Lengthy lay-off for Ulster's big Bok
Sat, 08 Dec 2012 15:14
There was no questioning the aesthetic value of Friday's victory
Unbeaten Ulster have paid a dear price for their impressive 25-6 European Cup win over Northampton Saints on Friday.
The Ulster captain, veteran Springbok Johann Muller, suffered an injury to his right arm in the victory at Franklin's Gardens.
An x-ray on Saturday revealed that he has an undisplaced fracture of his radius.
He is expected to be out for at least eight weeks and will miss the Ravenhill return against the Saints in Round Four and the ties in January against Glasgow Warriors and Castres Olympique.
Ulster made it 13 wins from 13 for the 2012/13 season - and three from three in the European Cup - as a consummate performance saw them outclass Saints in every department.
The Irish province outscored their English rivals by four tries to none and secured an invaluable bonus point.
Mark Anscombe's outfit may have been accused of 'winning ugly' in their last three Pro12 victories - against Zebre, Treviso and the Scarlets.
However, there was no questioning the aesthetic value of Friday's victory, as four beautifully-crafted team scores - and a pitch-perfect defensive display - blew the Saints away, and left Ulster a full six points clear of nearest chasers Castres Olympique at the half-way stage of Pool Four.
The Ulstermen came into the crucial tie bolstered by the return of numerous key figures, with all of the year-end Test absentees well-rested and available to start.
Jared Payne, Paddy Wallace, Tommy Bowe and Ruan Pienaar all reclaimed their starting XV jerseys among the backs, while Tom Court, Rory Best, Dan Tuohy and Chris Henry came in up front.
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