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Untidy Ulster performance claims big win over Zebre Parma

By PA
Jake Flannery with ball in hand for Ulster. Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Two tries from hooker Tom Stewart helped Ulster to a six-try bonus-point victory as they defeated bottom team Zebre Parma 36-15 at the Kingspan Stadium.

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Ulster, who were dominant but error-strewn, had their bonus point wrapped up by half-time when Stewart Moore scored, with Matty Rea, Callum Reid and John Andrew also crossing as the Irish province won for the sixth time in seven URC games.

They did ship two yellow cards, with Sam Carter and Nathan Doak being binned in either half, while the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for Iain Henderson’s return from the bench for his first game time since last June.

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Zebre scored tries from Lorenzo Pani and Erich Cronje.

Ulster were up and running after just four minutes, when Stewart peeled around the front of a line-out. Doak missed the conversion from a difficult angle.

Four minutes later and nice hands from Marty Moore put James Hume through, and Rea scored near the posts allowing Doak to convert.

Geronimo Prisciantelli kicked a penalty for Zebre after 13 minutes and, following 16 more minutes of stalemate, Carter saw yellow for taking the visiting fly-half out.

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Pani then scored from a sweeping back move.

Prisciantelli missed the conversion and Ulster led 12-8. The home side hit back after tapping a penalty, with Reid driving over and Doak converting on 36 minutes.

The bonus-point score came in first-half added time when Moore side-stepped through, Doak’s conversion putting Ulster 26-8 in front at the break.

Doak was then shown yellow on 42 minutes for upending Simone Gesi.

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However, the Italians failed to score in his absence and, following Doak’s return and the introduction of Henderson, Ulster launched a maul which saw Stewart score again.

Doak missed the extras and did so again when Andrew crossed from a maul for Ulster’s sixth try of the night.

With eight minutes to go, Andrew had a second score scrubbed out for an offence at the line-out and the game ended with Cronje scoring and Prisciantelli converting.

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