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How the Ulster players rated in Guinness Pro 14 defeat to Zebre

Ratings by Jonathan Bradley

Ulster crashed to their first Guinness Pro 14 defeat of the season at Zebre on Saturday. But did any individuals salvage anything from their performances?

Here are Jonathan Bradley's ratings from the shock defeat:

Charles Piutau 6

One man who came close to at least dragging Ulster out of the doldrums. Set up the first try with one of only a few positive moments of play.

Andrew Trimble 4

On a day when he tied the Ulster appearance record, marked the occasion with a try but didn’t have much else to shout about.

Darren Cave 5

Late try brought the losing bonus point and at least raised the visitor’s afternoon from unmitigated disaster to just merely awful.

Luke Marshall 5

Was given no time or space to get comfortable by a Zebre defence that put a massive priority on line-speed. Frustrated by late penalty.

Louis Ludik 5

Was having to put out plenty of fires after missed tackles and things only started to go really awry after he was lost to injury.

Christian Leali’ifano 5

Another who would have expected much more space to operate. Should Ulster have changed the gameplan to use his boot more?

John Cooney 5

The scrum-half was given slow ball from a breakdown that surrendered too many penalties. Kicked well before curious substitution.

Callum Black 5

Handed his first involvement since away to Treviso but Les Kiss still replaced both his starting props early on in second-half.

John Andrew 6

Was always going to be scrutinised for his line-out darts when given a chance to start but was one area that came away unscathed.

Rodney Ah You 5

Started with a big run but didn’t get much ball thereafter, coughing up possession too easily. Running battle with ref in early scrums.

Peter Browne 4

Came in from the cold to start the game but was unable to make an impression before departing through injury early in the game.

Iain Henderson 5

In what was his first start since the Lions tour, wasn’t at full speed but still led the side in carries and made his tackles. 

Mattie Rea 5

Gave away one kickable penalty but still worked hard and ended the game second on the team in the tackle charts.

Sean Reidy 6

Didn’t get much of a chance to be the link man between forwards and backs but should come as no surprise that he led the side in tackles.

Jean Deysel 4

Straight back in after missing out for two weeks through injury and it was not the former Springbok’s best day. Replaced in second-half.

Replacements

Kieran Treadwell (for Browne, 27) 5: Was a popular line-out target for John Andrew.

Wiehahn Herbst (for Ah You, 49) 5:  Thought he’d earned Ulster a fortunate win but try was chalked off.

Andy Warwick (for Black, 49) 4: Should have protected the ball better late on.

Rob Lyttle (for Ludik, 49) 5: Saw next to no ball but did one make nice run for good metres.

Nick Timoney (for Deysel, 54) 4: Didn’t see reward for his efforts.

Adam McBurney (for Timoney, 77) 5: Barely given a chance.

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