Ulster power to seven-try victory over Dragons

Ulster power to seven-try victory over Dragons

Mike Lowry and David McCann both scored two tries apiece to help Ulster claim a 49-26 bonus-point win over Dragons at Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster made light of former head coach Dan McFarland’s sudden departure from Ravenhill as they ran in seven tries to register a vital and convincing victory.

Will Addison, Harry Sheridan and Nick Timoney also crossed for Ulster, who saw long-serving boss McFarland leave his post last month after three consecutive defeats.

John Cooney converted all seven touchdowns for the hosts while the battling Dragons managed a bonus point of their own after being awarded a late penalty try to go with scores from James Benjamin, Matthew Screech and Brodie Coghlan.

The hosts took the lead after just four minutes, Addison opening the scoring after a grubber from Billy Burns, with Cooney converting well.

The Dragons managed to draw level when Benjamin was pushed over after 11 minutes from a driving maul with Will Reed converting.

But Ulster were back in front six minutes later with their second try, Lowry running in unopposed after Addison and McCann had linked up out on the flank off turnover ball.

Cooney slotted his third conversion on the half hour after Sheridan had battered over from close range to put the Irish province 21-7 ahead.

The bonus-point try came when Lowry scored his second of the match after 32 minutes, yet again Cooney converting and the first half came to a close with Ulster ahead 28-7 and looking in complete charge.

The visitors responded with the first score of the second half, when lock Screech drove through from close range in the 51st minute, although Reed’s conversion hit the post and stayed out.

Ulster hit back five minutes later with the fifth try of the night when McCann touched down with Cooney slotting another excellent touchline conversion.

Once again, the Dragons refused to buckle and came back again with their third try when Coghlan drove over, and this time Reed converted.

Ulster were back on the scoresheet with nine minute remaining Timoney scored in the corner, Cooney again superb with the extras, before McCann ran in for his second touchdown with five minutes to go.

The game ended with a penalty try for the Dragons and a try bonus which also resulted in Timoney being yellow carded.

BKT United Rugby Championship Player of the Match

Jude Postlethwaite had a massively influential game at inside centre and made a significant difference for Ulster in the opening half as they laid the foundations for this vital victory. His powerful running and distribution was at another level in the seven-try win.

Play of the Match

Ulster’s second try was all about countering with ambition and pace. The Dragons coughed up possession on an attack and Ulster spread the ball wide. Will Addison entered the line, weaved through and passed to David McCann out on the flank. He found Michael Lowry who sprinted in to score a dazzling try.

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