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Ulster keep pressure on Connacht with hard-fought win over defending champions Glasgow

Callum Black scored their only try on his 100th appearance for the province.

Stuart Olding is tackled by Ryan Wilson, Simone Favaro and Glenn Bryce.
Stuart Olding is tackled by Ryan Wilson, Simone Favaro and Glenn Bryce.
Image: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

ULSTER 13
GLASGOW WARRIORS 10

Neil Carnduff at KIngspan Stadium

ULSTER KEPT THE pressure on interpro rivals Connacht at the top of the Guinness Pro12 with a hard-fought victory over reigning champions Glasgow in a stop-start encounter tonight in Belfast.

The province’s newest centurion, prop Callum Black, scored the decisive try with Ruan Pienaar and replacement Paddy Jackson adding eight points from the boot to secure the win and elevate Ulster to top spot, three points above their rivals from the West.

With the same Ulster triumvirate of Rory Best, Jared Payne and Andrew Trimble retained in Joe Schmidt’s 23 to face France in tomorrow’s Six Nations clash, Stuart McCloskey bludgeoned his way back into the province’s starting XV, with out-half Sam Windsor, a close-season acquisition from

Worcester Warriors, making his debut, and Black earning his 100th cap.

Ulster’s start could not have gone much worse. An early penalty miss from Pienaar was swiftly followed by an overlap from Glasgow on the right wing, allowing Lee Jones in for a simple try on the 10-minute mark, which went unconverted.

Rob Herring led the home riposte with a barnstorming run into the Warriors’ ‘22’ moments from the restart and, although Ulster knocked on for the fourth time in the first quarter as McCloskey took over, they soon had points on the board as Pienaar atoned for his earlier miss on 22 minutes.

An electric Stuart Olding got things moving straight from the restart, weaving through five or six Glaswegians from deep before setting up Gilroy on the right. The winger beat three men of his own, then intelligently kicked goalwards for Pienaar, who was marginally outstripped in the race to the line.

The scrum-half was soon making way for Paul Marshall after a nasty clash of heads in the tackle, and the diminutive replacement wasted no time in making his presence felt, darting towards the corner to set up a move which culminated in his touching down as a loose ball popped out of the back of a maul.

Referee Marius Mitrea ruled out the try after consultation with the TMO on both the ball’s exit from the melee and Marshall’s grounding.

Herring joined Pienaar on the sidelines early in the second half after picking up a knock, but with Jackson now calling the shots from out-half, another exhilarating run from Gilroy ripped the Glasgow defence asunder and set up camp on the Glasgow line, from where Black rumbled over on 54 minutes.

Jackson nailed the conversion, and as Ulster began to pepper the Glasgow defence with raids – in particular from Olding and Jacob Stockdale – the killer blow looked imminent, although Jackson prudently opted to go for goal with a 66th-minute penalty which left the visitors eight points adrift.

With Warriors skipper Ryan Wilson soon sinbinned for taking out Franco van der Merwe as he jumped for lineout ball, any chance of a late reversal evaporated, although the visitors were able to close out the match with a Taqele Naiyaravoro try to secure themselves a losing bonus point.

Ulster Scorers
Tries: Callum Black
Conversions: Paddy Jackson
Penalties: Ruan Pienaar, Paddy Jackson
Glasgow Scorers
Tries: Lee Jones, Taqele Naiyaravoro

Ulster

15. Stuart Olding
14. Craig Gilroy
13. Darren Cave
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Sam Windsor
9. Ruan Pienaar

1. Callum Black
2. Rob Herring (c)
3. Ricky Lutton
4. Alan O’Connor
5. Franco van der Merwe
6. Robbie Diack
7. Sean Reidy
8. Nick Williams

Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Bronson Ross, Chris Henry, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Paddy Jackson, Sam Arnold.

Glasgow

15. Peter Murchie
14. Lee Jones
13. Glenn Bryce
12. Sam Johnson
11. Rory Hughes
10. Gregor Hunter
9. Ali Price

1. Ryan Grant
2. Pat MacArthur
3. Sila Puafisi
4. Greg Peterson
5. Leone Nakawara
6. Robert Harley
7. Simone Favaro
8. Ryan Wilson (c)

Replacements: James Malcolm, Alex Allan, Darcy Rae, Josh Strauss, Chris Fusaro, Grayson

Hart, Peter Horne, Taqele Naiyaravoro

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Neil Carnduff

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