Ul­ster storm to top of con­fer­ence

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - RUGBY -

Ul­ster went top of Con­fer­ence B af­ter rack­ing up their fourth straight win from as many games as they swept a weak­ened Dragons out­fit aside in an eight-try past­ing.

Num­ber eight Nick Ti­money scored twice and se­cured the man-of-the-match award in a storm­ing dis­play while Charles Pi­u­tau was cen­trally in­volved in much of Ul­ster’s good work as they burnt the Dragons in a first half which saw them man­age five tries with the bonus point wrapped up by Ti­money be­fore half an hour had gone.

With Bernard Jack­man hav­ing made 13 changes, Ul­ster grate­fully ac­cepted their open in­vi­ta­tion to rack up a big score – they man­aged three tries with Lloyd Fair­brother binned in the first half – even though Les Kiss also put out a changed line-up and the home side led 33-13 at the break.

Prior to Ti­money’s score, Stu­art McCloskey and Pe­ter Nel­son – the lat­ter added five con­ver­sions – had ear­lier crossed be­fore a penalty try was awarded and Ul­ster had a fifth in the bag, from blood sub Wiehahn Herbst, with Nel­son hav­ing added four con­ver­sions.

Though Ul­ster, with Iain Hen­der­son mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance of the sea­son from the bench, were per­haps not as ruth­less as they would have hoped as the sec­ond half pro­gressed – they con­ceded three tries dur­ing this pe­riod and only scored three them­selves af­ter rac­ing to an early 45-13 lead in that sec­ond 40 min­utes - there was never any dan­ger of them los­ing their grip on the this game.

Ja­cob Stock­dale con­tin­ued his scor­ing form with a third try in as many games be­fore Ti­money burst through for his sec­ond and Shana­han crossed af­ter the hour mark af­ter tak­ing a tap penalty to him­self.

It was slightly dis­ap­point­ing for Kiss that Dragons’ subs Rhys Buck­ley, Dane Blacker and Will Tal­bot-Davies all got over the Ul­ster line and that Rod­ney Ah You was yel­low-carded in the 80th minute but there was no deny­ing Ul­ster this big score­line.

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