Jackson drops valiant Chiefs

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 20:13
Large paddy jackson ulster drop goal 800

REPORT: Paddy Jackson's 77th-minute drop goal capped a thrilling finish as Ulster edged out Exeter Chiefs 19-18 in a tense European Champions Cup Pool Five clash at the Kingspan Stadium.

The boot of flyhalf Gareth Steenson looked to have given the visitors the spoils when he added to his five penalties by landing his own drop goal with four minutes remaining.

But Ulster, who scored the only try of the game through flank Sean Reidy, got back up off the canvas for Jackson - who ended with 14 points - to land the knock-out punch and boost their qualification hopes after defeat in Bordeaux in Round One.

The two flyhalves traded penalties during the early going, with Steenson kicking two to Jackson's one to give the Chiefs a 6-3 lead.

It was an advantage they held onto during an extended spell of Ulster pressure when a try had appeared certain to arrive. Time and again the Irish province set up a purposeful driving maul close to the try-line, and time and again it was repelled.

The Chiefs had to infringe to keep their line intact but were able to lift the siege by driving the Ulster pack into touch and clearing their lines. But there was nothing to do to stop Charles Piutau, who ended their European adventure last season, from creating the only try of the game.

The New Zealand international, who scored a late try for Wasps to eliminate Exeter at the quarter-finals stages of last year's competition, popped up in midfield to weave his way past three tacklers and race into the 22.

The wing released the ball and Reidy was on hand to scoop the ball up and beat Steenson's attempted tackle to dot down. Jackson added the conversion and slotted a penalty early in the second half to give the hosts a seven-point advantage.

But the Chiefs were not done and quickly responded with two Steenson penalties, the second of which came after a brilliant take and surge up field from wing Olly Woodburn.

Jackson and Steenson again exchanged penalties and the Exeter man looked to have won it with his drop goal, only for Jackson to hold his nerve and reply almost immediately.

Steenson had one last chance to win it but his attempt at another drop goal just faded wide of the uprights as Ulster held on.

Scorers:

For Ulster:
Try: Reidy
Con: Jackson
Pens: Jackson 3
DG: Jackson

For Exeter Chiefs:
Pens: Steenson 5
DG: Steenson

Teams:

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble (captain), 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Pete Browne, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Rory Best, 1 Kyle McCall.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Andrew Warwick, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Alan O’Connor, 20 Clive Ross, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Craig Gilroy, 23 Tommy Bowe.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Henry Slade, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson (captain), 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Kai Horstmann, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Moray Low.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Dave Dennis, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Ollie Devoto.

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant referees: Thomas Charabas (France), Cédric Clavé (France)
TMO: Eric Briquet Campin (France)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
Cardiff Blues v Munster 17h15 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cheetahs v Bulls 17h30 Bloemfontein
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 5 0 1 24
Glasgow Warriors 6 4 0 2 19
Leicester Tigers 6 2 0 4 8
Racing Metro 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 1 1 22
Toulouse 6 3 2 1 18
Connacht 6 4 0 2 18
Zebre 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 1 0 24
Toulon 6 3 0 3 16
Scarlets 6 2 1 3 11
Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 4
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 23
Montpellier 6 3 0 3 16
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 26
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 14
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 0 4 12
Ulster 6 2 0 4 10