Doak considers red card appeal as Ulster claim massive away win in Edinburgh

Stuart McCloskey of Ulster is sent off
Stuart McCloskey of Ulster is sent off

Ulster will consider appealing the red card issued to centre Stuart McCloskey during Friday night’s spirited Guinness PRO12 win in Edinburgh.

McCloskey was sent off in the 58th minute when he completely turned Hamish Watson over at a ruck – an act deemed dangerous by referee Leighton Hodges who brandished the red card after consulting with the TMO.

Ulster head coach, Neil Doak, said the management team would review the video themselves.

He added: “We may appeal it, we just have to take a look at it, have a chat and see what our final thoughts are.

“Obviously when you lift a player’s leg you are in the lap of the gods and referees. Ultimately the referee makes the decision and he felt it was a red card.”

The incident, plus the harsh sin-binning of lock Franco van der Merwe six minutes from the end, could not deny Ulster a remarkable 20-17 victory against the odds.

Ruan Pienaar converted his own try after 13 minutes to give Ulster a 7-5 lead after Edinburgh’s Phil Burleigh had crossed.

Ulster then trailed 14-10 at the break after Tom Heathcote kicked two penalties with Pienaar adding one before a Darren Cave try, again converted by Pienaar gave them a 20-14 lead.

Down to 14 men, and then 13, Ulster produced a remarkable defensive display with Heathcote landing one penalty on a night when he missed six in total to ensure a losing bonus point from a game they really should have won.

“Sometimes you have to win ugly and that is what we did. Our poor discipline almost killed us once again, but the character the boys showed at the end was outstanding,” Doak added.