Ulster end losing streak to beat Edinburgh 24-18
Ulster stayed out in front after scoring four tries in the first half at Kingspan
Ulster ended their four-game losing run in all competitions in resounding style by racking up a 24-18 bonus-point victory over Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO12 at the Kingspan Stadium.
Les Kiss’s under-pressure side badly needed the win in their bid to ultimately break into the top four and they had their four tries secured after an impressive first half.
Paul Marshall, Darren Cave, Louis Ludik and Jacob Stockdale all crossed the Edinburgh line on what was Springbok Marcell Coetzee’s long-awaited Ulster debut to give the home side a 24-10 half-time lead.
And though the Irish province failed to score again they held out to secure the vital five points - only their third of the PRO12 season - though the Scots grabbed a losing bonus point after scoring tries through Magnus Bradbury, Stuart McInally and Damien Hoyland.
Ulster were behind after a just a minute of play when number eight Bradbury barged over in the left corner though Jason Tovey could not add the extras.
Kiss’s squad then battled their way back with some slick attacking moves and Marshall scored near the posts after nine minutes with Peter Nelson converting to put Ulster ahead.
The lead was then increased to 12-5 after 18 minutes when Cave squeezed in over in the left corner though Nelson failed with the difficult conversion attempt.
He was also wide after Ulster had their third try which arrived four minutes before the half hour when Charles Piutau’s dazzling skill created the score for Ludik.
The bonus point was duly secured in the 32nd minute when Robbie Diack’s inside pass enabled Stockdale to score under the posts. Nelson’s conversion made it 24-5.
However, the Scots struck back two minutes later when hooker McInally drove over but Tovey badly miscued the conversion.
The Scots also scored next with Hoyland touching down on 57 minutes for another unconverted effort and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne kicked a 63rd-minute penalty to bring the Scots within losing bonus point range.
And though Edinburgh finished the stronger, they could not score again with Ulster holding on for their hugely-valuable victory.