How the Ulster players rated in victory over Southern Kings
Ulster went second in their Guinness PRO14 conference as they secured a valuable bonus-point victory over Southern Kings.
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The victory didn't come without significant injury cost as Ulster are left licking their wounds ahead of Saturday's eagerly anticipated European quarter-final against Leinster.
But how did the individual players perform at Kingspan Stadium?
Here are our match ratings:
Louis Ludik 4: Didn’t last long and it will be a worry for next weekend that the South African was helped from the field after suffering a leg injury.
Robert Baloucoune 7: Looked sharp and showed his pace for the bonus point try and was busy with 10 carries. He was then smashed which led to the Kings’ red card.
Darren Cave 5: Shipped a knock in first half which saw him later leave the field after taking another hit in the second. Anything but ideal ahead of Aviva clash.
Stuart McCloskey 7: Used power well to get Ulster off the mark and carried 12 times; made 10 tackles though would have wanted more dominance.
Rob Lyttle 6: Had to be strong for his try but was then rounded by Penxe. Wasn’t the only one to slow up for Beyers’ score but also provided an assist.
Billy Burns 6: Started strongly and took a heavy knock. Reminded us he can kick well from the tee with three conversions. Seemed to fade later on.
Dave Shanahan 5: Wasn’t on his game as well as he would have liked. Also stopped for what turned out to be Kings’ second try and then was taken off for Cooney.
Andy Warwick 7: Scrummaging was fine while his skills-set is improving and there was a deft pass to O’Toole. Lost ball in contact though a penalty was called.
Rob Herring 8: Put down a marker for Saturday’s selection with 10 carries and 17 tackles and, for a while, he seemed to be Ulster’s primary ball-carrier.
Marty Moore 4: Didn’t quite make the half hour and seemed to be struggling before he departed with a suspected HIA. Ulster really need him firing for Leinster.
Alan O’Connor 8: Relishes work-rate and this was no exception. Strong in lineout and produced 21 tackles. Key cog in Ulster’s front five.
Ian Nagle 6: Busy evening of carrying, though there was one knock-on, and tackling before making way for a notably energetic Treadwell.
Matty Rea 7: Pushing his way back into starting side, he put in a pretty decent shift and at one point had to nail Penxe and did so with an all-enveloping tackle.
Nick Timoney 7: Ulster’s top tackler with 23, he kept going and showed his ability to play right across the back-row. He will badly want a tilt at his home province.
Marcell Coetzee 8: First game back since January and how Ulster need him. Their top carrier with 16, he also scored an important try before leaving.
Michael Lowry (Ludik 8) 7: There were some wonderful breaks
Tom O’Toole (Moore 27) 6: Certainly didn’t shirk his tackles
John Cooney (Shanahan 43) 6: Should have scored a try
Angus Kernohan (Cave 45) 6: Thought he had a try
Kieran Treadwell (Nagle 53) 6: Clearly eager and very energetic
Clive Ross (Coetzee 54) 5: Gave away a high tackle penalty
Wiehahn Herbst (Warwick 58 6): On at loose-head and won a penalty
John Andrew (Herring 73) 5: Got the fifth try
Belfast Telegraph Digital