Ulster thump Dragons with impressive seven-try display

Michael Lowry and David McCann both claim braces in URC clash with Cooney kicking all conversions

URC: Ulster 49 Dragons 26

Just what Ulster needed really to calm some of the turbulence enveloping the province by delivering a thumping result over the lowly Dragons.

Dan McFarland’s sudden exit was met on the field with a seven-try display, Michael Lowry and David McCann both claiming braces while John Cooney kicked all seven conversions.

At times Ulster, under Dan Soper for this game before Richie Murphy’s arrival, looked liberated and oozing confidence – Jude Postlethwaite having a strong game – and lifted themselves to fifth in the URC table though they did surrender a try bonus to their opponents.


Ulster needed a bright start and got one after just four minutes, Will Addison getting to Billy Burns’ low kick through. John Cooney added an excellent conversion.

However, the Dragons came back seven minutes later when James Benjamin got over from a maul, Will Reed tying it all up with his conversion.

Six minutes later Ulster were over again, Michael Lowry – playing on the wing instead of Jacob Stockdale – running in after the home team countered off turnover ball with Addison and David McCann linking well. Cooney added the extras.

Ulster claimed their third try on 30 minutes when Harry Sheridan muscled over, Cooney again converting to make it 21-7.

Lowry claimed the bonus point four minutes later off an assist from the impressive Jude Postlethwaite with Cooney adding his fourth conversion.

Now leading 28-7 Ulster looked comfortable as the half ended without further addition to the score.

The first score of the new half arrived on 51 minutes when lock Matthew Screech drove through from close range though Reed’s conversion hit the post and stayed out.

Ulster then scored try number five on 56 minutes when McCann touched down with Cooney also delivering a conversion from the touchline.

But the Dragons came back again to score their third try when Brodie Coghlan drove over, and this time Reed added the two points.

Ulster then racked up try number six on 71 minutes, Nick Timoney scoring in the corner and Cooney slotted his sixth conversion with another superb kick.

It was no surprise when Ulster came back for another, McCann running in for his second touchdown with five minutes to go with Cooney taking his tally to 14 points from the tee.

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

Ulster tries: Lowry 2, McCann 2, Addison, Sheridan, Timoney. Cons: Cooney 7

Dragons tries: Benjamin, Screech, Coghlan, pen try. Cons: Reed 2

Ulster: W Addison, E McIlroy, J Hume (capt), J Postlethwaite, M Lowry, B Burns, J Cooney, S Kitshoff, T Stewart, T O’Toole, C Izuchukwu, H Sheridan, D McCann, Marcus Rea, N Timoney.

Replacements: J Andrew for Stewart 66mins, A Warwick for Kitshoff 53mins, S Wilson for O’Toole 66mins, K Treadwell for Izuchukwu 53mins, S Reffell for Rea 53mins, N Doak for Burns 52mins, L Marshall for 66mins, J Stockdale for Addison 53mins.

Yellow card: Timoney 79 mins.

Dragons RFC: E Rosser, J Westwood, S Hughes (capt), A Owen, C Baldwin, W Reed, D Blacker, R Martinez, J Benjamin, C Coleman, S Lonsdale, M Screech, D Lydiate, H Taylor, T Basham.

Replacements: B Coghlan for Benjamin 58mins, A Seiuli for Martinez 53mins, L Yendle for Coleman 53mins, B Langton-Cryer for Taylor 19mins, G Nott for Langton-Taylor 65mins, G Bertranou for Blacker 53mins, H Ackerman for Owen 48mins, H Anderson for mins.

Referee: I Kenny (SRU).