A malfunctioning lineout and scrum contributed to a heavy loss against Glasgow and leaves Ulster requiring a big performance against Edinburgh in BT Murrayfield next week.

Rob Herring’s try after eight minutes was Ulster’s only points of the match as the away side fell to a disappointing defeat.

However Ulster started as they did last week and flew out of the blocks. Billy Burns looked to use the ball in behind Stuart McCloskey to Luke Marshall early as they attacked down the wings. They got some joy and two penalties gave Ulster a five metre lineout and with the maul set, Rob Herring spotted a gap and darted over.

The lead didn’t last long as Glasgow responded with a try of their own from a rolling maul with Fraser Brown the scorer. Playing against the wind in the first half, Ulster struggled to get out of their own half and it told on the scoreboard with Adam Hastings adding their second try.

Territorial kicks from Stuart Hogg and Adam Hastings kept Ulster on their toes and the home side within striking distance. Three lost lineouts in the first 25 minutes gave the Scottish side the momentum in this facet and a long range boot from Hastings put eight points between the sides. Despite a bit of territory in the Glasgow half, Ulster were unable to add to their score and it was the home side who were next on the board. Tommy Seymour capitalized on great forward work and dotted down in the corner.

Although Ulster have the wind in the second half, overturning a 13 point deficit at half time proved too tall an order for this side. I’d question Glasgow’s legality at the break down as they seemed to be going off their feet quite often as well as taking players out beyond the ruck. Ulster should have been aware to this and attempted to slow down the Glasgow ball at every opportunity.

The Glasgow train kept rumbling on at the start of the second half. Zander Fagerson got the bonus point try four minutes after the restart. Glasgow showed how good they can be when they’ve momentum at their backs and looked dangerous any time they broke the gain line.

Luke Marshall had a great chance to bring Ulster back into the game however Tommy Seymour managed to get in and disrupt the ball to force the Ulsterman to knock on in the goal area. Inaccuracies put Ulster on the back foot and with 20 minutes left in the match, need to start to force things in order to get back into the game.

With 15 minutes left in the match, Glasgow were comfortable and instead of contesting at the breakdown, spread their defenders out across the pitch and forced Ulster to try and break them down which they found difficult. Rob Lyttle thought he had scored, however a terrific try saving tackle from Seymour once again, dented Ulster’s hopes of a losing bonus point.

Ultimately, it’s extremely difficult to win a professional rugby match with a misfiring set piece. Ulster lost eight of their 21 lineouts, with Jonny Gray able to pick off the away side’s ball at will. Glasgow were also able to grind out penalties at scrum time and often relieved pressure when inside their own 22.

It’s not all doom and gloom however as two of Ulster’s rivals will face each other tomorrow. Scarlets need to beat Edinburgh to keep their hopes of a home quarter final alive as a loss for the Welsh side would mean that they would be unable to catch Ulster. Edinburgh are still seven points behind Ulster so wouldn’t be able to catch them this game week but a Scottish win would set up for a tasty battle next weekend. Benetton will fancy their chances to take second place as they take on a severely weakened Leinster side at the RDS.

6.2 Performance

There weren't too many star performers tonight however I thought Luke Marshall acquitted himself well on his first start back. Yes, he should have scored but he got through a mountain of work in both defence and attack, making 14 tackles and two clean breaks.
Marcell Coetzee carried strongly and was one of the few forwards who was able to generate any go forward ball. He was also useful on the deck, winning a couple of turnovers.
Glasgow's defence was on top for most of the game and restricted Ulster's attack as they only beat 14 defenders in the whole game. Unsurprisingly, Glasgow were accurate with their tackles with a 90% success rate.

  • Eric O'Sullivan 6
  • Rob Herring 6
  • Marty Moore 6
  • Alan O'Connor 6
  • Kieran Treadwell 6
  • Sean Reidy 6
  • Jordi Murphy 5
  • Marcell Coetzee 7
  • John Cooney 6
  • Billy Burns 7
  • Jacob Stockdale 7
  • Stuart McCloskey 8
  • Luke Marshall 7
  • Rob Lyttle 6
  • Michael Lowry 6
  • John Andrew 5
  • Andy Warwick 6
  • Tom O'Toole 6
  • Ian Nagle 6
  • Matty Rea 6
  • Dave Shanahan 6
  • Darren Cave 6
  • Angus Kernohan 7
  • User Ratings (1 Votes) 5