Ulster edge past Claremont

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Ulster 16 v 11 Clermont Auvergne, Ravenhill, 3:40pm


Full time: That’s it at Ravenhill and Ulster claim a great win against the French side. Much better second half from Ulster as Claremont didn’t turn up for the second 40 minutes and didn’t score a single point with Brock James had a terrible game.

80+1min: Claremont get a penalty in the last seconds of normal time and are now on the hunt for a try but lose the ball and Adam D’arcy boots the ball into the stands to end the game.

80min: Brilliant play from Ulster as they hold the ball up and turn the ball over and will now get the put in to the scrum and that should surely be it for Ulster.

79min: Brock James continues his nightmare game by giving the ball away to Andrew Trimble who is nearly through but Claremont peg Ulster back and gain possession with a penalty. The clock is stopped while Lee Byrne receives attention to a head injury.

78min: Claremont are still chasing the game and Ulster have been doing well to keep them at bay.

77min: Ferris come off for Willie Faloon.

74min: Ulster give away a penalty and Brock James will go for the posts, 38metres out. The replacement outhalf misses his kick however and Ulster are let off the hook.

71min: Humphries follows up his try with a brilliant conversion from a difficult angle.

70min: TRY to Ulster! Brilliant play from Adam D’arcy who breaks down Claremont’s right wing and then offloads to Humphries who puts the ball over for a try.

68min: Ulster take off Court and Afoa as McAllister and Fitzpatrick replace them.

67min: Ulster are penalised for going down from the scrum and that attacking opportunity is wasted.

65min: Ferris puts Parra out of play and wins the lineout for Ulster. They follow it up with a great kick from Humphries which Lee Byrne knocks on. Scrum to the home team.

63min: Brock James kicks it straight to Paul Marshall but the scrum half drops what should’ve been an easy catch.

61min: Claremont makes changes as Ric comes on for Faure and the away side win possession back.

60min: Stephen Ferris makes a massive hit on Lee Byrne and Ulster win possession from a lineout.

59min: Brock James attempts to go to kick to goal but complete fluffs his kick and it barely makes 30 yards. A gift to Ulster from the Claremont outhalf.

57min: Marshall’s box kick is knocked on by Fofana but Ulster give away a penalty from the scrum.

55min: Claremont win possession from the lineout and Ulster’s attack is wasted. Now Claremount pin Ulster back in their own half.

53min: Ulster putting the pressure on now as Humphries kicks to touch deep inside Claremont’s half.

51min: Humphries kicks over for three points as Claremont bring on Kotze for Zirakashvili and Brock James for Skrela. Just two points in it now.

51min: Another chance for Ulster to close the deficit as Humphries lines up a penalty right in front of the posts.

50min: Claremont give away a penalty after Parra pushes Wannenburg.

47min: Humphries pulls his kick right of the posts and the opportunity to get closer to Claremont on the scoreboard goes begging.

46min: The scrum breaks down for the final time and the referee gives a penalty to Ulster who will go for the posts with Humphries.

44min: Good kick from Humphries into touch allows Ulster to win possession from the subsequent lineout.

42min: Ulster win the ball and Ferris drives forward but Afoa loses the ball and Claremont have possession from the scrum.

41min: Humphries kicks the ball to Claremont to get the play back underway at Ravenhill.

Half time: Claremont have been the better team but have failed to put away Ulster. The home side have had chances but haven’t been able to take them and consistently fall short in the last third. Humphries penalty in the last minute of the first half has given Ulster a fighting chance of staying in the game.

40min Ulster have a chance to keep themselves in the game with a penalty from Ian Humphries and the outhalf duly converts it to cancel out Skrela’s effort.

39min: Claremont win a penalty and Skrela gets the three points.

36min: Marshall kicks it from the scrum and gifts possession back to Claremont.

35min: Scrum to Ulster have a scrum in their own half.

32min: Ulster make their way deep into Claremont’s half but give the ball away again cheaply and allow the away team to relieve the pressure.

31min: Great tackle from Rory Best gives possession back to Ulster.

28min: Danielli gives the ball away deep in Claremont’s half and wastes the attack.

27min: Ulster turn it over in Claremont’s half and attempt to mount an attack on the French side.

25min: Skrela attempts a drop kick but misses.

23min: Ulster turn it over from the lineout but give away a penalty.

21min: Ulster come agonisingly close to scoring a try but Claremont intercept and break.

20min: Great run from Marshall sends Ulster deep into Claremont’s half.

18min: Skrela takes over kicking duties from Parra and puts it between the posts. 8-3 to Claremont.

16min: Ulster give away a penalty and Skrela kicks to touch.

15min: Claremont waste possession with some poor handling from Vermeulen.

13min: Humphries puts three points on the board from the penalty as Claremont kick to Ulster who take it into touch.

11min: Ulster win a penalty from the scrum and this is an area where Ulster might find some joy.

10min: Darren Cave runs down the right but drops it and Claremont get possession but Ulster win a scrum after holding up Parra.

9min: Parra misses the conversion and play is back underway.

7min: TRY to Claremont! Claremont break down Ulster’s right as Lee Byrne offloads to Noa Nakiataci who goes over for the line for 5 points.

3min: Ulster win a penalty to ease the pressure after Claremont’s front row falls at the scrum.

2min: Ulster give away a cheap penalty but Parra kicks it wide.

1min: We’re underway at Ravenhill and Claremont get straight into Munster from the kick-off.
0min Its going to be a very tough challenge for Brian McLoughlin’s side this afternoon.

Ulster: S Danielli; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, P Marshall; T Court, R Best, J Afoa; J Muller (capt), D Tuohy; S Ferris, C Henry, P Wannenburg

Replacements: A Kyriacou, P McAllister, D Fitzpatrick, L Stevenson, W Faloon, I Porter, N Spence, A D’Arcy

Clermont Auvergne: L Byrne; W Fofana, A Rougerie, R King, N Kataitaci; D Skrela, M Parra; L Faure, B Kayser, D Zirakashvili; N Hines, J Pierre; J Bonnaire, G Vosloo, E Vermeulen.

Replacements: T Paulo, C Ric, M Kotze, J White, J Bardy, K Senio, B James, JM Buttin

Ulster coach Brian McLoughlin has named an unchanged side from the team that beat Connacht last weekend to face Clermont in the opening Heineken cup game at Ravenhill today. Stephen Ferris and Tom Court has both been struggling with minor strains after the 22-3 win over Westerners however the duo have now been passed fit.

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin described the availability of Ferris,Court and Johann Muller, who was also a doubt – as a “brilliant boost”. I am confident that we will raise our game against Clermont “You need your key players on the pitch. We have some people in the squad who are understandably disappointed at missing out, but it shows the quality we have assembled,” added McLaughlin.

“Continuity is very important and it gives us momentum going into what is a massive game for us..

“We have learnt a lot from our experiences in Europe last year and the players know what is expected of them in this competition.

“We have to play to the best of our ability and I am confident that we will raise our game against Clermont.

“We have won our last eight European games at Ravenhill and we know we are capable of beating anyone at home.

“They are a quality side and we know something about them, although we can’t be sure who they are going to play or how they are going to play.”


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