Ulster back to winning ways as they ease past Stormers

Ulster notched their first league win this side of Christmas by overcoming the Stormers in a facile contest at Kingspan Stadium
Ulster back to winning ways as they ease past Stormers

SLIPPERY: Ulster’s James Hume of Ulster evades the tackle of Scarra Ntubeni of DHL Stormers during the United Rugby Championship match at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Pic: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile


Ulster notched their first league win this side of Christmas by overcoming the Stormers in a facile contest at Kingspan Stadium.

The reigning champions arrived in Belfast for what was their fourth consecutive game played in a different hemisphere and their ludicrous travel schedule showed throughout.

With coach John Dobson having elected to leave a number of his front-line Springbok stars at home to rest, including Ulster-bound Steven Kitshoff, he was dealt further blows through a first-half that saw JJ Kotze, Jean-Luc du Plessis and Evan Roos all leave the game injured in the first-half.

Ulster themselves were missing their own international contingent, of course. Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Tom O'Toole, Stuart McCloskey and Jacob Stockdale all already in Ireland's Portuguese training camp ahead of the Six Nations but the absence of their stars was of little hindrance.

The Cape Town side had beaten Dan McFarland's men on both occasions they met last season, including in the semi-finals last June, but they were barely in this game that Ulster led from the 12th minute onwards.

Three first-half scores, the last of which came on the blow of the interval, saw Dan McFarland's hosts go in 21-0 up and, with the Stormers a man down through a yellow card, they would have the bonus-point wrapped up only six minutes after half-time.

The hosts had actually touched down twice even before their first score of the night with both Nathan Doak and Tom Stewart seeing tries chalked off before the former picked up from the ruck and darted over from close range.

Ben Moxham, starting in place of Stockdale, would bag his first try for the province after 20 minutes following a smart tip on pass from the impressive Stewart Moore while the third of the night was to be a forwards' effort finished off by flanker Nick Timoney.

The Stormers argued that the omitted Irish international had not grounded the ball but, despite replays seemingly supporting their suggestion, it was just another item on a long list of things that went against them on the night.

After BJ Dixon was sin-binned to start the second-half, former All Black prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen followed Moxham's lead in bagging a first try in the white jersey to secure the bonus-point.

Already all but over as a contest, the fourth try ensured it was job complete for Ulster with more than half an hour remaining.

The Stormers would at least get on the board when Andre Hugo Venter crashed over with two minutes to go. Even in scoring, the Stormers had a torrid time with the straight-forward conversion skewed horribly into the stands by Kade Wolhuter.

The try at least put some gloss on the score-line but this was a chastening night for the visitors that could yet loom large come the end of the season.

The victory lifts Ulster into third place in the table, now just two points behind their beaten opponents in the table.

Scorers for Ulster: Tries - N Doak, B Moxham, N Timoney, J Toomaga-Allen, M Lowry. Cons - N Doak (3), J Cooney (1).

Scorers for Stormers:

Try - A H Venter.

Ulster: M Lowry; R Lyttle, J Hume, S Moore, B Moxham; B Burns, N Doak; E O’Sullivan, T Stewart, J Toomaga-Allen; A O’Connor (capt), S Carter; H Sheridan, N Timoney, D Vermeulen.

Replacements: J Andrew (for Stewart, 52), R Sutherland (for O'Sullivan, 55), A Warwick (for Warwick, 64), K Treadwell (for Carter, 52), J Murphy (for Sheridan, 55), J Cooney (for Doak, 52), I Madigan (for Burns, 71), E McIlroy (for Lyttle, 58). 

Stormers: K Wolhuter; S Hartzenberg, R Nel, S Feinberg-Mngomezulu, C Smit; JL du Plessis, S Ungerer; A Vermaak, JJ Kotze, B Harris; BJ Dixon, M Orie (capt); M Theunissen, W Engelbrecht, E Roos. 

Replacements: S Ntubeni (for Kotze, 3), K Blose (for Vermaak, 55), S Sandi (for Harris, 53), R van Heerden (for Roos, 22), AH Venter (for Ntubeni, 47), H Jantjies (for Ungerer, 53), C Evans (for de Jongh, 55), J de Jongh (for Du Plessis, 22). 

Referee: M Adamson (SRU).

More in this section

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd