Belfast Telegraph

Leinster v Ulster ratings: double try scorer Jones sparkles in bonus point defeat at RDS

Ulster winger Angus Kernohan scores their first try despite the interests of Leinster duo Robbie Henshaw and Fergus McFadden (INPHO/Dan Sheridan)
Ulster winger Angus Kernohan scores their first try despite the interests of Leinster duo Robbie Henshaw and Fergus McFadden (INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

By Michael Sadlier

It wasn't a win, but Ulster will surely be happy with taking a bonus point from their 54-42 loss to Leinster at the RDS Arena.

Rugby round up Newsletter

Game previews, plus expert insights and exclusive commentary from the Belfast Telegraph sports team.

No.8 Greg Jones got two tries and fly-half Bill Johnston was perfect from the tee, but who impressed in our eyes? Michael Sadlier takes a look at who was best...

Starting XV

Rob Lyttle - 4

First game back in over a month and provided a really nice assist for Kernohan. But then after Leinster’s third try he left the field and didn’t return.

Craig Gilroy - 5

Got an important hit on Kelleher early on but after that it was hardly a defensive masterclass. Still, he got an intercept try in the second half.

Matt Faddes -5

Lovely transfer for Kernohan’s try but then was sin-binned for a high hit on Tommy O’Brien. Then came his opportunist try but there was a bad miss on Byrne.

Angus Curtis - 4

Shot up and missed Tommy O’Brien in the lead-up to Leinster’s second. From then on it was back-foot scrambling stuff and then came the bad-looking injury.

Angus Kernohan - 5

First start and only second game this season and got over early for a vital score which gave Ulster some hope. Came very close to a second as well.

Bill Johnston - 5

Hit a wonderful conversion from Kernohan’s score and his work from the tee was accurate. But would have wanted more impact on the game when it swung Ulster's way.

David Shanahan - 5

Only his second start this season, his passing was crisp but there was a poor knock-on at one ruck. Made amends with some of his trademark running lines.

Andrew Warwick - 4

First start in the campaign and only third game of the season. There wasn’t a great deal he could do other than try and plug the gaps.

Adam McBurney - 4

An early high tackle set the tone and then there was one moment when he should have won a jackal only to be bullied off the ball.

Tom O’Toole - 5

Won a penalty from some strong counter-rucking which put it up to Leinster in the tight stuff. His time on the pitch was largely spent hauling blue shirts down.

David O’Connor - 5

Making his competitive debut against his home province and alongside his brother, there was no doubting his effort especially as Ulster came back.

Alan O’Connor - 5

Ulster’s newest centurion, he was clearly up for this as usual though his determination and desire led to his discipline slipping which led to Leinster’s sixth try.

Matthew Rea - 6

There were a couple of notable drives with the ball and he could have folded but finished the game strongly. Took a great lineout late on.

Nick Timoney - 5

The back-row battle was far too one-sided and the sight of him being driven through on the line wasn’t a good-looking sight. Ended up on the wing.

Greg Jones - 7

Not used since the Kings, he got stronger as the game went on. Secured the bonus point try before bagging a second and was Ulster’s most impressive forward.

Replacements

Ethan McIlroy (for Lyttle, 24 mins) - 6

Some errors on debut but made several impressive breaks

Stewart Moore (for Faddes, 51 mins) - 5

Also made a positive impression on debut

Azur Allison (for Curtis, 51 mins) - 5

Too slow to stop Deegan but worked so hard

John Andrew (for McBurney, 56 mins) - 5

Another who got stronger

Kyle McCall (for Warwick, 56 mins) - 5

Handled the ball well a few times

Ross Kane (for O’Toole, 56 mins) - 5

Really stepped up when he could have folded

Jack Regan (for A O’Connor, 69 mins) - 4

Enjoyed his debut as well

Jonny Stewart (for Shanahan, 71 mins) - 6

Great determination for Ulster’s sixth try

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