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How the Ulster players rated in the Champions Cup victory over Harlequins

Ratings By Michael Sadlier

Ulster bounced back to form with a tremendous 17-5 victory away at Harlequins on Sunday. It was a result that breathed life into their season and gave their hopes of escaping their Champions Cup pool a real boost.

But how did all of the individual players perform? Here are Michael Sadlier's player ratings:

Ulster player ratings v Harlequins

Charles Piutau 7: Helped spark that great attack from his own touchline early on and stood up well to the conditions in both attack and defence

Craig Gilroy 6: An early break and began that super Ulster attack from his own line. Looked really sharp but there was little action in the second half

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Craig Gilroy of Ulster is tackled by Charlie Walker

Tommy Bowe 5: Was there to link up with Cooney for the early break-out down the left but, other than that, he was a pretty peripheral figure and departed early

Stuart McCloskey 6: Took a risky 22 to himself and then it was all about hard carries and covering. Was done for a high hit on Brown but worked hard

Jacob Stockdale 8: He plays, he scores. A second-half break that led to nothing for Ulster but he was so involved even working hard at a ruck

Christian Leali'ifano 6: Nice early hit on Bothma and had some nice touches but there was one horrible touch out on the full. Cooney took the heat off him

John Cooney 8: The fear was that Care would torch him, but Cooney rose to the occasion with aplomb. Kicked four penalties and great kicking from hand too

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Snow holding back: John Cooney kicks Ulster to victory against Harlequins

Callum Black 6: Stood up so well after an iffy enough display at the Dragons. There was one penalty near the line but he generally worked so hard for the cause

Rob Herring 7: Two early lineout throws lost but he really made up for that and Best’s absence with an all-action display, though couldn’t stop Sinckler’s try

Wiehahn Herbst 7: Won an early penalty against Marler and that set the tone on his return to the side. The scrums were strong too which helped

Alan O'Connor 6: This was more up his street with grunt being king. Never shirks hard work and this was all about that. Tackled hard

Kieran Treadwell 5: First lineout was lost against his old club. One great hit on Bothma but still didn’t stop the try and was replaced soon after getting attention

Iain Henderson 8: The skipper needed to inspire and did so in spades. His first-half break was inspirational and made a huge hit on Luamanu. A key performer

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Close quarters: Iain Henderson is tackled by Archie White

Sean Reidy 7: Great support line for Stockdale’s try and, as usual, he was nearly always on the scene to do his job well as Ulster’s back row stood tall

Nick Timoney 6: No real opportunity to show his pace with the ball in hand but made a marvellous hit on Matthews late in the game

Replacements

Louis Ludik (for Bowe, 47) 6: Some solid hits were just what was needed

Chris Henry (for Treadwell, 52) 6: Came on and made his tackles when it really mattered

Ross Kane (for Herbst, 63) 6: Some deft passing on show

Andy Warwick (for Black, 70) 5: He was very fortunate not to concede a penalty after his introduction

Subs not used: John Andrew, Mattie Rea, Paul Marshall and Pete Nelson

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