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Ulster thump URC champions Stormers

By PA
Belfast , United Kingdom - 27 January 2023; Evan Roos of DHL Stormers and Duane Vermeulen of Ulster after the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and DHL Stormers at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ulster got back to winning ways in the United Rugby Championship with a 35-5 thumping of defending champions the Stormers on their first visit to the Kingspan Stadium.

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The Irish province, who had lost to Benetton and Munster in their previous two URC outings, scored five tries with Nathan Doak finishing with a 13-point haul after claiming the opening score and also converting four Ulster touchdowns.

Ulster’s other try scorers were Ben Moxham, Nick Timoney, Jeff Toomaga-Allen and Michael Lowry, with the Stormers only able to respond through Andre-Hugo Venter’s late consolation.

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The result was never in doubt with the home team leading 21-0 at the break and having dominated the match.

Early on, both Doak and Tom Stewart got over the Stormers’ line only for both efforts to be ruled out by referee Ian Adamson.

It took until the 14th minute before Ulster did manage to register the first score which came from Doak after a break made by Stewart Moore and was carried on by Alan O’Connor and Harry Sheridan before the scrum-half dived over.

Doak added the conversion and did so again seven minutes later when Ulster upped the ante and in a sweeping move, Moore provided the assist for Moxham to race over.

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Then after Ulster’s line had held firm, the home side finished the half strongly when Timoney surged over from close range after a tap and go penalty.

Though it was not clear that Timoney had grounded the ball, the try was awarded and Doak again converted to put Ulster 21-0 ahead at half-time.

The second half opened with Stormers lock Ben-Jason Dixon being yellow carded for a high hit on Michael Lowry and shortly afterwards Ulster had their bonus point when Toomaga-Allen was put in space by James Hume. Again Doak added the two points.

Ulster claimed their fifth try just before the hour when Duane Vermeulen and Moxham combined to feed Lowry who outran the despairing cover. This time John Cooney converted, and the home side were now 35-0 in front.

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Venter grabbed a consolation score for the Stormers after 76 minutes which they failed to convert.

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