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Ulster edge Glasgow in opening-night thriller

By PA

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Ulster held on to win their opening United Rugby Championship clash against Glasgow Warriors 35-29 and take maximum points after scoring five tries.

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Played in front of 10,000 supporters at the Kingspan Stadium – the largest number since the pandemic – Ulster scored through a penalty try as well as touchdowns from Brad Roberts, Marty Moore, Nick Timoney and Nathan Doak.

Glasgow bagged two points from what was a robust display and scored through George Horne, Johnny Matthews, a penalty try and a touchdown from Jamie Dobie.

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Ulster opened with intent and were awarded a penalty try after three minutes after Cole Forbes deliberately knocked on with Ulster having a three-man overlap.

Forbes was also yellow carded by referee Ben Whitehouse. The Warriors managed the sin-bin well, though, and then scored thanks to a break by Sione Tuipulotu, who off-loaded to Horne to dot down in the corner.

Ulster hit back after 22 minutes when a penalty was put into the corner and Roberts spun off from the resulting driving maul. John Cooney converted to put Ulster 14-5 ahead.

Duncan Weir narrowed this to 14-8 with a 26th-minute penalty and after Stuart McCloskey’s scoring pass failed to find Cooney – who went off shortly afterwards – it was the Warriors who finished the half the stronger.

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The visitors turned down a kickable penalty and were rewarded when Matthews surged over the line in the 42nd minute with Ross Thompson, who had replaced Weir, kicking the conversion to deservedly put the visitors ahead by 15-14 at the break.

Three minutes after the restart, Ulster had their third try when some close-in driving led to Moore touching down which replacement Doak converted to put Ulster back in front.

That became 28-15 after a chip from Billy Burns was collected by Jacob Stockdale, who fed Timoney with the scoring pass which Doak again converted.

Ulster then shipped a yellow card when James Hume was adjudged to have illegally hit Rufus McLean in the act of scoring, with referee Whitehouse awarding a penalty try which cut the home side’s lead to six points.

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Despite having 14 men on the field, Ulster scored next when replacement Will Addison’s charge-down led to him supplying Doak for the try which the scrum-half converted.

Thompson fed an inside pass to Dobie for the replacement to dive over for Glasgow’s bonus-point try, the former’s conversion narrowing Ulster’s lead to 35-29, but the home side saw out the game.

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Ulster edge Glasgow in opening-night thriller

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