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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November, 2003, 21:29 GMT
Ulster blitz the Borders
Andy Ward scored two of Ulster's tries
Ulster: 46
Tries: Cunningham, Constable 2, Ward 2, Shields
Pens: Wallace 2
Cons: Wallace 5
Borders: 5
Try: Walker
Ulster 46-5 Borders

Ulster blitzed the Borders to stretch their lead at the top of the Celtic League on Friday night at a rain-soaked Ravenhill.

Alan Solomons' side chalked up their bonus point by half-time with Ryan Constable grabbing a brace of tries and Andy Ward and Bryn Cunningham also touching down.

Ward grabbed a second try after the interval with Paul Shields also touching down while Paddy Wallace kicked 16 points.

Ulster went into the game with their third-choice fly-half after David Humphreys and his replacement Adam Larkin were late withdrawals leaving Wallace to deputise with a commanding performance.

It was Wallace who engineered his side into a first quarter lead with a brace of penalties and adding the points to a well-executed try by Cunningham after Ryan Constable had scythed through the Borders defence.

Ulster rarely relinquished their superiority as they outscrummed their opponents, and despite wet conditions tossed the ball about in the threequarters.

The home side went further ahead in the 26th minute when the very impressive Steinmetz jinked inside to set up Constable for try number two.

Tyrone Howe was just bundled into touch at the corner flag a minute later, but a neat flick by scrum-half Neil Doak in the 32nd minute set up skipper Ward as Ulster's dominance became a little embarrassing.

Roger Wilson helped Ulster claim a comprehensive victory
Roger Wilson bursts through a couple of weak tackles

On the stroke of half-time Ulster logged their bonus point when Constable grabbed his second try after Borders full-back Tanner Vili made a mess of a chip through by Steinmetz.

The Borders stopped the flow on the resumption, but they still lacked any real penetration despite playing with the strong wind at their tails.

Ulster were still dangerous and James Topping and Ward both dropped balls when a try looked certain.

However, Ward made up for his lapse when he sprinted clear to the line after Wallace had opened up the Borders defence.

Ulster again started to dominate, but they allowed chances to go abegging.

Border finally got on the scoresheet when right wing Nikki Walker broke from the half-way line to sprint in at the corner in the 74th minute.

However, Ulster ended they way they had started with Shields charging over in the last move of the game with Wallace landing his seventh kick out of eight.

Ulster: B Cunningham, J Topping, R Constable, P Steinmetz, T Howe, P Wallace, N Doak; S Best, M Sexton, R Moore, M Mustchin, R Frost, A Ward, N Best, R Wilson.
Replacements: P Shields for Sexton (40), R Kempson for Moore (45), G Longwell for Mustchin (45), T McWhirter for Best (71), S Stewart for Constable (49), S Young for Steinmetz (71).

Borders: Tanner Vili; Nikki Walker, Gareth Morton, Kevin Utterson (capt), Cammie Murray; Clark Laidlaw; Chris Cusiter; Kelvin Todd, Ross Ford, Bruce Douglas, Scott MacLeod, Colin Stewart, Andy Rennick, Campbell Feather, Semo Sititi.
Replacements: Matthew Landels for Ford (70), Geoff Cross for Todd (73), Doddie Weir for Stewart (52), Dan Kane for , Iain Fairley for Cusiter (70), Jono Stuart for Laidlaw (71), Craig Moir for Murray (45).

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU).



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