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Hughes helps himself to a hat-trick as Wasps see off McFarland's Ulster

Dan McFarland’s first game in charge of the northern province ended in defeat in Coventry.

Greg Jones wins a line-out for Ulster.
Greg Jones wins a line-out for Ulster.
Image: Matthew Bunn/INPHO

Wasps 31
Ulster 14

ULSTER ROUNDED OFF their preparations for the 2018-19 campaign with a second pre-season defeat on the trot.

In Dan McFarland’s first game in charge, the northern province were beaten by Premiership side Wasps this evening at the Ricoh Arena.

It means that Ulster will go into next weekend’s Guinness Pro14 opener against Scarlets on the back of consecutive losses, having also been beaten by Gloucester at Kingspan Stadium last week.

It was a particularly good night for Wasps back-row forward Nathan Hughes, who contributed a hat-trick of tries for the hosts.

The English side held a commanding 19-0 lead at the break. Jones scored twice inside the opening 15 minutes, before Nizaam Carr crossed to increased their advantage.

Returning after a 12-month injury lay-off, Marcell Coetzee was yellow-carded on the half-hour mark for his part in a scuffle. Wasps skipper Joe Launchbury followed Coetzee to the sin bin when tempers flared again moments later.

Wasps went further ahead just six minutes after the restart, Billy Searle converting Zurabi Zhvania’s try to put them 26-0 in front.

Just before the hour-mark, Ulster drove Wasps back to their own try-line with a line-out maul, allowing Nick Timoney to dot down and open the visitors’ account, with Johnny McPhillips adding the extras.

However, Ulster’s prospects of a comeback were dented when Hughes completed his hat-trick four minutes later by powering over in the left corner.

But Ulster kept fighting and 19-year-old wing Angus Kernohan was rewarded with a try just before the end, which McPhillips converted.

Wasps scorers:

Tries: Nathan Hughes (3), Nizaam Carr, Zurabi Zhvania

Conversions: Billy Searle (3)

Ulster scorers:

Tries: Nick Timoney, Angus Kernohan

Conversions: Johnny McPhillips (2)

WASPS: Rob Miller; Christian Wade, Elliot Daly, Juan De Jongh, Josh Bassett; Billy Searle, Dan Robson; Ben Harris, Tom Cruse, Kieran Brookes; Joe Launchbury (captain), Will Rowlands, Nizaam Carr; Joe Atkinson, Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: Tommy Taylor, Zurabi Zhvania, Will Stuart, James Gaskell, Thomas Young, Craig Hampson, Michael Le Bourgeois, Gaby Lovobalavu, Marcus Watson, Charlie Matthews, Ashley Johnson.

ULSTER: Will Addison; Craig Gilroy, Stewart Moore, Stuart McCloskey, Angus Kernohan; Johnny McPhillips, Jonny Stewart; Eric O’Sullivan, John Andrew, Marty Moore; Alan O’Connor (captain), Kieran Treadwell; Marcell Coetzee, Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Alex Thompson, Caleb Montgomery, David Shanahan, Angus Curtis, Darren Cave, Greg Jones, Chris Henry, Jack Owens.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

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