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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 21:45 GMT
Ulster 14-32 Gloucester
Ryan Lamb stretches over to score Gloucester's third try
Man-of-the-match Ryan Lamb scores the third Gloucester try
Ulster (14) 14
Tries: McCullough, Wallace
Cons: Wallace (2)

Gloucester (29) 32
Tries: Vainikolo, Tindall, Lamb, Simpson-Daniel, Balshaw
Cons: Lamb (2)
Pens: Lamb

Gloucester got their Heineken Cup campaign off to a perfect start with an impressive bonus-point victory over Ulster at Ravenhill.

The visitors scored five first-half tries through Lesley Vainikolo, Mike Tindall, Ryan Lamb, James Simpson-Daniel and Iain Balshaw.

Ulster fought back with Matt McCullough and Paddy Wallace tries to leave Gloucester 29-14 ahead at the break.

Lamb's penalty was the only score in a quiet second half.


It was an amazing first half with Gloucester securing their bonus point after just 22 minutes, the second quickest in the competition's history.

The Guinness Premiership leaders were taking on the Magners League basement side and the gulf in class was evident from the start.

The returning Vainikolo touched down in the corner from Lamb's pin-point kick to set Gloucester on their way after seven minutes.

A superb move up the right produced the second try three minutes later, with Tindall collecting from Balshaw's lay-off before sprinting clear to the line.

Vainikolo muscled his way forward in the 17th minute, creating the space which allowed Lamb to jink through to add another five points.

Lamb created the next try five minutes later, intercepting a Wallace pass and surging forward before his pass sent Simpson-Daniel rushing through to score.

Ulster's Roger Wilson is tackled by Nick Wood at Ravenhill
Ulster's Roger Wilson is tackled by Nick Wood at Ravenhill
The fifth Gloucester try after 28 minutes came from a turnover with Balshaw storming away from the chasing Isaac Boss to go over.

Gloucester were simply superb although Lamb missed with three of his conversion attempts.

Ulster hit back two minutes later when McCullough went over for a converted try after a break from Andrew Trimble.

A second Ulster try followed in injury-time with Wallace touching down after a clever dummy and the fly-half converted with the last kick of the half.

Ulster pressed after the break but, unlike the visitors in the first half, failed to convert it into points.

The game became scrappy in the driving rain and most phases ended in errors.

The only points of the half were registered on 68 minutes when Lamb slotted over a penalty.

Former Ireland international David Humphreys came on as a replacement for Rob Dewey but he was unable to inspire an Ulster comeback and Gloucester ran out comfortable winners.

  • Gloucester fly-half Ryan Lamb:
    "We've learnt lessons from last season's Heineken Cup and we came here and showed our experience.

    "You expect a physical contest at Ravenhill and we kept the ball away from their forwards which helped us.

    "It is fantastic to get off to this start but we can't get carried away and we need to see what we can do better."

  • Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan:
    "We've got enormous challenges ahead with the Ospreys coming to Kingsholm next week.

    "Today was a good image of us getting confidence into our game and doing what we wanted to do.

    "I wasn't surprised by the way we played in that opening period and really, I thought we were outstanding."

    Ulster: B Cunningham; T Bowe, A Trimble, R Dewey, M McCrea; P Wallace, I Boss; J Fitzpatrick, R Best (capt), B Young, J Harrison, C Del Fava, M McCullough, N Best, R Wilson.
    Replacements: N Brady, D Fitzpatrick, R Caldwell, K Dawson, K Campbell, D Humphreys, M Bartholomeusz

    Gloucester: Balshaw, Simpson-Daniel, Tindall, Allen, Vainikolo, Lamb, Lawson, Wood, Azam, Nieto, Buxton, Brown, Strokosch, Qera, Narraway
    Replacements: Titterrell, Califano, Bortolami, Delve, Prendergast, Paterson, Morgan

    Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

    Heineken Cup 2007/8
    23 May 07 |  Rugby Union
    Ulster v Gloucester photos
    10 Nov 07 |  Photo Galleries
    Best blames poor start for defeat
    09 Nov 07 |  Rugby Union


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