Ris­ing Ul­ster stars are too smart for in­dis­ci­plined Uruguay

Belfast Telegraph - - SPORT - BY JONATHAN BRADLEY

UL­STER: B Hous­ton, I Hughes, S Moore, J Hume, A Ker­nohan; J McPhillips, J Stew­art; S van der Merwe, A McBur­ney (capt), T O’Toole, M Rea, A Thomp­son, J Dun­leavy, M Rea, G Jones

Re­place­ments: Z McCall (for McBur­ney, 72) C Bar­rett (for O’Toole, 79), P Cooper (for Van der Merwe, 62), JJ Mc­Kee (for Thomp­son, 75), D McCann (for Dun­leavy, 40), B McGaughey , G Cur­tis (for Stew­art, 32), M Stronge (for Hughes, 73) URUGUAY: RSilva,LLeivas,JMCat,A Vi­laseca, G Mieres; F Berch­esi, S Arata; M San­guinetti, G Kessler, JP Rom­bys, I Dot­tie, D Magno, JM Gam­i­nara (capt) JD Or­maechea, A Ni­etto Serra Re­place­ments: M Ar­dao (for Kessler, 2), E Beneitez (for San­guinetti, 54), J Echev­er­riam (for Rom­bys, 60), M Lein­dekar (for Magno, 55), M Diana (for Or­maechea, 60), L Se­gredo (for Gam­i­nara, 49), T In­cia­rte (for Arata, 63), A Corte (for Leivas, 55) IF Uruguay took up this fix­ture with a view to aid­ing their prepa­ra­tions for next year’s World Cup, they will, at least, be well ready should they en­counter a mon­soon in Ja­pan a year from now.

A few thou­sand hardy souls braved the wet weather to wit­ness Ul­ster’s 21-5 vic­tory on a day where it felt the av­er­age an­nual rain­fall of Mon­te­v­ideo had de­scended on Belfast by mid-af­ter­noon.

The con­di­tions, which were passed as playable by ref­eree Robert O’Sul­li­van some two hours be­fore kick-off, cer­tainly had their ef­fect on pro­ceed­ings.

Ul­ster tai­lored their game ac­cord­ingly with all three of their scores com­ing from maul tries at close quar­ters.

The visi­tors tried to main­tain their at­tack­ing in­stincts but, as well as their poor dis­ci­pline, were un­der­mined by han­dling er­rors in the des­per­ate con­di­tions.

“We had our team run on Thurs­day and the plan was to run the ball,” laughed Kieran Camp­bell who coached the youth­ful side.

“When you then turn up and it’s pour­ing rain and 40-mile an hour winds, the boys were sort of say­ing ‘well what are we go­ing to do now?’

“That ob­vi­ously went out the win­dow a bit.”

Cap­tain Adam McBur­ney, who scored two of his side’s three tries, was im­pres­sive, as was Tom O’Toole (be­low) who bagged the man of the match hon­ours.

“We spoke about it that the con­di­tions might be bad but we prob­a­bly weren’t ex­pect­ing them to be as bad as they were,” said McBur­ney.

“We knew we had a set-piece though, so that gave us con­fi­dence. Our scrum, our li­ne­out at­tack and our maul de­fence was all very good. We got pur­chase there and it got us points on the board while at the same time stop­ping them get­ting ter­ri­tory.

“They played re­ally well. The try that they scored was fan­tas­tic but I thought we de­fended well and to con­cede only five points to a team that’s go­ing to be in the World Cup in 10, 11 months’ time I thought was ex­cel­lent from us. They did have us un­der pres­sure and some of their play was fan­tas­tic, so fair play to them, but I thought we con­trolled it pretty well.” With 12 min­utes on the clock, Ul­ster’s rolling maul was used to good ef­fect with McBur­ney the ben­e­fi­ciary of his pack’s good work.

Just as in their pre­vi­ous game on this tour against Cardiff, Uruguay’s dis­ci­pline was non-ex­is­tent giv­ing Ul­ster plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­peat the trick and, in­deed, their sec­ond score was al­most a car­bon copy of their first, McBur­ney again go­ing over from a rum­ble off the li­ne­out.

The skip­per’s night did take a turn, how­ever, when he was shown a yel­low card for killing the ball on the line af­ter a fine break from Gas­ton Mieres, the wing who un­til re­cently has been ply­ing his trade with Coven­try.

While Ul­ster could cer­tainly cite Uruguay’s huge num­ber of in­fringe­ments when ar­gu­ing against a card, the po­si­tion­ing of McBur­ney’s in­fringe­ment gave the ref­eree lit­tle choice.

The visi­tors were grow­ing into the game when half-time ar­rived, but slop­pi­ness at line-out time would en­sure they went into the break with­out a score.

Los Teros were still look­ing the more likely at the start of the sec­ond-half, even af­ter los­ing im­pres­sive skip­per Juan Manuel Gam­i­nara to in­jury, with Mieres cer­tainly the dan­ger­man.

Dis­ci­pline was still an all-too fre­quent Achilles heel with Ig­na­cio Dotti even­tu­ally shown a yel­low for his side’s per­sis­tent in­fring­ing.

It was that penalty that put Ul­ster in po­si­tion for their third try, and third off the maul, this time Mar­cus Rea do­ing well to fin­ish af­ter his ini­tial thrust for the line was pushed back.

Uruguay, and Mieres, did at least get some de­served re­ward for their ef­forts late on, scor­ing a try af­ter re­place­ment hooker Ar­dao had done bril­liantly to keep the ball alive.

It was con­firmed yes­ter­day that Ul­ster ‘A’, the same side who won last night in all but name, will play two games in Bos­ton this sea­son, one against Con­nacht ‘A’ and one against US Ma­jor League Rugby fran­chise the New Eng­land Free Jacks.

“We’re defin­tely ex­cited,” added Camp­bell. “For all in­tents and pur­poses those boys have won five in a row now with the Celtic Cup too.

“It’s an­other chal­lenge. It’s a chance to travel and see an­other rugby cul­ture and get to know more about them.”

High hopes: Ul­ster’s Alex Thomp­sontries to out­jump Diego Magno

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.