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Second-half surge earns Edinburgh a statement win at Ulster

By PA
Ulster's Steven Kitshoff (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

An impressive second-half performance from Edinburgh brought them a thoroughly deserved 27-24 URC win over Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium – their first in Belfast since 2018.

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Strong showings from skipper Jamie Ritchie and Ben Healy, the Edinburgh fly-half kicking 12 points, were pivotal for the visitors whose tries were scored by skipper Ben Vellacott, Pierre Schoeman and Robin Hislop.

Ulster managed to take two points from their second successive loss to Scottish opposition thanks to James Hume’s injury-time try. Tom Stewart earlier scored two tries, with Robert Baloucoune also touching down.

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The hosts opened the scoring after five minutes when Stewart smashed over and through Vellacott after peeling off a maul. John Cooney converted for 7-0.

Ulster came close to increasing their lead five minutes later after Baloucoune’s take of a high ball, but Nick Timoney was felled by Wes Goosen close to the line ahead of Ritchie’s breakdown steal.

Then, following a scrum penalty against Ulster, Healy landed a long-range penalty to cut the lead to four points. On 24 minutes, Edinburgh launched a dynamic attack off a penalty which resulted in skipper Vellacott reaching over the Ulster line after good approach work by Schoeman and Jamie Hodgson. Healy converted and the Scots now led 10-7.

Ulster hit back but the half ended with Edinburgh securing a penalty following a lineout turnover. Healy slotted the straightforward chance from the tee to put the visitors back in front at the break by 13-12.

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Hume then got over the line after a huge amount of Ulster pressure, but the score was ruled out after Baloucoune was adjudged to have juggled the ball forward.

After absorbing a huge period of Ulster pressure, Edinburgh lifted the siege and when visiting the home team’s 22, Schoeman drove over from close range after some close-in drives. Healy converted and Edinburgh now led 20-12.

Their lead could have been increased when James Lang got over in the corner only for the score to be ruled out due to a foot in touch.

But the visitors came again and after a sweeping move up the middle with the ball spread left and right, replacement Hislop surged over, again from close range. Healy converted and Edinburgh now led 27-12.

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Ulster had to respond and did so with just seven minutes left when Stewart put Baloucoune over, but Doak was unable to convert.

They were then reduced to 14 when Ben Moxham was stretchered off – there were no subs left to bring on – but Edinburgh also went down a man when Harry Patterson was shown yellow in the 77th minute.

Hume struck with the last play to earn Ulster two points – a try bonus and narrow defeat – the final act being Doak’s conversion.

  • Click here for all the RugbyPass stats from the Ulster versus Edinburgh URC game
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Eabn 6 hours ago
Open-minded Schmidt takes hands-on approach to Australia challenge

Who cares - boring is good when it comes to Media - they don’t bug you as much. While the focus is on the resurrection of the Wallabies, don’t forget the grass roots - Any opportunity you have to visit, train or promote Rugby down here in Melbourne / Regional is pretty much imperative given the current situation with the Rebels. I’m talking about us grass roots clubs and more so, clubs in the West of Melbourne who are being absolutely smashed by Rugby League and who have been contributing directly to the game down here long before the Rebels emerged and no doubt will do so well after they may be gone. All I have heard is all about the elite level, not the grass roots level so while the talk is about “ The Wallabies” and “Super Rugby Pacific” get back to the roots of Union and include us in your plans. So Phil Waugh and those leaders within RugbyAustralia, it’s on you to ensure the bottom feeders, so to speak, are included in all the talk and the funding if you want Union to regain ground and more respect within the Union and also the broader sporting fraternity. Given you have been in Melbourne a number off times over the last month, extending the courtesy of having a meet and greet with Victorian grass root clubs eluded you for some reason. Do we count or matter in RA’s and yours bigger picture?? Ean Drummond - Club Founder/President - Wyndham City Rhinos RUFC Inc. Hoppers Crossing, Melbourne.

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