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Ulster player ratings: How the individuals fared as Marcus Rea picks up Man of the Match award in debut win over Leinster


Ulster's Darren Cave speaks to the team after the game.
Ulster's Darren Cave speaks to the team after the game.

Ratings by Adam McKendry

Ulster ended the regulation Guinness PRO14 season with a victory over Leinster at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday.

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Marcus Rea stole the show with a try and man of the match performance after replacing the injured Sean Reidy just six minutes in.

But how did the rest of the players perform?

Here are our player ratings:

Starting XV

Michael Lowry 7: Showed glimpses of his incredible potential, particularly in setting away Shanahan prior to his try, and always had the defence on their toes

David Busby 6: Fantastic to see him back on the pitch and understandably showed signs of rust, but settled into the game and was solid in all aspects

Darren Cave 7: Captained the side and led as both a ball carrier and a defensive maestro, with his read to stop Tomane as Leinster threatened outstanding

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Ulster's captain for the day Darren Cave talks with Referee George Clancy and Leinster's Ross Byrne during the coin toss.

Peter Nelson 6: Playing at an unfamiliar position, he never looked out of place and made some important tackles when needed, even adding some nice carries

Angus Kernohan 6: Never seemed to find the space in which he could show his full potential but was industrious with ball in hand and worked for his yards

Johnny McPhillips 4: Needed to settle into the game and never did, firing some wild kicks early on and brought off early in the second half as a result

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Ulster's Johnny McPhillips kicks a conversion.

Dave Shanahan 7: Ran his support lines superbly, as he always does, and added quick service from the base, taken off early in the second half to rest for next week

Andy Warwick 6: Picked up one penalty from the scrum in the second half and was busy in the loose without making the impact to put pressure on O'Sullivan

John Andrew 7: Besides one lineout, was strong at the set-piece and added some tireless work around the park as he always tends to do, should be pleased

Ross Kane 5: Couldn't cope with Jack McGrath at scrum time and didn't look like his usual self after struggling on with a knock picked up in the first half

Ian Nagle 7: Was the go-to man at the lineout and was a reliable target, while also seemed to have a point to prove with some ferocious carries in the loose

Alan O'Connor 6: Was his solid self in the engine room and led an inexperienced pack from the front, particularly in keeping calm heads in the second half

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Ulster's Tom O'Toole celebrates at the final whistle with Adam McBurney

Matthew Rea 6: Will have been delighted to play his first game for Ulster alongside brother Marcus and seemed buoyed by his arrival with a solid performance

Clive Ross 7: One of his better performances for Ulster as he made a nuisance of himself at the breakdown and battled for every inch on both attack and defence

Sean Reidy 5: Clashed with Fergus McFadden early and was brought off after picking up a knock a few minutes later, likely being saved for next week


Marcus Rea (Reidy 16) 8: A try and man of the match on his debut

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Gareth Grant of Guinness presents the Man of the Match award to Ulster's Marcus Rea.

Tom O'Toole (Kane 42) 6: Strengthened the scrum

Adam McBurney (Andrew 53) 6: Took over where Andrew left off

Jonny Stewart (Shanahan 58) 5: Iffy box kicks but added pace

Jack Owens (McPhillips 58) 6: Was busy on his return

Tommy O'Hagan (Warwick 65) 6: Noticeable around park

Nick Timoney (O'Connor 65) 5: Likely needed more next week

Unused sub: Rob Lyttle

Belfast Telegraph


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