the team that claimed the Celtic crown two seasons ago, they lacked confidence, composure and direction. The sooner the Ulster hierarchy find a new head coach, the better.

The Ospreys knew they had to make amends for twice losing the lead at Gloucester, and ultimately a bonus point, and they weren’t made to work very hard for their six tries.

It took them four minutes to cross the Ulster line for the first time and they were 15 points clear before the visitors had caught their breath.

Paddy Wallace at least ensured his side took something from their first visit into the home 22 after 21 minutes, when he kicked a penalty, but it was largely one-way traffic.

The interval score of 15-3 hardly reflected the Ospreys supremacy and they moved in for the kill at the start of the seconds half. Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones crossed for try number three and then skipper Filo Tiatia picked up the bonus point try after a wonderful pass behind his back from James Hook.

With the main business of the night completed, and their lead up to 26 points, the rest of the game became a merry romp in which Ulster at least played their part.

Isaac Boss drove through three would-be tacklers to cross at the posts and then Simon Danielli also reached the posts from a perfect set move at a close-range scrum.

But while those two scores gave the vociferous home fans something to cheer, there were more at the other end on a night the Ulster defenders will want to forget.

Scottish wing Nikki Walker raced clear for two tries and full back Lee Byrne also grabbed another.

Ulster’s Heineken Cup hopes had already been well and truly dashed with those opening round defeats by Gloucester and Bourgoin, but they will need to conjure up something much better than this when the Ospreys return to Ravenhill next weekend if they are to save face in front of their own fans.

The Ospreys are now back on course for a shootout with Gloucester for the Pool 2 top slot.

Scorers: Ospreys: Tries: N Walker 2, S Parker, J Marshall, A-W Jones, F Tiatia, L Byrne; Cons: J Hook 5; Pen: J Hook.

Ulster: Try: I Boss, S Danielli; Cons: P Wallace 2; Pen: P Wallace.

OSPREYS: Byrne, Walker, Taylor, Parker, S. Williams, Hook, Marshall, D. Jones, Bennett, A. Jones, Wyn-Jones, Evans, Thomas, Holah, Tiatia.

Replacements: R Hibbard for Bennett 47, C Griffiths for Adam Jones 69, I Gough for F Tiatia 52, B Lewis for Holah 69, M Phillips for Marshall 63, S Connor for Williams 72, A Bishop for Parker 63

ULSTER: B Cunningham; T Bowe, A Trimble, P Steinmetz, S Danielli; P Wallace, I Boss; J Fitzpatrick, R Best (capt), B Young, J Harrison, C Del Fava, N Best, M McCullough, D Pollock.

Replacements: M Miles for R Best 73, D Fitzpatrick for J Fitzpatrick 63, R Caldwell for Fitzpatrick 60, K Dawson, K Campbell for Boss 69, N O’Connor for Danielli 69, R Dewey for Steinmetz 60.

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