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Last Updated: Friday, 13 February, 2004, 21:17 GMT
Ulster 31-19 Ospreys

CELTIC LEAGUE
Ulster's Neil Best charges towards the Ospreys' line
Ulster (24) 31
Tries: N Best, Young, Wallace, Brosnihan 
Cons: Larkin 4
Pens:  Larkin
Ospreys (7) 19
Tries: Morris, Williams, Tiueti
Cons: Henson, Tiueti
Ulster stayed on top of the Celtic League with a convincing win over the Ospreys at Ravenhill.

The Irish province, who won the Celtic Cup earlier in the season, have now won nine from 12 in the league campaign.

They raced into a 24-0 lead inside 25 minutes with tries coming from Neil Best, Scott Young and Paddy Wallace.

The Ospreys got touchdowns through Gavin Morris, Barry Williams and Dave Tiueti but Ulster won well, scoring a fourth try through Warren Brosnihan.

With the Ospreys having to make numerous changes, Ulster were expected to put the Welsh outfit under early pressure.

Fly-half Adam Larkin landed the first blow for the Irish province with a 40-metre penalty in the seventh minute.

Five minutes later Wallace broke clear to feed flanker Best who touched down at the posts.

Larkin converted and did the same when Wallace again side-stepped his way through the Ospreys defence before slipping an inside pass to winger Young to dive over.

Raced upfield

Ulster had to show their defensive qualities as the Welsh side camped on their line for 10 minutes before the danger was cleared.

However, the home team immediately raced upfield for a try in a move started and finished by Wallace. Larkin again converted to give Ulster a 24-0 lead.

A bonus point appeared to have been secured in the 29th minute when Larkin sprinted clear to go in at the posts, but it was ruled out after the touch-judge spotted an infringement by Best.

Ospreys immediately took advantage from the penalty when they ran the ball from a line-out and left winger Morris came in from the opposite wing to score with Gavin Henson converting.

The Ospreys grabbed their second try when skipper Williams drove over from a line-out for an unconverted try.

That prodded Ulster into action and, from a similar move, it was replacement Warren Brosnihan who dived over for the bonus point score with Larkin converting.

The Ospreys ended the evening with their third touchdown, with Tiueti scoring and converting the try himself.


Ulster: Cunningham, Topping, Wallace, Steinmetz, S. Young, Larkin, Doak, Kempson, Sexton, Moore, McCullough, Longwell, Ward, N. Best, Wilson.
Replacements: Shields, B. Young, Mustchin, Brosnihan, Campbell, Coulter., Maxwell.

Ospreys: Henson, Terblanche, Tiueti, Gibbs, Morris, Connor, A. Williams, Evans, B. Williams, Millward, Newman, Tait, Bater, Tandy, Lloyd.
Replacements: Horgan, C. Wells, Durston, Clatworthy.., Bateman, Bonner-Evans, Jones..

Referee: Rob Dickson (Scotland)




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