Williams a powerhouse in Ulster win

Ulster 25 Connacht 0

Williams a powerhouse in Ulster win

The home side completely swamped the Connacht set-piece which brought the opening penalty try. Nick Williams again showed that he will be a big asset this season with another man-of-the-match performance. However, there will be worries after he trudged off near the end with a rib injury.

Fly-half Paddy Jackson looked very mature and he contributed two penalties and a couple of conversions, while replacement Luke Marshall scored try number three at the end.

There was a period of settling in following a very solemn one-minute silence, immaculately observed by the Ravenhill crowd in remembrance of those tragic deaths of Nevin Spence and his father and brother three weeks ago. The quietness was finally broken in the 10th minute with Ulster destroying a Connacht scrum and Jackson sent over a 35-metre penalty.

Midway through the opening half, Ulster began to put together a number of phases which began to stretch the Connacht defence. But they proved again that they are a resilient bunch.

However, they finally cracked after flanker Dave Gannon was yellow-carded after dropping a maul in the 31st minute. Ulster over-ran the seven man opposition in the scrum and referee George Clancy had no option but to award a penalty try which Jackson converted.

It came as no surprise when Ulster added to their tally on the stroke of half-time and it was equally not a shock that it was human wrecking ball Williams who scored again with Jackson doing the needful.

Ulster began the second-half as they finished the first in piling on the pressure, and initially Connacht were scrooge-like in defence. They only leaked a second Jackson penalty in the third quarter and with both teams emptying their bench, a lot of momentum and energy disappeared from the game.

It took Ulster to rile themselves out of a slumber right at the death to put the game to bed, Jared Payne was put in possession and his pass out of the tackle by Marshall, saw the young replacement centre go over.

Ulster scorers: Tries: Penalty, Williams, L. Marshall. Cons: Jackson 2. Pens: Jackson 2.

ULSTER: Payne, Bowe, Cave, Wallace, Trimble, Jackson, P. Marshall, Court, Best, Afoa, Muller, Tuohy, Ferris, Henry, Williams.

Replacements: Gilroy for Trimble (67), L. Marshall for Jackson (69), Heaney for P. Marshall (72), Black for Court (69), Herring for Best (59), Stevenson for Muller (67), McComish for Ferris (67), Macklin for Williams (75).

CONNACHT: Henshaw, O’Halloran, Griffin, McSharry, Vainikolo, Parks, Marmion, Wilkinson, Flavin, Loughney, Swift, McCarthy, Gannon, Faloon, Naoupu.

Replacements: Nikora for Parks (66), Moore for Marmion (56), Buckley for Wilkinson (41), White for Loughney (35), O’Connor for Faloon (56).

Referee: George Clancy (RU).

Rabo Pro 12: Scarlets 24 Newport Gwent Dragons 13; Edinburgh 22 Benetton Treviso 27; Zebre 16 Ospreys 34

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