A sparkling performance from John Cooney saw Ulster extend their lead at the top of Champions Cup Pool 3 with the scrumhalf picking up 2 tries, 3 conversions and a penalty in the convincing 10 – 34 win at The Stoop.
Cooney scored all Ulster’s points in the first half, his try conversion and penalty giving the visitors a 3 – 10 lead. Luke Marshall, Matt Faddes and Tom O’Toole all crossed in the second half with Cooney adding another try and 2 conversions.
Harlequins (3) 10
TRY: Stephan Lewies
CON: James Lang
PEN: James Lang
Ulster (10) 34
TRY: John Cooney (2), Luke Marshall, Matt Faddes, Tom O’Toole
CON: John Cooney (3)
PEN: John Cooney
Ulster were first on the scoreboard with a Cooney penalty on the 7th minute as Harlequins conceded a series of penalties in the early exchanges in a scrappy enough first quarter.
The home teams problems continued as they lost, former Ulster player, Brett Herron and flanker Will Evans mid way through the half but they did pull the score back to 3 – 3 with James Laing knocking over a penalty in the 35th minute after an infringement from Marcell Coetzee.
A fairly dour half came finally came to life in the closing minutes as Billy Burns cut loose from deep for the move to be taken on by Jacob Stockdale and Faddes before Cooney popped up to dot down. The Ulster scrum half added the extras to give Ulster a 3 – 10 lead at half time.
Ulster took command of the game in the third quarter with Marshall getting on the end of a Stuart McCloskey chip for their second try, converted by Cooney, on the 47th minute and Cooney added his second on the hour mark kicking through a loose ball to collect, dot down, and convert to rattle the scoreboard along to 3 – 24.
Quins replier almost immediately with Stephan Lewies going over from close range after Ulster filed to clear the restart. Laing converted but it was only a temporary blip in the Ulster procession as Faddes caused Quins’ to rue an overthrown lineout with Ulster’s try bonus score and O’Toole bundled over from close range with the last play to give a final score of Harlequins 10 Ulster 34.
HARLEQUINS: Ross Chisholm, Vereniki Goneva, James Lang, Francis Saili, Cadan Murley, Brett Herron, Martin Landajo, Santiago Garcia Botta, Elia Elia, Kyle Sinckler, Stephan Lewies, Tevita Cavubati, William Evans, Semi Kunatani, Alex Dombrandt. Replacements: Jack Musk, Nick Auterac, Simon Kerrod, Dino Lamb, James Chisholm, Niall Saunders, Paul Lasike, Travis Ismaiel.
ULSTER: Jacob Stockdale, Matt Faddes, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Louis Ludik, Billy Burns, John Cooney, Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Kieran Treadwell, Iain Henderson, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee. Replacements: Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Matthew Rea, Dave Shanahan, Bill Johnston, Craig Gilroy