Ulster Rugby 41-17 Edinburgh: Craig Gilroy returns with double try for rampant Ulster
Ulster showed no rustiness after the break for the autumn internationals as they posted an emphatic five-try, bonus-point RaboDirect PRO12 win over Edinburgh on Friday night.
The returning Craig Gilroy scored two of Ulster's tries - the first and fourth - while fly-half James McKinney scored 21 points with a try and an unblemished record off the tee with five conversions and three penalties in the 41-17 triumph.
Ulster's other try-scorers were Paul Marshall and captain Robbie Diack, while Edinburgh crossed the hosts' line three times with Cornell du Preez, Dougie Fife and Grayson Hart all touching down in a frantic second-half scoring spree.
Indeed, Edinburgh got the first points on the board just before the quarter-hour mark off a scrum when Sam Hidalgo-Clyne broke blind and fed Du Preez, with the number eight then smashing through Michael Allen and Craig Gilroy to score in the corner.
Harry Leonard missed the conversion, but further misery was heaped upon the home side as Iain Henderson then left the action with an injury.
McKinney then narrowed the visitors' lead with a penalty after Ulster's scrum won a penalty.
Ulster scored next as well after substitute Ricky Andrew launched a great counter-attack and skipper Diack put an excellent chip into the corner, which saw temporary sub Tom Brown run into touch. From the lineout, Ulster spun the ball left and Darren Cave's pass allowed Gilroy to pirouette through to score. McKinney added a marvellous conversion and Ulster were 10-5 up.
Then, two minutes after the half-hour, Cave burst through and his pass to Paul Marshall was hacked on by the scrum-half to score near the posts.
McKinney easily added the extras and Ulster moved 17-5 ahead.
Right on half-time, another big Ulster scrum yielded a penalty and McKinney did the necessary to extend his side's interval lead.
The game erupted into life on the hour mark after Izak van der Westhuizen was yellow-carded for pulling down an Ulster driving maul, and immediately afterwards Diack drove over beside the posts to allow McKinney to again add the extras.
He did so again two minutes later when the bonus point was secured by Gilroy from an intercept, though the sight of Luke Marshall then being helped from the field took some of the gloss off the score.
However, Ulster again hit back with McKinney then touching down and converting his own 69th-minute effort.
Edinburgh, though, worked Fife over in the 72nd minute which made it 41-10 and substitute Hart got another in the 74th minute, which Leonard converted to make the scoreline more respectable for the visitors.
Belfast Telegraph Digital