Rugby

Ulster Lose At The Death In A Manic Match Versus Gloucester

Ulster Lose At The Death In A Manic Match Versus Gloucester

In a game which saw momentum swing akin to a pendulum, Ulster lost their Champions Cup tie against Gloucester in the very last minute.

The English side finished the match as they started, exerting pressure on the Ulster defence and ultimately leading them over the line.

However, the formula for George Barton's late show wasn't the same as their free-flowing start. Barton's try at the death was the result of phase play and line pressure from the Premiership side, pressure which was a factor in the side receiving two penalty tries throughout the match.

At the start, however, Louis-Rees Zammit's opening try was a showcase of champagne rugby.

Ulster responded almost immediately through former Gloucester man Billy Burns, who's sumptuous line break led him to the try.

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The game was earmarked by both teams being unable to gain a foothold and take command. Rather, it was more akin to a basketball match, with each side going on runs in search of the win.

Gloucester scored another try and knocked over a penalty to make it 17-7. Ulster's first retort came through the boot of John Cooney through a penalty.

Cooney had another opportunity to add three points to Ulster's total, but in his attempt to wind down the clock, the wind knocked the ball off the tee and the chance went by the wayside.

The second half saw Gloucester immediately score a try, which was kick that Ulster needed.

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Interestingly, the conversion from Gloucester's Lloyd Evans took a few detours before going over the bar.

Ulster then sparked into life, scoring three converted tries to put themselves in command of the game.

The highlight of the run was undoubtedly Cooney's try. The scrum half more than made amends for his error, spotting a gap on the blindside of the Gloucester defence to race home for the try.

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Then, it was Gloucester's turn to come back.

A penalty try from an Ethan McIlroy deliberate knock-on not only led to seven points, but McIlroy was sent to the sin bin for his actions.

Gloucester's intent was crystallised by a hit on Jacob Stockdale from Lewis Ludlow, which set the wheels in motion for a final salvo.

The pressure ramped up, and with Gloucester camped on Ulster's line, George Barton fell over to give Gloucester the win.

With two losses from their first two matches, it's looking increasingly unlikely that Ulster won't qualify for the knockout stage.

Sean Meehan

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