RUGBY: Ulster suffer home defeat to Irish rivals Leinster

Sean Reidy scores Ulster's try against Leinster
Sean Reidy scores Ulster's try against Leinster


Ulster suffered their first home defeat in almost a year and apso surrendered second place in the Guinness PRO14 Conference B with this defeat in Belfast on Saturday evening.

Leinster, who had last won at the official opening of the Kingspan Stadium in May 2014, were to again spoil the party, this time the occasion being Rory Best’s 200th appearance.

Trailing 13-10 at the break, Ulster failed to register a point the second half with Luke McGrath coming off the bench to score two tries for the visitors.

Christian Leali’ifano had given Ulster a sixth minute 3-0 lead with a penalty after what was a positive start from the hosts.

But a try from Leinster replacement Joran Larmour, converted by scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park nudged the visitors ahead 7-3.

Ulster rallied and a Sean Reidy try, converted by Leali’ifano put them into a 10-7 lead again.

But two penalties from Gibson-Park gave the Blues a half-time 13-10 lead.

Ulster needed a quick response in the second half, but they turned down a penalty opportunity and from that point it was the visitors who lorded the game.

With Dave Kearney in the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on, Ulster still went further behind.

Replacement Luke McGrath finished off a Sean O’Brien pass after Leinster had turned ball over near halfway.

In the final minute Leinster rubbed salts in the Ulster wounds with McGrath going over for a second and replacement Cathal Marsh adding the simple conversion.

Ulster: C Piutau, T Bowe, L Marshall, S McCloskey, J Stockdale, C Lealiifano, A Cairns, C Black, R Best, R Ah You, A O'Connor, I Henderson (capt), S Reidy, C Henry, J Deysel.

Replacements: R Herring, A Warwick, R Kane, K Treadwell, R Diack, J Stewart, P Nelson, L Ludik.

Leinster: R Kearney, A Byrne, R O'Loughlin, N Reid, D Kearney, R Byrne, J Gibson-Park; J McGrath, J Tracy, T Furlong, D Toner, J Ryan, D Leavy, J Murphy, S O'Brien.

Replacements: R Strauss, C Healy, A Porter, R Molony, J Conan, L McGrath, C Marsh, J Larmour.