Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Shutdown corner. Stockdale celebrates his late try-saver.
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Watch: Stunning Stockdale effort saves Ulster
Bath came incredibly close to snatching the win away from Dan McFarland’s men.

IT WAS A telling moment when Jacob Stockdale walked in from touch holding the ball high like the spoils of war, before spiking it with venom.

Relief. Vindication.

Wings in an aggressive defence always tread along a knife-edge of risk and reward. It rarely comes with quite as much drama as it did in the closing phases at The Rec this afternoon.

After botching their time-keeping on their final line-out, Dan McFarland’s defence had to withstand one last almighty Bath onslaught with just a 16-17 lead to hold on to.

Bath were brave, shunning a slow roll towards a drop-goal attempt in favour of a wide raid across Ulster’s 22. Stockdale shot up to close off the space, but Bath found a way around around him and Zach Mercer romped away towards what appeared a certain try.

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The game-saver, though, was Stockdale. The Ireland wing didn’t take a heavy contact after shooting up and immediately spun on his heels, racing back and somehow propelling himself towards the ball as it left Mercer’s hands towards the expectant Semesa Rokoduguni.

Blushes spared, four points sealed and perhaps even a season saved.


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