Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby Ulster

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?

Rugby round up Newsletter

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

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.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph