Ulster 42 Cheetahs 19: Bloemfontein-based Toyota Cheetahs motored majestically onto Pro14 scene and immediately lit up the Kingspan Stadium.

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Ulster overcome stylish Cheetahs

Ulster 42 Cheetahs 19: Bloemfontein-based Toyota Cheetahs motored majestically onto Pro14 scene and immediately lit up the Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster overcome stylish Cheetahs

Yes, they might have lost, but they certainly bared their teeth with a brand of rugby that’s alien to most in the northern hemisphere.

They could have scored four tries in the opening quarter, but they fluffed two, before scoring two wonderfully-speedy counter-attacking efforts through Clayton Blommetjies and Makazola Mapimpi.

At first, Ulster attempted to match the Cheetahs style before the superb back-row duo of Marcel Coetzee and Jean Deysel brought some punch into proceedings. Guided by the oozing confidence of Wallaby fly-half Christian Lealiifano, and half-back partner John Cooney, Ulster soon racked up the tries.

They had notched up their bonus point by half-time as Tommy Bowe got their show on the road with his 50th try for the province in the 18th minute. After that, it was just who would score the most tries. Ulster did in the end, by six to three.

Ulster scorers:

(Tries: Bowe, O’Connor, McCloskey, Piutau, Ludik, Nelson; Pens: Cooney 2; Cons: Cooney 2; Nelson)

Cheetahs scorers:

(Tries: Blommetjies, Mapimpi, Peterson; Cons: Small-Smith 2)

Ulster:

C Piutau (Cave, 69); A Trimble, T Bowe, S McCloskey, L Ludik, C Lealiifano (Nelson, 52), J Cooney (Shanahan, 76); K McCall (Black, 69), R Herring (Andrew, 69), W Herbst (Ah You, 60), R Diack, A O’Connor (Rea, 60), J Deysel, C Henry (capt), M Coetzee (Reidy, 52).

Cheetahs:

S Petersen; R Specman (Africa, 20), W Small-Smith, A Mgijima, M Mapimpi;

C Blommetjies (Benjamin, 45; Botha, 63), S Venter (Meyer, 63); C Marais (Nche, 52), J du Toit (van Jaarsveld, 52), J Coetzee, J Basson (Bernado, 52), R Hugo Olivier, 70), P Schoeman, H Venter, N Jordaan (capt).

Referee:

Andrew Brace (IRFU).

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