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Date Time Competition Season
17 September 2022 7:35 pm United Rugby Championship 2022/23

Match Report

Ulster cruise past Connacht in Round 1 of URC

Ulster commenced their URC campaign with a convincing bonus-point, 36-10 win over Connacht at the Kingspan Stadium tonight.

On paper, an interprovincial matchup in week one was a prospect to wet the lips. However, it was a cagey, scoreless first quarter of the match, illuminated by some stunningly executed, territory kicks by Ulster’s returning Jacob Stockdale.

Yet, it was another welcome returner who opened the scoring as Ulster’s centres combined, Stuart McCloskey’s surge and clever flick pass which set Luke Marshall free to run in under the posts.

Connacht’s defence were under siege and had they made it to half time at just 7-0, it could have been a big boost.

Hopes of that were quelled though when hooker Tom Stewart powered over from close range, Nathan Doak slotted the extras, and it was 14-0.

The sides traded penalties for 17-3. Then Doak scampered over from close-range. The scrumhalf converted his own try and Ulster’s dominance was now reflected in the score line.

Visiting flanker Paul Doyle was sinbinned as Connacht were forced into a series of cynical play, giving away repeated penalties. Immediately, the man-advantage told as McCloskey played in full-back Stewart Moore who finished nicely in the corner.

With ten minutes to play and debutants aplenty, two of Connacht’s subs combined as replacement scrumhalf Caolin Blade linked with David Hawkshaw on a rapid counterattack. Hawkshaw converted to bring Connacht up to double digits.

Yet it was the home side who rounded off the scoring spree as replacement Callum Reid buried over after good, concerted pressure by Ulster’s forwards, well conducted by Doak.

So, 36-10 at full time and for Ulster, an ideal start to this URC campaign.

Ulster

15Stewart Moore Centre 64'
14Robert Baloucoune 23 Winger
13Luke Marshall Centre 28'
12Stuart McCloskey 22 Centre
11Jacob Stockdale Winger
10Billy Burns 21 Fly-Half
9Nathan Doak Back 51'
28', 38', 51', 76'
45'
1Eric O’Sullivan 17 Prop
2Tom Stewart 16 Hooker 38'
3Marty Moore 18 Prop
4Alan O’Connor Lock
5Sam Carter 19 Lock
6Matty Rea No. 8
7Marcus Rea Flanker
8David McCann 20 Forward
16John Andrew 2 Hooker
17Callum Reid 1 Forward 76'
18Jeff Toomaga-Allen 3
19Cormac Izuchukwu 5 Lock
20Jordi Murphy 8 Flanker
21David Shanahan 10 Scrum-Half
22Angus Curtis 12 Fly-Half
23Arron Sexton 14 Back

Connacht

15Tiernan O’Halloran Full-Back
14Byron Ralston Winger
13Thomas Farrell Centre
12Tom Daly Centre
11John Porch Winger
10Conor Fitzgerald 22 Fly-Half 40'
9Kieran Marmion 21 Scrum-Half
1Peter Dooley 17 Prop
2Dave Heffernan 16 Hooker
3Jack Aungier 18 Prop
4Gavin Thornbury Lock
5Leva Fifita 19 Lock
6Josh Murphy Flanker
7Conor Oliver 20 Flanker
8Paul Boyle Flanker 63'
16Dylan Tierney 2 Hooker
17Denis Buckley 1 Prop
18Sam Illo 3 Prop
19Niall Murray 5 Lock
20Shamus Hurley-Langton 7 Flanker
21Caolin Blade 9 Scrum-Half 71'
22David Hawkshaw 10 Centre 71'
23Oran McNulty Winger

Past Meetings

(Round 8)
32 - 12
United Rugby Championship
Kingspan Stadium

Ulster v Connacht

(Round 5)
36 - 11
United Rugby Championship
The Sportsgrounds

Connacht v Ulster

(Round 3)
2:30 pm
Women's Interprovincials
The Sportsgrounds

Connacht v Ulster

(Round 9)
19 - 32
PRO14
The Sportsgrounds

Connacht vs Ulster

Ground

Kingspan Stadium
Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, County Down, Northern Ireland, BT6 0BW, United Kingdom

QUB Student, passion for Sports Journalism