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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 March, 2019
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Ulster slip to pre-season defeat at Exeter despite try-scoring cameo from academy winger

Robert Lyttle made a big impact off the bench at Sandy Park.

Lyttle goes over for Ulster's second try.
Lyttle goes over for Ulster's second try.
Image: Presseye/Simon King/INPHO

Exeter Chiefs 25
Ulster 19

ULSTER’S PREPARATIONS FOR the new season continued with a second defeat this afternoon as the northern province slipped to a six-point loss to Exeter Chiefs.

Les Kiss’ side fell 18 points behind at Sandy Park but a late comeback saw them cut the deficit as academy winger Robert Lyttle ran in two tries.

The Ireland U20 international was on the pitch for less than a minute before collecting Johnny McPhillips’ cross-field kick to dot down for Ulster’s second score of the day after Jacob Stockdale’s first-half try.

Lyttle’s second effort was even better, picking up the loose ball on the left wing before scything through the Exeter defence to run it in under the posts.

It set-up a competitive finish but the Premiership side stood firm to earn the win ahead of their campaign opener against Wasps on 4 September.

For Ulster, it was a good run-out on a day many of their senior players returned to the fold and new signing Charles Piutau made his debut.

Charles Piutau Piutau made his Ulster debut. Source: Presseye/Simon King/INPHO

A slow start meant they were seven points behind within the opening 60 seconds and although Ulster hit back through Stockdale, two tries after the break extended the hosts’ advantage.

A flurry of late substitutions changed the complexion of the game as Lyttle gave Ulster grounds for optimism ahead of their final warm-up fixture against Northampton next weekend.

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Ryan Bailey

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