Ulster cruise fails to excite

Ulster 30 Edinburgh 0
Ulster could not have had an easier ride in grabbing a bonus-try victory over a very poor Edinburgh outfit last night at the Kingspan Stadium.

The visitors seemed intent on just stopping Ulster from scoring but they failed miserably on that front with Andrew Trimble scooting in for a brace of tries and Nick Williams and skipper Rory Best also touching down to break the boredom.

The first half was a real bore with one error after another in a start-stop game with featured a plethora of spilled passes along with wayward and ineffective kicking.

It took a Paddy Jackson penalty in the 14th minute to finally waken the crowd from their slumber. Then they actually got into the game when Ulster’s big, bruising No 12 Stuart McCloskey broke through the Edinburgh defence before executing an under-arm pass to free Trimble, who brushed off the tackle of Tim Visser to score at the posts. Jackson added the extras and then kicked a second penalty on the stroke of half-time.

The second period mirrored the first with Ulster’s much-vaunted back line just not able to get motoring due to lack of quick ball. At least Ulster’s set-piece was working like a well-oiled machine with new tight-head Wiehahn Herbst particularly impressive in dismantling the Edinburgh front-row on at least four occasions.

Everyone of the 14,000-plus crowd was just waiting on the game to finally ignite, but the fuse was a slow-burner. It finally sparkled in the 62nd minute when, following Edinburgh captain Mike Coman’s yellow-carding, it was big No 8 Williams who charged over on the blind-side from the base of a scrum.

Another forward charge saw Best emerge with the ball while it was more sustained pressure on Edinburgh that saw Paul Marshall fling out a pass to Trimble to dash in at the corner. The end couldn’t come quick enough.

Scorers for Ulster: Tries: Trimble 2, Williams, Best. Cons: Jackson, Olding. Pens: Jackson 2.

ULSTER: L Ludik (Cave, 56); A Trimble, J Payne, S McCloskey, T Bowe; P Jackson (Olding, 60), P Marshall; R Murphy (Warwick, 40), R Best (capt (Herring, 70) W Herbst (Ross, 63); A O’Connor, F van der Merwe (Stevenson, 70); R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson (Williams, 50).

EDINBURGH: G Tonks (McLennan, 70); J Cuthbert, S Beard, A Strauss, T Visser; P Burleigh (Heathcote, 70), S Kennedy (Hildago-Clyne, 56); R Sutherland (Dell, 40), R Ford (Hilterbrand, 56), J Andress (Nell, 45), A Bresler, G Gilchrist (Atkins, 39), M Coman (capt), R Grant (Leonardi, 50), C Du Preez.

Referee: Cladio Blessano (FRU).

Results: Guinness Pro12: Zebre 14 Ospreys 15.

Aviva Premiership: Bath 21 Saracens 11.

Principality Building Society Premiership: Llanelli 41 Neath 12.


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