Ulster ratings: How the players performed in narrow win over Cardiff Blues
Ulster scraped to victory over Cardiff Blues on Saturday afternoon but how did the individuals fare?
Here's Jonathan Bradley's take on the performances:
Mike Lowry 6: Tried to lift the tempo with a few mazy returns of wayward kicks but was forced off early after some hefty punishment.
Henry Speight 5: Ulster ran a few plays that brought him off his wing to get him involved but spent more time second best in the aerial battle.
James Hume 7: Led the home side in metres made and produced their only linebreak of the game but just couldn't hold onto the ball.
Stuart McCloskey 7: His ears will have been burning in the post-match but it was McCloskey's quick thinking that created Ulster's try even without a clean offload.
Louis Ludik 6: Quiet enough day for the fit again South African but he’ll come good once he regains his full match fitness.
Billy Burns 5: Ulster’s attack never really fired in the first half and Burns was removed for an HIA before the game reached the turn.
John Cooney 7: The man with the golden boot did it again at Kingspan Stadium, winning a game from the tee in Belfast for the third time already this year.
Andy Warwick 6: Not too many scrums in which to do battle but contributed defensively with a nine tackles and none missed.
Rob Herring 6: On the occasion of his 150th cap the hooker had to work hard to try and impose himself on proceedings.
Marty Moore 6: Showed a real willingness to insert himself into the attacking game only to have his efforts undermined by a few knock-ons of a greasy ball.
Kieran Treadwell 6: Got a bit of luck for his try but still had to show good co-ordination to fall on a bouncing ball and slide over the whitewash.
Alan O'Connor 5: Another who had to leave the scene early after a heavy hit. Tried to get his side into the game with aggressive call but didn't pay off this time.
Sean Reidy 7: Typical performance of quiet industry that saw him make 15 tackles — more than anyone else in an Ulster jersey.
Jordi Murphy 7: Probably his best showing in an Ulster jersey, the highlight of which was a great lineout steal. Tackled well and turned over ball.
Marcell Coetzee 7: The South African still feels a different player but was effective again. Three turnovers and a big tackle count are testament to that.
Ian Nagle (O’Connor 35) 7: Performed well, worked hard, and disrupted key lineout.
Johnny McPhillips (Burns 35) 7: Kicked well from hand and made good ground. Perhaps due a start.
Eric O’Sullivan (Warwick 43) 7: Made a try-saving tackle that protected Ulster’s lead late on.
Jacob Stockdale (Lowry 43) 7: Surprisingly it was the winger who secured the game-winning turnover to seal it.
Ross Kane (Moore 45) 6: Got about the park and looked to get involved.
Rory Best (Herring 50) 7: Maul ended up being a real weapon and it was him getting the most crucial turnover.
Nick Timoney (Murphy 71) 5: Last of the subs but, legally or not, got involved in key breakdown turnover.
Belfast Telegraph Digital