Jackson boots Ulster to opening win
Jackson boots Ulster to opening winSHARE
There were opening round European Cup victories for Ulster, Saracens and Toulouse on Friday.
Ulster defeated Leicester Tigers 22-16 in a fiercely-contested game at Ravenhill, while Saracens overcame Connacht 23-17 at The Sportsground, and Toulouse ran in five tries in a 38-5 success against Zebre.
Ulster kicked off their European Cup campaign with a hard-fought win over Leicester Tigers.
Logovii Mulipola crashed over inside six minutes at a sold-out Ravenhill but Ulster battled back.
Tommy Bowe hit back and Paddy Jackson booted Ulster out of reach as the hosts took control of the second-half.
The victory sees Ulster climb straight to the top of Pool Five, while the English champions were able to pick up a losing bonus-point.
Ulster almost scored inside two minutes as the encounter began at a ferocious pace. After a sublime counterattack, the ball was spread wide but Bowe was unable to find Darren Cave.
And within minutes Leicester went in front. A Toby Flood break laid the foundations and Dan Bowden found Mulipola with a sublime pass.
Flood converted but Ulster battled back and levelled the scores after Bowe leapt about Niall Morris to collect Paddy Jackson's cross-kick with the fly-half converting.
Flood responded once more but Jackson nailed a pair of penalties to hand the hosts a 13-10 half-time lead.
Within three minutes of the restart Jackson intercepted Tom Young's pass and raced the length of the pitch but Romain Poite adjudged the fly-half to be offside and called play back.
Flood drew level and Ulster were denied once more when they had a try ruled out on 48 minutes.
Luke Marshall released Payne superbly and he sent Cave over but the penultimate pass was ruled forward by the TMO
But Ulster took control of the encounter and Jackson booted the hosts out of reach.
Toby Flood missed a penalty on his own and Owen Williams struck the uprights with a drop-goal but the Welsh flyhalf salvaged a losing bonus-point at the death.
* Meanwhile Toulouse began their quest for a fifth European Cup crown with a 38-5 bonus-point win over Zebre in Pool Three.
Europe's most successful side picked up maximum points at the Stade Ernest Wallon as they crossed for six tries in a straightforward start to their latest continental challenge.
* Saracens also got their European cup campaign off to a solid start after a hard earned 23-17 away win in France against Connacht.
The win came compliments of two-second half penalties from England fly half Owen Farrell.
All Friday's scores and scorers!
Connacht 17-23 Saracens
Tries: Marmion, Poolman
Cons: Parks 2
Tries: Wyles, Ashton
Cons: Farrell 2
Pens: Farrell 3
Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Fionn Carr, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 James So'oialo, 11 Danie Poolman, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Jake Heenan, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Craig Clarke, 4 Michael Swift (captain), 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Sean Henry, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Peter Reilly, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Andrew Brown, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 12 Joel Tomkins, 12 Chris Wyles, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Britz, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 James Johnston, 19 Alastair Hargreaves, 20 Ernst Joubert, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Michael Tagicakibau.
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant referees: Alexandre Ruiz (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Daniel Irazoqui (France)
Ulster v Leicester Tigers
Pens: Jackson 5
For Leicester Tigers:
Pens: Flood 2, Williams
Yellow card: Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers, 58)
Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Roger Wilson, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (captain), 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Stuart Olding, 23 Michael Allen.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Niall Morris, 14 Miles Benjamin, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Ed Slater, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mele, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Terrence Hepetema.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos (France) ,Stéphane Boyer (France)
TMO: Bernard Dal Maso (France)
Toulouse 38-5 Zebre
Tries: Huget 2, Lamboley, Medard 2, Nyanga
Cons: Bezy 3, Barraque
Stade Toulousain: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yann David, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 9 Sebastien Bezy, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Yannick Nyanga (captain), 6 Gregory Lamboley, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Yohan Montes, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Louis Picamoles , 20 Patricio Albacete, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Hosea Gear, 23 Thierry Dusautoir,
Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Dion Berryman, 10 Tommaso Iannone, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samu Vunisa, 7 Dries van Schalkwyk, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 Marco Bortolami (captain), 4 Mike Van Vuuren, 3 Carlo Fazzari, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Roberto Quartaroli.
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Martin Fox (England), Stuart Terheege (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)