EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP: Ulster slump to Saracens defeat

Saracens' Chris Wyles scores a try against Ulster.
Saracens' Chris Wyles scores a try against Ulster.

ULSTER 9 SARACENS 27

Saracens scored 22 unanswered second half points to win with a bonus point against Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster had an early opportunity to take the lead when Saracens flanker Michael Rhodes was sin binned for taking Andrew Trimble out in the air but Ruan Pienaar missed the resulting penalty.

Owen Farrell missed a 10th minute penalty from long range.

Ulster eventually made their numerical advantage count when Paddy Jackson opened the scoring with a 15th minute penalty.

The Irish out half increased Ulster’s lead on 21 minutes with a drop goal following a sustained period of pressure.

Jackson landed his second penalty four minutes later when Jacques Burger tackled Nick Williams without using his arms.

Saracens got the game’s opening try with their first sortie into the Ulster 22. From a lineout Farrell threw a long pass to Alex Goode, who drew the last two defenders before putting winger Chris Wyles over in the corner for an unconverted touchdown.

Ulster led 9-5 at the break after Farrell missed another penalty in the closing stages of the first half.

Saracens had No8 Billy Vunipola sin binned on 54 minutes for an illegal tackle on Iain Henderson.

Saracens, though, were able to score two tries.

Goode went over on 59 minutes after he put a kick behind the home defence, Wyles gathered and fed the full to go over and Farrell converted.

Farrell created the third try when he dummied the Ulster defence, advanced into the 22 and put centre Duncan Taylor over.

Farrell nudged the visitors further ahead with a simple penalty in front of the posts on 72 minutes.

Saracens sealed their bonus point in the last 30 seconds, Rory Best was yellowed carded and the visitors kicked to touch. From the lineout Billy Vunipola was driven over and Charlie Hodgson converted.

Teams

Ulster

L Ludik, A Trimble, D Cave, S McCloskey, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar; C Black, R Best, W Herbst, D Tuohy, F van der Merwe; I Henderson, C Henry, N Williams.

Replacements

K McCall for Black 548 mins, R Herring for Williams 66 mins R Lutton for Herbst 70 mins, R Diack for van der Merwe 66 mins, R Wilson, P Marshall for Pienaar 74 mins, I Humphreys for Jackson 70 mins, P Nelson for Ludik 73 mins.

Saracens

A Goode, C Ashton, D Taylor, B Barritt, C Wyles, O Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth, M Vunipola, S Brits, P Du Plessis; G Kruis, M Itoje, M Rhodes, J Burger, B Vunipola.

Replacements

J George for Brits 51 mins, R Gill, J Figallo, A Hargreaves, J Wary for Rhodes 58 mins, N De Kock, C Hodgson for Barrett 76 mins, M Bosch for Taylor 70 mins.

Ref R Poite (France)