Ulster 37 - Glasgow Warriors 17: Big Jacob Stockdale is delivering on the potential shown during last summer’s Junior World Cup when he produced another scintillating performance as Ulster picked off a bonus-try victory over a weakened Glasgow side at the Kingspan Stadium.
The 21-year-old, six foot four inch winger, who weighs in at over 15 stone, ran in two superb second-half tries, set Tommy Bowe up for his 59th try for Ulster with soft hands and was involved in the try of the game which the immaculate Ruan Pienaar finished off to add to his three conversions and two penalties.
Flanker Sean Reidy also scored a try as Ulster leapfrogged over last season’s beaten finalists into fifth place, and with a game in hand, are now within touching distance of a play-off place.
It was a different Ulster from last week’s fortunate win over Edinburgh when they failed add to their total in the second half. This time, with a 15-5 half-time advantage, they pushed on and kept up the momentum. They did fall asleep near the end when with Glasgow reduced to 14 men, allowed impressive 20-year-old lock Scott Cummings to grab a couple of tries.
With a double date with Zebre and a home game with Treviso next on their calendar, Ulster could look to a fruitful march up the table.
In a back-line that is ablaze with talent, Stockdale certainly doesn’t look out of place as he took his tally from 10 games this season to six tries and handful of assists and it gives Director of Rugby Les Kiss a bit of a selection headache.
“We knew what Jacob had a lot of talent in the past couple of years,” said Kiss. “But in terms of being able to step up, it has been testament to what he has been able to put in. Even the work he has done away from the training pitch is impressive. He gets in front of the video and always asking questions and wanting to learn.
“We had a good discussion this week about where he sits in the make up, we have got some good options, guys coming back from National camp and he is enthusiastic about whatever part he plays at this stage. But he is certainly pushing all the right buttons.
“Mind you, I will have a cut of him for a wild pass in the second half. He should have put it long, and he just put us under a bit of pressure. But I knew he knew straight away it was not the right decision. But he backed himself brilliantly a couple of times in the game which is crucial for us.”
Scorers for Ulster:
(Bowe, Reidy Stockdale (2) tries; Pienaar try, 2 penalties, 3 conversions)
L Ludik (Stockdale, 13); T Bowe, L Marshall, D Cave (P Marshall, 40), C Gilroy; P Nelson (Owen, 68), R Pienaar; C Black (Warwick 48), J Andrew (Herring, 33), R Lutton; P Browne (Treadwell 56), F van der Merwe; S Reidy, C Henry (capt)(Diack 75), M Coetzee.
Scorers for Glasgow:
(Thomson try, conversion, Cummings 2 tries)
B Thomson; L Jones (Hughes, 25), M Bennett (Vernon, 54), N Grigg, S Lamont; P Horne, H Pyrgos; A Allan (Bhatti, 54), J Malcolm (Flynn, 54), S Puafisi (Rae, 54); B Alainu’uese, S Cummings; R Harley (Hart, 54), S Favaro, A Ashe.
Daniel Jones (WRU).
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