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Ulster stay alive in dramatic fashion as Bellini sparkles for Zebre

By Rob Lancaster
John Cooney slides over for an Ulster try

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Ulster maintained their late push to qualify for the Pro14 play-offs with a thrilling 36-15 victory against Glasgow Warriors.

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Nick Timoney’s last-gasp try – his second of the contest – secured Ulster a crucial bonus point at the Kingspan Stadium, though they will need to do the same again next week against Munster to qualify from Conference B.

Even then, a maximum haul may not be enough. Edinburgh, who face Glasgow in the final round of fixtures, occupy third place and hold a four-point cushion over their nearest rivals.

John Cooney scored 16 points, including grabbing the game’s opening try, while Sean Reidy touched down in an impressive result for Ulster against the winners of Conference A.

In Saturday’s other fixture, Mattia Bellini scored a hat-trick of tries as Zebre made it back-to-back league wins with a 37-14 triumph over a much-changed Ospreys side.

The Italy international touched down twice in the space of three first-half minutes as Zebre raced out to a 22-0 lead.

Ospreys – who made 13 alterations from the team that lost 8-0 to Ulster last time out – finally got on the scoreboard 30 minutes in, Sam Cross touching down after a quick penalty.

Yet Bellini completed his treble after the hour as the Italian club comfortably held on to record a sixth win in the campaign, making it their best season in the competition.

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