Belfast Telegraph

As it happened: Ulster beat Connacht 16 - 8 in Belfast

By Adam McKendry

Jacob Stockdale’s second half try set Ulster on their way to a gritty 16-8 win over interprovincial rivals Connacht at Kingspan Stadium in the Guinness PRO14.

Scrum-half John Cooney added three penalties and a conversion to Ulster’s tally, while an unconverted Tom McCartney try and a Jack Carty penalty were all the underwhelming visitors could manage.

It was an error ridden first half for Ulster, who should have at least had one try, but instead they had to settle for Cooney’s first penalty of the night as their sole score of the first period.

Instead it was the visitors who led, somewhat undeservedly, as they scythed through the scrambling Ulster defence with hooker McCartney picking and driving over at the line five minutes before the break.

After the restart, Cooney added two more kicks, while Carty put over one of his own, to put the score at 9-8 before Stockdale and Charles Piutau combined for the try that decided the game.

Piutau gathered a kick and fed Stockdale, who burst through the broken Connacht defence and returned the ball to Piutau, who in turn then gave the ball back to the rampaging winger on his shoulder who took it the rest of the way.

Even with Jean Deysel getting yellow carded in the final few minutes for Ulster, the hosts produced a brilliant defensive effort to hold out the westerners and secure a return to winning ways.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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