Ulster end Montpellier’s home record

Ulster secured a crucial away 8-25 victory over Montpellier at Stade Yves-du-Manoir in Montpellier in the Heineken Cup on Saturday.

Ulster picked up their greatest win on the road in the Heineken Cup as they
made it back-to-back wins on French soil in the Pool stages with a comprehensive
triumph over last season’s quarter-finalists.

Having opened their Pool 5 account with a useful away win over Benetton Treviso
the home side, level on points at the top of the Top 14 with Toulon and Toulouse
and unbeaten at home this season, looked to be ready to test Ulster’s ability
to back up their home win over Leicester Tigers.

But the collective boots of Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pienaar, the latter from
siege gun range, steered the Ulstermen to a victory that not only put them two
points clear of the Tigers at the top of the Pool at the end of two rounds,
but denied Montpellier a point at their own Yves du Manoir stadium.

But while Jackson and Pienaar plundered 20 points between them it was the first
half try from Andrew Trimble that stole the show. A brilliant counter attacking
score involving four back line players that started on their own 10 metres line
and ended with a score to remember for the Irish wing.

Jonathan Pelisse gave the home side an encouraging early lead with a penalty,
but that was much less than their early endeavour should have brought. Ulster
rode the expected early storm and came thundering back into the contest with
Trimble’s try.

A long kick down field was gathered on his 10 metre line by Jarad Payne. His
long pass opened up an avenue on the left touchline and Trimble took a pass
from Darren Cave on the outside, passed inside to Tommy Bowe and then took a
return pass from his wing partner before cutting inside to score a try which
Jackson converted.

There were three missed penalties from Ulster, and a wayward drop goal attempt
from home outside half Francois Trihn Duc before half-time and the game was
evenly balance at 3-7 at the break.

Pienaar then opened the second half with a long range penalty before TMO Gareth
Simmonds confirmed there hadn’t been a knock-on in a build-up to a breakaway
try for wing Yoan Audrin. The score cut the gap to two points, but the conversion
attempt failed to level the scores.

That could have been the springboard for a major revival from the Montpellier
side, but they were never able to get on top of the dogged Ulster pack. They
bombed one glorious try scoring opportunity, but generally made far too many
mistakes for their own good.

All the while Pienaar made them pay as he kicked three penalties to stretch
the visitors’ lead to 22-8 before Jackson added the coup de gras with a sixth
penalty with the final kick of the game to leave his side in very good shape
after two rounds.

Ireland wing Tommy Bowe said that it was a result they would treasure.

“This is an amazing result for us,” said the 29-year-old former Ospreys
star.

Final Score Montpellier 8 (3) Ulster 25 (7)

Scorers

Montpellier
Tries – Audrin
Pen – Pelissie
Con –
Drop –

Ulster
Tries – Trimble
Pen – Pienaar (5), Jackson
Con -Jackson
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee
: Leighton Hodges (Wales),
Assistant ref: Jonathan Mason (Wales),
Assistant ref: Chris Williams (Wales),
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales),
Citing Commissioner: Mike Rafter (England)

Teams

Montpellier: Anthony Floch; Timoci Nagusa, Anthony Tuitavke, Wynand Olivier, Yoan Audrin; Francois Trinh-Duc, Jonathan Pelissie; Yvan Watremez, Mickael Ivaldi, Maximiliano Bustos, Jim Hamilton, Th

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