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Ulster lift gloom with thumping Challenge Cup win over Montpellier

By Ian Cameron
Ulster's James Hume (Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Ulster have lifted the gloom hanging over the Irish province with a thumping 40-17 win on the road over Montpellier that has secured their spot in the EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

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Richie Murphy’s men staged an extraordinary comeback; the Ulstermen overcoming a 14-point deficit through a series of eye-catching tries.

With a CEO, head coach and a star signing all leaving or about the leave, there have been plenty of negative headlines following the Belfast-based side in recent weeks. Ulster shoved their off-field strife to the side however with the convincing victory over the Bernard Laporte-coached Top 14 side at the GGL Stadium.

Montpellier’s early lead – built on tries by Paul Willemse and Aubin Eymeri and the boot of Louis Foursans-Bourdette – crumbled following Willemse’s red card when the scoreline read 17-7 in favour of the hosts.

The French team’s discipline further deteriorated and it at one stage saw them temporarily reduced to just 12 men.

Indeed, the home side’s shocking discipline helped the visitors make a comeback with tries from Will Addison, Robert Baloucoune, Scott Wilson, David McCann, and Stuart McCloskey, overturning. A penalty try in the dying moments of the game sealed what was a comprehensive victory.

Fly-half John Cooney slotted home four conversions to add to the tally.

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Ulster’s triumph sets up an encounter against ASM Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel-Michelin next weekend.

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