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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.

Rugby round up Newsletter

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

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

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


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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