Ulster beat Magners Champions Ospreys

Ulster kicked off their Magners League campaign with a narrow 27-26 win over reigning champions Ospreys at Ravenhill.


Richard Fussell marked his debut for the Ospreys with a try and out-half Dan Biggar supplied the rest of their points for a handsome 21-point haul, but dogged Ulster came out on top in this titanic tournament opener.


A fumble by the Ospreys’ stand-in captain Jerry Collins was punished by flanker Stephen Ferris for Ulster’s opening try, and centre Darren Cave added a second for an 18-16 interval lead.


Biggar had sandwiched Fussell’s 29th-minute effort with four successful place kicks and he converted his own try, early in the second half, to give the Welsh region the advantage.


Biggar and his opposite number, Niall O’Connor, traded penalties coming up to the hour mark before the Ulster number 10 landed the match-winning penalty in the 71st minute, handing Brian McLaughlin’s men a morale-boosting opening win.


Final Score Ulster (18) 27 Ospreys (16) 26


Scorers


Ulster
Tries: Ferris, Cave
Con: O’Connor
Pens: O’Connor (5)


Ospreys
Tries: Fussell, Biggar
Con: Bigger (2)
Pens: Bigger (4)


Referee: P Allen (Scotland)


Ulster: D’Arcy, Seymore, Cave, Whitten, McLlwaine, O’Connor, Marshall, Young, Best, Fitzpatrick, Muller, Barker, Ferris, Faloon, Wannenburg.


Replacements: Brady, Court, McAllister, Caldwell, Diack, Porter, Wallace, Shiels.


Ospreys: Owen, Walker, Parker, Bishop, Fussell, Biggar, Nutbrown, Bevington, M. Davies, Griffiths, Gough, Evans, Collins, Holah, Thomas.


Replacements: Bennett, James, D. Jones, Goode, Lewis, Webb, Byrne, Williams.

 

With thanks to Magners League.

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