2016-17 Friendly

Friendly: Exeter Chiefs 25 Ulster 19 (With Video)

Ulster men had another hit out over the weekend, this time away to Exeter Chiefs who they’ll be facing twice more this season in the European Cup. Unfortunately it was another loss for Ulster with the host’s prevailing by four tries to three. 

Exeter’s tries came through through Don Armand, Will Chudley, Damian Welch and a Penalty Try with Ulster responding through a first half touchdown from Jacob Stockdale and a late brace from Robert Lyttle (pictured above). 

I was away covering Ulster Women’s win against Connacht so haven’t seen this one, suffice to say that Ulster Rugby have it written up as a useful run out and Exeter Chiefs are claiming a convincing one sided win. 🙂 🙂 

Either way it doesn’t really matter, you either trust that Kiss knows what he’s doing or you don’t; but I will say I remember pre-season losses to Bath and Leicester in similar circumstances before we double humped both of them in Europe, so no real worries yet! 

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The fact that Lyttle and Stockdale got on the score sheet does emphasize, once again, what an embarrassment of riches we have in our back five and it does make you question the overall value of Piutou, fantastic player that he is. Half a million spent on an aul growler up front may have been a better option, but hey, the season starts in a couple of weeks and what’s done is done so I won’t mention it again! 

Plenty of experimentation from Kiss over the last couple of weeks. I suspect we’ll see something closer to our first choice starting XV next week against Northampton – there could be a few surprises! 

Ulster: Charles Piutau, Louis Ludik, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Brett Herron, Ruan Pienaar, Callum Black, Rob Herring, Rodney Ah You, Pete Browne, Franco van der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Clive Ross, Roger Wilson. Replacements used: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Andrew Warwick, Jonny Simpson, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, Stephen Mulholland, Paul Marshall, Johnny McPhillips, Sam Windsor, Mark Best, David Busby, Robert Lyttle.