Ulster see off Zebre at Ravenhill

Jared Payne makes the break to go over for Ulster's first try

Jared Payne makes the break to go over for Ulster's first try

  • by Richard Mulligan

Ulster put their month long Italian job to bed with this deserved win over the visitors at a packed and gale swept Ravenhill stadium.

The conditions dictated the majority of the game with Zebre not really making the best of the gale in the first half.

They had led 6-0 with penalties through outhalf Luciano Orquera and centre, Tommaso Iannone after 15 minutes.

Ulster had a better second quarter with the pack dictating matter and getting on top in the scrum and lineout departments.

But it was a bit of genius from centre Jared Payne which gave Ulster the interval lead.

From a lineout ball was spun out, outhalf James McKinney popped the pass inside to Payne and, having slipped one tackle, he broke two more before going in near the posts. Scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar added the extras for a 7-6 half time lead.

Ulster dominated the second half but were unable to turn much of it into point.

Pienaar kicked penalties on 48 and 72 minutes for a 13-6 advantage.

Zebre enjoyed a little purple patch, just as they had done in the earlier fixture in Parma, but it came to nothing and the Italians were happy to go back to Italy with a losing bonus point for their efforts.

ULSTER: Ricky Andrew; Craig Gilroy, Jared Payne, Paddy Wallace, Michael Allen; James McKinney, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, Niall Annett, Ricky Lutton, Johann Muller (capt), Lewis Stevenson, Mike McComish, Sean Doyle, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Rob Herring (Anneett ), Tom Court (Black ), Adam Macklin (Lutton ), Neil McComb (Stevenson), Conor Joyce (Diack), Michael Heaney (McKinney), Peter Nelson (Gilroy), David McIlwaine (Wallace).

ZEBRE: Gugliemo Palazzani; Leonardo Sarto, Tommaso Iannone, Roberto Quartaroli, Dion Berryman; Luciano Orquera, Alberto Chillon; Andrea De Marchi, Andrea Manici, Dario Chistolini, Quintim Geldenhuys, Marco Bortolami (capt), Filippo Cristiano, Filippo Ferrarini, Nicola Cattina.

Replacements: Tommaso D’Apice, Matia Aguero, Luca Redolfini, Michael Van Vuren, Emiliano Caffini, Brendon Leonard, Andries Van Schalkwyk, Kameli Ratuvou.

Ref: Neil Hennessy

Att: 13,397

News Letter man of the match: Lewis Stevenson




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