Ulster beat Harlequins in the snow
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Ulster boosted their bid for a place in the last eight of the European Rugby Champions Cup with a hard earned 17-5 win win over Harlequins in near blizzard conditions at Twickenham Stoop.
Powerful wing Jacob Stockdale was a threat all afternoon and scored the only try of the first half after a break by Man of the Match John Cooney and good build-up work by Sean Reidy.
Scrumhalf Cooney also landed a first half penalty to give the visitors an 8-0 interval lead and added three more after the break to end any chance Harlequins had of progressing in the competition.
The hosts did reduce the deficit after producing their best spell just after the break resulting in England prop Kyle Sinckler plunging over from close range.
Quins were not helped by the early loss of inspirational forward Chris Robshaw after he failed an HIA assessment and his England teammate Danny Care lasted only three minutes of the second half due to concussion.
The sides meet again in Belfast on Friday when Ulster will be seeking a double in a bid to stay ahead of Wasps in the Pool One table after they went down to runaway leaders La Rochelle.
Pens: Cooney 4
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown (captain), 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Alofa Alofa, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Renaldo Bothma, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 George Merrick, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Elia Elia, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Dino Lamb, 20 Archie White, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Winston Stanley, 23 Ross Chisholm.
Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Tommy Bowe, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 John Cooney, 8 Nick Timoney, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Iain Henderson (captain), 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Alan O'Connor, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Andy Warwick, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Matty Rea, 20 Chris Henry, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Peter Nelson, 23 Louis Ludik.
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: Maxime Chalon (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Éric Gauzins (France)