How the Ulster players rated during vital victory in Edinburgh
Ulster picked up a much-needed bonus-point win at Murrayfield on Friday evening - but how did the individual players fare?
Here's Jonathan Bradley's view of the player ratings:
Charles Piutau 7: A lovely off-load in Cave’s score and then got his own. Solid and when it mattered he still had the footwork to make things happen.
Louis Ludik 5: Was doing well and took one great high kick before shipping an injury. Briefly soldiered on to make another brave tackle before leaving.
Darren Cave 8: Ran a lovely line for his try and provided the assist for Piutau’s. Strong in defence too and the 31-year-old gave Ulster’s midfield some direction.
Stuart McCloskey 7: Not used as a primary battering ram with Ulster giving the ball width and then came into his own in the second half with some great carries.
Jacob Stockdale 8: His return was notably influential and set up Cave’s try and even won a penalty at a breakdown. Helped put Ulster in position for the bonus point.
Johnny McPhillips 7: Great line-kicking helped put Ulster on the front foot and his distribution was, mostly, accurate which was important in launching the attacks.
John Cooney 8: Did so well to get Ulster’s third try before he threw an intercept for Weir’s score. Scored 17 of the final total with only one missed kick.
Andy Warwick 6: With no scrums in the first half it was about getting into position and mostly knocking Edinburgh players down. Did the full 80 minutes.
Rory Best 7: Two early and harsh penalty concessions and though there were wonky lineouts, his presence was hugely important to the win.
Tom O'Toole 6: The teenager’s debut was marked with some strong carries and a big tackle count. However the scrums proved testing.
Matthew Dalton 6: Won’t have enjoyed having the ball stripped off him but did some good work too and was then taken off to presumably bolster the scrum.
Iain Henderson 9: Brought his Ireland form and did his thing with some shuddering carries at times and then deservedly clattered through the for bonus try.
Mattie Rea 7: Worked really hard around the park and was frequently on hand to disrupt Edinburgh ball or put in a telling hit. A very solid effort.
Nick Timoney 7: Some really important tackles and a work rate that greatly contributed to Ulster getting this vital win before making way for Sean Reidy.
Jean Deysel 9: The target at Edinburgh’s restarts, the South African chose to deliver his best display. Immense at the breakdown and top tackler
Tommy Bowe (for Ludik, 38) 5: A very quiet game for the soon to retire legend
Alan O’Connor (for Dalton, 46) 6: He was solid as usual and he contributed well
Rodney Ah You (for O’Toole, 60) 6: Helped shore up the scrums
Sean Reidy (for Timoney, 72) 6: Back from injury and worked hard
Rob Herring (for Best, 74) 5: Assisted in getting the result
Not used: Tommy O’Hagan, Dave Shanahan, Angus Curtis.
Belfast Telegraph Digital