Ulster score nine tries to obliterate Zebre and make it six from six

Backrow Marcell Coetzee used his power to touch down for four tries in Parma

Ulster’s Marcell Coetzee scored four tries on Monday evening. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster’s Marcell Coetzee scored four tries on Monday evening. Photograph: Inpho

 

Zebre 14 Ulster 57

This one never really deviated from the expected narrative as Ulster ran in nine tries to obliterate Zebre and rack up six wins from the same number of games.

As such, it was the ideal platform for Marcell Coetzee to further emphasise his high value to Dan McFarland’s squad and he took full ownership of the stage. On his 50th Ulster appearance, the Springbok backrow used his power to touch down for four tries in the rout of Michael Bradley’s side in Parma.

Stewart Moore, Luke Marshall, Ethan McIlroy and David Shanahan also crossed the Italians’ line as did outhalf Bill Johnson who also kicked six conversions to end the evening with a haul of 17 points.

Ulster were totally dominant up front with all Coetzee’s scores coming from the close-in approach work of the visitors’ pack with strong displays also being put in by Eric O’Sullivan and skipper Sam Carter in what proved to be another strong showing from the northern province - though admittedly again against opposition unable to offer much in the way of a challenge.

As with the previous week, against Glasgow, Ulster had the bonus point in the bag before half-time with Coetzee’s hat-trick appropriately assuring them of another five points on offer.

Earlier, Moore had pounced to claim the visitors’ third - the opportunity having been created by the again impressive Michael Lowry’s kick and charge-down.

In fairness, it didn’t quite all go Ulster’s way as some hesitancy in the back three over an Antonio Rizzi high ball saw winger Pierre Bruno juggle the ball around his body to dot down. Rizzi’s conversion levelled the scores at 7-7. But, after that, it was all about Ulster who led 26-7 at the break, with Johnston kicking three conversions.

Ulster were first out of the blocks from the restart when Johnson got over and this was rapidly followed by Marshall which helped build a 40-7 lead.

Zebre briefly rallied via replacement Nicolo Casilio but then Ulster attacked the scoreboard again. Coetzee claimed his fourth and as the game reached its end quick scores followed from McIlroy and Shanahan.

ULSTER: Michael Lowry; Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, Stewart Moore, Ethan McIlroy; Bill Johnston, Alby Mathewson; Eric O’Sullivan, John Andrew, Marty Moore; Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter (Capt); Greg Jones, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: Gareth Milasinovich for Moore (48 mins), Ian Madigan for Moore and David O’Connor for Alan O’Connor (both 51 mins), Adam McBurney for Andrew, Andrew Warwick for O’Sullivan, David Shanahan for Mathewson (all 55mins), Rob Lyttle for Lowry (61 mins), Sean Reidy for Coetzee (65 mins).

ZEBRE: M Biondelli; P Bruno, G Bisegni (Capt), E Lucchin, G Di Giulio; A Rizzi, Renton; A Lovotti, M Manfredi, E Bello; L Krumov, I Nagle; N Casolari, R Giammarioli, L Masselli.

Replacements: A Tarus for E Bello and A Koffi for Giammarioli (h-t), P Pescetto for Rizzi, N Casilio for Renton, M Ceciliani for Manfredi, R Brugnara for Lovotti (all 49mins), M Kearney for Krumov (58mins).

Referee: B Whitehouse (WRU).

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