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Ulster player ratings: How the individuals fared in Bloemfontein nightmare as Cheetahs score nine-try success

The Ulster players stand together after a disappointing night at the office.
The Ulster players stand together after a disappointing night at the office.
Greg Jones and his dejected Ulster team-mates come to terms with the result.

Ulster had an evening to forget in Bloemfontein on Saturday, when Cheetahs ran out 63-26 winners in a PRO14 mismatch.

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So just how did the Ulster individuals fare and did anybody emerge with much credit?

Here are our player ratings:

Starting XV

Matt Faddes 4: There was nothing he could do to stop the two tries that came down his channel, but didn’t have the same impact as he did on debut.

Craig Gilroy 5: Never saw enough of the ball to make an impact and was overshadowed by the Cheetahs’ back three, but got over for the bonus point try.

Luke Marshall  5: Did his job in making 10 tackles and added some abrasive carries, but was let down by those around him and drifted in and out of the game.

James Hume 6: One of the few who emerged with credibility, was always dangerous with ball in hand and deserved his try, though still missed a few key tackles.

Rob Lyttle 5: Continues to look good with ball in hand as he led Ulster in metres, but his defence saw him miss a couple of tackles against a superior back three.

Bill Johnston 4: Not the debut he was hoping for, although he was let down by the pack being unable to give him any kind of quick ball. Will surely improve.

John Cooney 4: Was always struggling due to the slow ball he was given, but at the same time his passing wasn’t as good as it usually is and was hauled adrift early.

Eric O’Sullivan 5: Drafted into the line-up at the last minute and did well at keeping the scrum solid. Good hands for Carter’s score but largely anonymous in the loose.

Rob Herring 4: Failed to connect reliably with his man at the line-out and was repeatedly left exposed in the defence against the Cheetahs’ speedier men.

Tom O’Toole 5: Another solid scrummaging performance and had a couple of good carries, but ultimately was unable to impose himself enough on the game.

Kieran Treadwell 4: Was never able to get his carrying game working and was targeted at the line-out by the Cheetahs. Another who was exposed defensively too.

Sam Carter 4: Despite scoring a try, was calling a line-out that lost four on their own throw and caught out defensively for a couple of the Cheetahs’ tries.

Matthew Rea 5: Picked an excellent line for Carter’s try and was Ulster’s most dangerous carrier with ball in hand, but his defensive work was suspect.

Sean Reidy 5: Made a team-leading 12 tackles in another busy display, but Ulster’s breakdown work was non-existent and that starts with the openside.

Greg Jones 4: Although he could be relied on in defence, his carrying with ball in hand was below par for a No.8 and Ulster never got any go forward ball.

Replacements

K McCall (O’Sullivan 46) 4: Struggled

R Kane (O’Toole 46) 5: Decent

D Shanahan (Cooney 46) 5: Lively

A O’Connor (Carter 46) 5: Added ballast

M Lowry (Faddes 46) 5: Brought energy

C Ross (Reidy 50) 4: Poor discipline

J Andrew (Herring 52) 5: Busy

L Ludik (Hume 65) 4: Anonmyous

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