Ulster edge Wasps in arm-wrestle

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 18:00
Large ulster v wasps 2017 800

MATCH REPORT: Ulster came from behind to beat Wasps 19-9 on Friday as the European Champions Cup got underway at Belfast's Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster were trailing 3-9 early in the second half but tries from wing Jacob Stockdale and centre Stuart McCloskey lifted the hosts past their English visitors in this Pool One clash.

Former Wasps player Charles Piutau set up Stockdale's score with two minutes later Piutau and Stockdale combining before McCloskey barged over.

On-loan Christian Lealiifano, the Wallaby flyhalf who was diagnosed with leukaemia last year and had a bone marrow transplant, produced two late penalties to deny Wasps a losing bonus point.

Two penalties from Jimmy Gopperth and one from Elliot Daly had put Wasps in front at the break after new arrival John Cooney's penalty for the Irish province, winners of the competition in 1999.

"We're very happy with the result but it's just one game down and there's a long way to go," said Ulster coach Les Kiss.

This was always going to be a tough assignment for two-time European champions Wasps, struggling in the English Premiership, only five days after their 38-19 league mauling by Saracens and with 15 players out injured.

Saracens, kings of Europe for the last two years and top of the English Premiership, make their bow on Sunday away to domestic rivals Northampton.

Saracens not only defended their title last season but also set a new record of 18 European matches in a row unbeaten as they defeated Clermont, the French champions, 28-17 in the Edinburgh Final.

Getting off to a good start will be vital in a pool that includes Clermont - beaten finalists in three of the last five years - and Ospreys.

The scorers:

For Ulster:
Tries: Stockdale, McCloskey
Pens: Cooney, Lealiifano 2

For Wasps: 
Pens: Daley, Gopperth 2

Yellow card: Josh Bassett (Wasps, 75 - foul play, dangerous tackle)

The teams:

Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 John Cooney, 8 Jean Deysel, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Iain Henderson (captain), 4 Kieran Treadwell, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Kyle McCall.
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Callum Black, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Matty Rea, 20 Clive Ross, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Pete Nelson, 23 Tommy Bowe.

Wasps: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Brendan Macken, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Haskell, 5 Will Rowlands, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain) 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Marty Moore, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Jack Willis, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Marcus Watson.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Rhys Thomas (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 23 December 2017
Treviso v Zebre 14h00 Stadio Monigo
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 16h10 BT Murrayfield
Connacht v Ulster 18h35 Sportsground
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 3 3 0 0 15
Ulster 4 2 0 2 13
Wasps 3 1 0 2 6
Harlequins 4 0 0 4 2
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 3 3 0 0 14
Saracens 3 2 0 1 10
Ospreys 3 1 0 2 8
Northampton Saints 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 4 4 0 0 18
Montpellier 4 2 0 2 13
Exeter Chiefs 4 2 0 2 9
Glasgow Warriors 4 0 0 4 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 3 2 1 0 11
Racing Metro 4 2 0 2 11
Castres 4 1 1 2 7
Leicester Tigers 3 1 0 2 6
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Bath 4 3 0 1 13
Toulon 4 3 0 1 13
Scarlets 4 2 0 2 12
Treviso 4 0 0 4 3