Clinical Ulster power their way past Glasgow

John Cooney was impressive on a night when the home side looked dangerous

Ulster players celebrate at the final whistle after their Pro14 win over Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ulster players celebrate at the final whistle after their Pro14 win over Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Ulster 40 Glasgow Warriors 15

Ulster continued their unbeaten start to the Guinness Pro14 season with a fifth successive victory, a fundamental difference between the teams on the night being the home side’s ability to convert opportunities. Glasgow played some decent rugby but lacked their opponents’ cutting edge, particularly in the opening 40 minutes.

John Cooney offered a timely reminder of his quality with a polished performance, so often a catalyst for his team’s better moments. Marcell Coetzee was typically forthright physically while hooker John Andrew was impressive in everything he offered. Marty Moore and Sean Reidy also enjoyed high profile outings, the latter producing a man of the match display.

TJ Ioane’s try enabled Glasgow to enjoy an ideal start on foot of an excellent opening four minutes when they dominated the collisions and following a fine break from left wing Nico Matawalu, the Glasgow number eight was driven over from close range. Peter Horne added the conversion.

The visitors, though, were left to rue some indiscipline by giving away a slew of penalties and, from the last in the sequence, awarded for a high tackle by Ratu Tagive on Michael Lowry in the Glasgow 22, Ian Madigan kicked to the corner and Ulster hooker John Andrew plunged over for a try, which Cooney improved upon.

Ulster’s second try once again came from a lineout, this time Andrew surging to just short of the line and Coetzee powering over for his fourth try in as many games. Cooney’s conversion gave the home side a 14-10 lead. Glasgow almost regained the lead when scrumhalf Sean Kennedy was grounded just short after taking a quick tap penalty; Lowry rescued his team in forcing a penalty turnover.

The home side made the most of the respite when, four minutes before the interval Sam Carter, initially denied a try only 60 seconds earlier, dotted down under the posts with a little help from his teammates. Cooney converted and in first half injury time the excellent scrumhalf added the fourth and bonus point try after Matawalu was sent to the sin bin.

Cooney added the conversion to give his side a 28-10 interval lead. Ulster piled on the misery for the visitors on the resumption, Reidy and Matt Faddes adding tries before Glasgow mustered a response when hooker Grant Stewart was driven over from a lineout maul. Lowry had been sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on in the preamble.

The score certainly galvanised the visitors and with the raft of replacements on both sides the Scottish bench brought more energy as Ulster’s performance levels dropped a little. A leg injury to Coetzee saw the South African depart with a quarter of the game remaining and the home side missed his gainline prowess.

Glasgow, for all their endeavour, butchered a couple of decent try scoring chances and Ulster were able to see out the final 20-minutes without conceding another score.

Scoring sequence – 4 mins: Ioane try, Horne conversion, 0-7; 11: Andrew try, Cooney conversion, 7-7; 20: Horne penalty, 7-10; 24: Coetzee try, Cooney conversion, 14-10; 36: Carter try, Cooney conversion, 21-10; 40(+3): Cooney try, Cooney conversion, 28-10. Half-time: 28-10. 49: Reidy try, 33-10; 55: Faddes try, Cooney conversion, 40-10; 60: Stewart try, 40-15.

Ulster: M Lowry; C Gilroy, L Marshall, S Moore, M Faddes; I Madigan, J Cooney; E O’Sullivan, J Andrew, M Moore; K Treadwell, S Carter (capt); Matty Rea, S Reidy, M Coetzee.

Replacements: A O’Connor for Carter 47 mins; B Johnston for Madigan 47 mins; E McIlroy for Marshall 50 mins; K McCall for O’Sullivan 58 mins; A McBurney for Andrew 60 mins; Marcus Rea for Coetzee 60 mins; G Milasinovich for M Moore 61 mins; D Shanahan for Cooney 68 mins.

Yellow card: M Lowry (Ulster) 59 mins.

Glasgow Warriors: G Bryce; R Tagive, R Fergusson, S McDowall, N Matawalu; P Horne, S Kennedy; A Seiuli, G Stewart, E Pieretto; R Harley, K McDonald; R Wilson (capt), T Gordon, TJ Ioane.

Replacements: B Thomson for McDowell 47 mins; D Rae for Pieretto 50 mins; L Bean for McDonald 50 mins; F Lokotui for Ioane 53 mins; A Allan for Seuili 53 mins; J Matthews for Stewart 67 mins; C Korteweg for Kennedy 74 mins.

Yellow card: N Matawalu (Glasgow) 40 mins.

Referee: N Owens (Wales).

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