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Inspiring Cave leads way for top dogs Ulster

Glasgow 17 Ulster 22

By Jonathan Bradley

Darren Cave made an emotional return to the Ulster starting line-up last night as his try set the side on their way to a first ever league win over Glasgow at Scotstoun and into top spot in the PRO12.

On the eve of the new season last month, the popular Ulster centre lost his mother Ruth and, just 15 minutes into his first start since her sad passing, the 29-year-old was on hand for a poignant score.

A further penalty try and Paddy Jackson effort saw the visiting province to an impressive 22-17 win even though another two tries were chalked off by the officials.

Director of Rugby Les Kiss hailed his side’s resilience and said it would have been a “travesty” if they had not gone on to win last night’s contest.

On the controversial refereeing decisions that ruled out two Ulster scores, Kiss said: “It probably would have been a travesty had we lost that.

“But you have to live with the calls as they come out. I didn’t see the maul one the way they saw it, but that’s life, you have to live with it.

“We talked at half-time about staying strong and we were bigger than the calls.

“That’s the important thing for us, it’s an area where we’ve grown and we’ve talked about mental toughness, the resilience, the robustness to handle those moments and still stay strong in a game and back ourselves.

“I think it came through around the 68 minute mark, our defence around our five metre line was immense, it was tough, it was resilient. I thought our forward pack really led the way for us.”

The victory ensured Ulster are one of only two sides with a 100% winning record in this season’s PRO12 and sit top of table although the other, Cardiff, will likely dislodge them this afternoon after they meet lowly Zebre.

Ahead of next week’s meeting with Ospreys, the team they replaced in top spot, Kiss is thrilled with his side’s start to the season.

“It is really pleasing to say the least,” he affirmed.

“Four from four, we get the chance to go home against the Ospreys, we’ll again be facing a team that got beaten well like Glasgow did last week — the Ospreys got beaten well tonight against Leinster — so we’re going to have to be on top of our game.

“You don’t score three try bonus points in this league and not be pretty good so we have to be careful.”

For the second week in a row, Ulster saw two centres depart the contest through injury with the Australian admitting that it was too early to tell just how significant the blows shipped by Stuart McCloskey and Stuart Olding would ultimately turn out to be.

“It’s not clear at this stage,” he said. “It’s a foot for Stu McCloskey and I think it’s the knee area for Stu Olding.

“We can’t really assess anything at this stage. One of the pleasing things from those injuries, if there is a pleasing thing, is that Cavey moved to 12 and Louis Ludik, who I thought had a brilliant game, moved to 13 and did brilliantly. The cover there is brilliant for us.”

On what was a great night for Ulster when they made a real  statement to the rest of the Pro 12 teams, Ireland skipper Rory Best came off the bench to make his first appearance of the season.

Director of Rugby Les Kiss hailed his side’s resilience and said it would have been a “travesty” if they had not gone on to win last night’s contest.

On the controversial refereeing decisions that ruled out two Ulster scores, Kiss said: “It probably would have been a travesty had we lost that.

“But you have to live with the calls as they come out. I didn’t see the maul one the way they saw it, but that’s life, you have to live with it.

“We talked at half-time about staying strong and we were bigger than the calls.

“That’s the important thing for us, it’s an area where we’ve grown and we’ve talked about mental toughness, the resilience, the robustness to handle those moments and still stay strong in a game and back ourselves.

“I think it came through around the 68 minute mark, our defence around our five metre line was immense, it was tough, it was resilient. I thought our forward pack really led the way for us.”

The victory ensured Ulster are one of only two sides with a 100% winning record in this season’s PRO12 and sit top of table although the other, Cardiff, will likely dislodge them this afternoon after they meet lowly Zebre.

Ahead of next week’s meeting with Ospreys, the team they replaced in top spot, Kiss is thrilled with his side’s start to the season.

“It is really pleasing to say the least,” he affirmed.

“Four from four, we get the chance to go home against the Ospreys, we’ll again be facing a team that got beaten well like Glasgow did last week — the Ospreys got beaten well tonight against Leinster — so we’re going to have to be on top of our game.

“You don’t score three try bonus points in this league and not be pretty good so we have to be careful.”

For the second week in a row, Ulster saw two centres depart the contest through injury with the Australian admitting that it was too early to tell just how significant the blows shipped by Stuart McCloskey and Stuart Olding would ultimately turn out to be.

“It’s not clear at this stage,” he said. “It’s a foot for Stu McCloskey and I think it’s the knee area for Stu Olding.

“We can’t really assess anything at this stage. One of the pleasing things from those injuries, if there is a pleasing thing, is that Cavey moved to 12 and Louis Ludik, who I thought had a brilliant game, moved to 13 and did brilliantly. The cover there is brilliant for us.”

On what was a great night for Ulster when they made a real  statement to the rest of the Pro 12 teams, Ireland skipper Rory Best came off the bench to make his first appearance of the season.

Belfast Telegraph

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