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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 20:34 GMT 21:34 UK
Ulster slay the Dragons
Ulster (13) 37
Tries: Ward, McWhirter, Constable, Howe
Pens: Larkin 3
Cons: Larkin 4
Dragons (6) 18
Tries Arasa, Baber
Cons: Warlow
Pens: Warlow
Dg: Warlow
Att: 6,000
Ulster 37-13 Dragons

An energetic second half saw Ulster surge to victory over the Dragons and take a bonus point in a low-key Celtic League tie at Ravenhill on Friday night.

A first half try by Andy Ward was followed by three more Ulster touchdowns by Tony McWhirter, Ryan Constable and Tyrone Howe.

Man of the Match Adam Larkin kicked 17 points for the home side while the Dragons responded with tries by Gerald Arasa and Gareth Baber with fly-half Craig Warlow adding eight points with the boot.

It was very scrappy stuff in the first period with Ulster's lineout misfiring and the Dragons finding difficulty holding on to the ball.

The Dragons pack, however, looked the more impressive with their rolling mauls causing Ulster plenty of trouble.

Midway through the half, Ulster had a 6-3 advantage with Larkin knocking over a couple of penalties to offset the opening shot at goal from Warlow.

Ulster finally got the large crowd involved in the 28th with an excellent try instigated in their own '22' by winger Scott Young.

The ball was kept alive by good Ulster support and after Ryan Constable, Howe, Shane Stewart and Kieran Campbell had made ground, it was skipper Ward who touched down for his third try in as many games.

The Dragons, however, came back into the game as errors became the order of the day with Warlow taking advantage of unexpected possession to drop an easy goal.

Ulster wing Scott Young hangs on to possession
Ulster wing Scott Young set up his side's opening try

Ulster shrugged aside their first-half lethargy to push forward their advantage at the start of the second period.

Larkin banged over his third penalty before a superb break by replacement hooker Paul Shields was carried on by Roger Wilson with Campbell giving Tony McWhirter the scoring pass to go in at the posts.

Fly-half Larkin again added the extra posts to put Ulster 23-6 ahead.

Ulster looked to be coasting, but they allowed the Dragons to come right back when they failed to clear their lines and some fluent handling allowed right wing Gerald Arasa to run in with Warlow converting.

The home team responded in the 57th minute when a Dragons clearance kick was brilliantly fielded by Larkin who sprinted clear to give Constable the scoring pass.

Once again the Dragons fought back, but despite camping on the Ulster line for all of 10 minutes and with prop Bryan Young yellow carded, they left unrewarded.

To rub salt into the wounds, Ulster barnstormed down the field for Howe to steal in for a fourth try and a bonus point.

Dragons, though, were not finished and replacement Gareth Baber picked up a loose ball to score after a James Ringer dart to the line had been stopped short.

Ulster: B Cunningham; Young, Constable, Stewart, Howe; Larkin, Campbell; McCormack, Sexton, Young, Mustchin, Frost, McWhirter, Ward (capt), Wilson.
Replacements: P Shields for Sexton (40), S Shawe, M McCullough for Frost (52), N Best for McWhirter (79), R Spee for Campbell (76), E Mallon for Stewart (70).

Dragons: B Breeze; G Arasa, N Brew, A Marinos (capt), K James; C Warlow, R Jones; A Black, S Jones, C Anthony, I Gough, P Sidoli, R Oakley, J Forster, S Van Rensburg.
Replacements: D Pattison for Black (40), J Ringer for Oakley (36), S Winn for Marinos (11), B Hayward, G Baber for Jones (76).

Referee: Andrew Ireland (SRU).

Ulster coach Alan Solomons
"I am pleased we got a full house of points"



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