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How the Ulster players rated in PRO14 defeat to Leinster at the RDS

Ulster endured a tough evening against Leinster.
Ulster endured a tough evening against Leinster.

Ulster were humbled 40-7 by Leinster at the RDS on Saturday evening but were there any outstanding performers amongst their ranks?

Michael Sadlier ran the rule over the individual performances.

Ulster player ratings v Leinster

Michael Lowry 3: Left early after a collision but the overriding memory was having no chance of stopping Cronin twice as the last line of a broken defence.

Rob Lyttle 4: His first time back in nearly a year, he looked sharp on the rare occasions he got the ball. There was one nice offload which led to nothing.

Ulster's Rob Lyttle with Noel Reid of Leinster

Darren Cave 5: The elder statesman of the backline by some way, he did some notable work with the ball and organising the mostly retreating defensive line. 

James Hume 4: Like Cave, he carried a lot. He looked at his best near the end but it couldn't mask a tough evening against the relentless waves of blue attacks.

Angus Kernohan 3: Conor O’Brien’s try was a defensive horror show and Kernohan missed him first. Another who hardly enjoyed the experience, and left injured. 

Johnny McPhillips 3: He could only shine by being on the front foot but as Ulster didn’t really manage that it was another off-key performance. Missed a penalty too.

Ulster's Johnny McPhillips was dejected after the game.

Dave Shanahan 3: Too many kicks were off the money and there was no presence to match his opposite number. One nice rip late on but it was all scrambling stuff.

Kyle McCall 4: Was a busy man defensively and that was when he suffered a nasty leg injury which required him to leave on the medical truck.

Ulster's Kyle McCall leaves the field injured.

Adam McBurney 5: Got the try off another successful maul and came back after a head injury. Was aggressive but there were lost lineouts and troublesome scrums.

Wiehahn Herbst 3: First outing since September and looked well off the pace before the South African failed to appear after half-time with the game already lost.

Matt Dalton 4: This was another big step up and though there were quite a few errors he contributed 14 tackles and 11 carries but didn't have the impact required.

Alan O'Connor 5: Back in his home province, he was Ulster's most impressive forward with useful carries and was top tackler with 18. Silly penalties though.

Greg Jones 5: Ulster's most industrious back-rower, he, too, had extra motivation to put it up to Leinster. Made 12 carries and 14 tackles but still a low impact.

Sean Reidy 4: For a player of his calibre, this was not a typical effort and he was unable to provide the leadership he would have wanted before leaving.

Nick Timoney 4: Practically nothing going forward and was eclipsed by Max Deegan. Another with a big tackle count but not a good trip home to Dublin.

Nick Timoney warming up at the RDS.


John Andrew (McBurney 32-half-time and 51) 5: Made a lot of tackles.

Andy Warwick (McCall 48) 3: First game back and a notable knock-on.

Tom O’Toole (Herbst 41) 3: The scrum crumbled badly.

Caleb Montgomery (O’Connor 67) 3: Penalty conceded on his debut.

Clive Ross (Reidy 57) 4: Some decent stuff.

Jonny Stewart (Shanahan 71) 3: No significant impact as Ulster continued to fold.

Bruce Houston (Kernohan 48) 3: Another debut and hugely testing.

Peter Nelson (Lowry 17) 4: A long stint without much chance to shine.

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