PRO12: Ulster leave it late to snatch dramatic victory over Dragons

Ulster's Sean Reidy scores a try against the Dragons
Ulster's Sean Reidy scores a try against the Dragons

Ulster 17 Dragons 15

Ulster survived a huge scare against the Dragons at Kingspan Stadium before Paddy Jackson’s 79th-minute penalty gave Les Kiss’ side a victory which sent them top of the Pro 12 table.

The Dragons took the lead after four minutes when Ulster were punished at a scrum under their own posts and out half Angus O’Brien knocked over the easy penalty.

The Dragons extended their lead on 16 minutes with a try that started in the own 22, Ulster lost the ball allowing winger Ashton Hewitt to break out of defence, he carried deep into Ulster’s half, the Welsh side switched the attack to the opposite wing before full back Carl Meyer put a kick in behind the home defence for centre Adam Hughes to race onto and score and O’Brien converted.

Ulster hit back on 26 minutes when flanker Sean Reidy barged over for his third try in three games and Ian Humphreys converted from a tight angle.

Humphreys had a try disallowed three minutes later and O’Brien missed a drop goal in first half injury time.

The Dragons got their second try on 48 minutes when after a series of phases Meyer went over for an unconverted try.

Ulster got back in the game four minutes later when they were awarded a penalty try when the Dragons pulled down a driving maul and Paddy Jackson converted.

The Dragons had lock Matthew Screech and flanker Ben White yellowed carded inn a three-minute spell.

Ulster had a second try disallowed when Roger Wilson crossed but it was called back for Stuart McCloskey knock on.

Jackson hit the bar with a long range penalty before winning it with 90 seconds remaining with another long range effort.

Ulster: L Ludik, C Gilroy, D Cave, S Olding, J Stockdale; I Humphreys, R Pienaar, C Black, R Herring, R Lutton; A O’Connor, P Browne; R Diack, S Reidy, R Wilson

Replacements: J Andrew, K McCall for Black 49 mins, B Ross for Lutton 70 mins, C Ross for Reidy 53 mins, N Williams for Diack 43 mins, P Marshall, P Jackson for Humphreys 41 mins, S McCloskey for Ludik 41 mins

Dragons: C Meyer, A Hewitt, A Hughes, A Warren, H Amos, A O’Brien, C Davies, P Price, E Dee, B Harris, M Screech, R Landman (c), B White, N Cudd, E Jackson.

Replacements: R Buckley, B Stankovich, S Knight, C Hill for White 67 mins, J Benjamin for Jackson 34 mins, S Pretorius, G R Jones, N Scott

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)