Ulster fight back against Tigers to earn quarterfinal spot
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Ulster battled from 13 points behind to earn a 14-13 win against Leicester Tigers on Saturday and earn a Champions Cup quarterfinal spot in the process.
It took 31 minutes for the opening points and it came to Leicester after Ulster were penalised at the breakdown and George Ford booted between the posts to give the home side a narrow lead.
Leicester extended the advantage on half-time as Matt Toomua dotted down after a superb kick behind the Ulster line from George Ford.
The man who created the try then slotted the conversion and drilled another penalty early in the second half to put Leicester 13 points ahead.
That penalty seemed to spark Ulster into life and they got back into the match when Marty Moore was bundled over the tryline after a powerful driving maul. The crucial conversion was made by John Cooney, making it a one-score game.
Minutes later, the turnaround was complete when Billy Burns played another delightful little kick behind the line and Robert Baloucoune was the man to pick up and dive over the try at the posts.
That proved crucial as it allowed John Cooney to pop over the simple conversion and give Ulster a lead that they wouldn’t sacrifice again, despite late Leicester pressure.
For Leicester Tigers:
Con: G Ford
Pens: G Ford 2
Tries: Moore, Baloucoune
Cons: Cooney 2
Leicester Tigers: 15 Jonah Holmes, 14 Jonny May, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 George Ford (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Sione Kalafamoni, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Jake Kerr, 1 Greg Bateman.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Will Evans, 21 Ben White, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Sam Aspland-Robinson.
Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Robert Baloucoune, 13 Will Addison, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Dave Shanahan, 8 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Sean Reidy, 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Eric O’Sullivan.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Andy Warwick, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Alan O’Connor, 20 Nick Timoney, 21 John Cooney, 22 Michael Lowry, 23 Darren Cave.
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant referees: Laurent Cardona (France), Luc Ramos (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)