Ulster 40-15 Glasgow Warriors

A much-changed Glasgow Warriors side suffered defeat this evening, as Ulster ran in six tries to claim a 40-15 victory at the Kingspan Stadium.

The home side ultimately extended their winning run over their Conference A rivals in Belfast, tries from TJ Ioane and Grant Stewart the Warriors’ only response.

Despite seeing their pre-match preparations disrupted by the late withdrawal of Jamie Dobie due to injury, it was the Warriors that came out of the changing rooms firing on all cylinders. A monopoly of possession in the opening four minutes eventually saw Niko Matawalu charging up to within five metres, and from there the forwards struck. It was left to Ioane to pile over the whitewash for his first try in Glasgow colours, Pete Horne converting for a 7-0 lead.

The home side responded by launching a series of attacks of their own, testing the Glasgow defence at every opportunity. A penalty conceded by the Warriors allowed the Ulstermen the platform from which they took their first chance of the night, though, as John Andrew was driven over from five metres for the try. John Cooney’s conversion levelled the scores, and both sides were in the match.

A penalty from Horne restored Glasgow’s lead on 20 minutes, but five minutes later Ulster hit the front for the first time in the match. Another close-range assault eventually saw Marcell Coetzee ride the tackle of Ioane to touch down under the crossbar, Cooney adding the simplest of extras for a 14-10 lead.

Glasgow were continuing to cause their hosts problems with ball in hand, and twice came within striking distance of a second try. A break from Ioane saw the Samoan denied only by a last-gasp tackle from Michael Lowry, before Kennedy’s tap-and-go inside the 22 saw the scrum-half dragged down inches from the Ulster line.

Instead it would be the Ulstermen who would score next, and again it would be the forwards that did the damage. Despite the Warriors initially defending a five-metre scrum well, Ulster captain Sam Carter was driven over at the second attempt for a try that – converted by Cooney – gave them a 21-10 lead with just two minutes of the half remaining.

The home side were in no mood to finish the half there, though, and secured the bonus point with the final play of the half. After an attempted interception saw Matawalu sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock on, Cooney was on hand to snipe over from close range to score his team’s fourth try of the half. His conversion made it 28-10 at the interval, giving Glasgow a tall order to face in the second stanza.

That task got ever taller just 10 minutes into the second half, despite a promising start to the period. A break from Lowry saw the Ulster full-back combine with Andrew to send Sean Reidy over the whitewash, Cooney’s conversion drifting wide for his first miss of the night.

Glasgow came back with renewed vigour, yet were hit with a sucker punch on 55 minutes. A loose pass in midfield was hacked away by Matt Faddes, with the winger winning the foot race to touch down under the posts. The conversion from Cooney made it 40-10, as Ulster celebrated their sixth try.

Yet Glasgow refused to go quietly into the Belfast night, and continued to press for a route back into the match. Lowry was shown a yellow card just before the hour mark for deliberately knocking down a pass from Horne to Bryce, and from the resulting penalty the Warriors finally got their reward. A perfectly formed maul allowed Stewart to dive over for the try, Horne’s conversion drifting wide in the breeze.

Try as they might, that would be the end of the scoring for both Glasgow and their hosts. A darting break from Ratu Tagive and a strong burst from Fotu Lokotui ultimately resulted in no score, whilst the introduction of debutants Lewis Bean and Caleb Korteweg allowed both men to introduce themselves to the Warrior Nation.

The win was Ulster’s, however, as the home side’s kick to touch brought about the full-time whistle. With Sunday’s match with the Dragons having been postponed, Danny Wilson’s men will now turn their attention to the visit of Munster to Scotstoun in a fortnight’s time as they prepare to face their cross-conference rivals.

live commentary 8:15 PM Monday 9 Nov 2020

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Kick-off 8:15 PM


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