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Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Swansea hammer Ulster
Ulster's Neil McMillan is tackled by Swansea's Shaun Payne (left) and Dean Thomas
Ulster struggled after their early success at St Helen's
Celtic League - Pool A
Swansea 38-10 Ulster

Swansea produced a tremendous performance to thump Ulster in this Celtic League clash at St Helen's.

The visitors had the better of the opening quarter but thereafter Swansea completely dominated to register their first win in three Celtic League outings.

Amazingly, Ulster's final score of the match came in the 22nd minute when a David Humphreys penalty put the Irish province 10-3 ahead.

  Scoring details:
Swansea (21) 38:
K Morgan, Robinson, Gibbs, Payne.
Cons: A Thomas 3.
Pens: A Thomas 4.
Ulster (10) 10:
Con: Humphreys.
Pen: Humphreys.
Att: 2,500

However, from that point onwards Welsh international Arwel Thomas dominated the battle of the fly-halves.

Thomas cleverly exploited Swansea's forward superiority to put Ulster on the backfoot with some delightful kicks.

Swansea's bossing of the second half was in marked contrast to the early stages of the match, when the visitors looked the busier outfit.

Humphreys seemed set to score a try for Ulster in the sixth minute after a superb break, only for Sam Cordinley to avert the danger with a superb ankle tap.

Thomas hit the opening score of the match with a 13th minute penalty, but two minutes later Tyrone Howe notched a superb Ulster try after breaking through three tackles.

The conversion and a further Humphreys penalty left Ulster 10-3 ahead after 22 minutes but that proved to be the Irish side's final score.

Ulster centre Jonathan Bell
Jonathan Bell was one of a number of injuries

A superb Thomas penalty from half-way cut Ulster's lead to four points after 32 minutes and a minute later Swansea charged into the lead thanks to a Scott Gibbs try.

The former Lions star broke through some weak Ulster tackling to score the 70th try of his Swansea career.

Gibbs' score seemed to inspire the home team.

Six minutes later, Swansea full-back Kevin Morgan scored a magnificent individual try to increase his side's advantage.

Morgan took a clever reverse pass from Cordingley in his own '22 and then won the race to the Ulster line after his own chip and charge.

Thomas' conversion and a further penalty from the fly-half left Swansea 21-10 ahead at the interval.

Ulster fortunes were helped by the loss of flanker Russell Nelson in the closing stages of the first half through injury.

The visitors needed to make a fast start to the second half but it was Swansea who were on the scoreboard again, with Thomas slotting a penalty in the 43rd minute.

Swansea then suffered a blow when outstanding full-back Morgan had to be stretchered off with what appeared to be a leg injury.

Swansea wing Matthew Robinson
Matthew Robinson finished off a superb breakaway

But Ulster were having troubles of their own on the injury front with David Humphreys having to go off after being late tackled in the 55th minute.

In the final quarter, Ulster also lost captain Jonny Bell, Warren Brosnihan and Jeremy Davidson to injuries and the closing stages saw winger Howe being forced to operate as a flanker.

Predictably, Swansea showed the hapless visitors no mercy.

A superb solo try from winger Matthew Robinson in the 62nd minute who ran 80 yards, ended the match as a contest with Thomas' conversion leaving Swansea 31-10 ahead.

In injury-time, Shaun Payne exploited some more poor Ulster defending to register another Swansea try, which ensured a bonus point for the home side.

In addition to Morgan, Swansea also had Scott Gibbs stretchered off in the closing stages, while Ulster lost replacement Paddy Wallace with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.

Swansea: K Morgan; S Payne, S Winn, S Gibbs (capt), M Robinson; A Thomas, S Cordingley; D Morris, B Balshen, B Evans, J Slade, J Griffiths, R Jenkins, D Thomas, C Charvis.
Reps: D Colclough, S Pope, D Dorsey, J Thomas, J Powell, G Henson, R Jones.

Ulster: B Cunningham; J Topping; J Bell, A Larkin, T Howe; D Humphreys, N Doak; J Fitzpatrick, M Sexton, R Kempson, M Blair, J Davidson, W Brosnihan, N McMillan, R Nelson.
Reps: P Shields, S Best, N Best, K Campbell, P Wallace, R Constable, T McWhirter.

Swansea coach John Connolly
"We played resonably well"
Ulster coach Alan Solomons
"We gave away two soft tries"
Ulster's Tyrone Howe
"It was a very poor and disappointing day"

The final



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