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Ulster player ratings: Sparkling John Cooney helps lead the way to bounce back win in Port Elizabeth

John Cooney lands a kick
John Cooney lands a kick

Ulster got back to winning ways on Saturday when they smashed past Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

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

It was a much-needed bonus-point victory after the previous weekend's startling defeat to the Cheetahs. But how did the individuals fare?

Starting XV

Matt Faddes: Displayed an elite offensive talent and was rewarded with a well-taken try 8

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Ulster's Matt Faddes is presented with the Man of the Match award by Yanda Sonjica, Guinness

Craig Gilroy: Thrived in the open and expansive game, able to show his full set of tricks 7

Luke Marshall: Always active with ball in hand and was one of the most dangerous backs 8

Stuart McCloskey: Promising return from injury, but will be a concern after he limped off 7

Louis Ludik: Rock solid defensively and kept the Kings defence honest with some carries 7

Billy Burns: Had an armchair ride backed by quick ball and service, another great cross-field kick 7

John Cooney: Back to his sparkling best and even showed an eye for the try line 8

Eric O’Sullivan: Puts in the big carries at key times and really attacked his man at scrum time 7

Rob Herring: Fixed the line-out issues and added his usual strong loose display along with it 8

Tom O’Toole: Used frequently as a link man to great effect and was better in the scrum this week 7

Alan O’Connor: Did the hard grafting in the engine room but provided all that was required of him 7

Sam Carter: His best performance in an Ulster jersey since joining, was a prominent carrier 7

Matthew Rea: Got to the flanks well for some big carries and was busy at the breakdown 7

Sean Reidy: Ulster’s breakdown work was improved and Reidy’s work rate was noticeable 7

Marcell Coetzee: Looked like he was never injured in a barnstorming display, capped by a sublime assist 8

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Ulster's Luke Marshall on his way to scoring his try.

Replacements

James Hume (for McCloskey, 45 mins): A big defensive display 6

Kieran Treadwell (for Carter, 51 mins): Brought his usual physicality 6

Adam McBurney (for Herring, 54 mins): Was the fall guy for the team’s repeated infringements 5

Kyle McCall (for O’Sullivan, 55 mins): Put in some big tackles in a mainly defensive effort 6

David Shanahan (for Cooney, 60 mins): Didn’t have much ball after he came on 6

Ross Kane (for O’Toole, 64 mins): Solid cameo for the final period of the game 6

Greg Jones (for Coetzee, 66 mins): Was taken off when McBurney was carded  5

Angus Curtis (for Burns, 70 mins): Not on long enough to make any impact 5

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