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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 March 2006, 17:13 GMT
Ulster 24-17 Dragons
David Humphreys crashes over for his first-half try
Ulster: (24) 24:
Tries: Cunningham, Bowe, Humphreys
Cons: Humphreys 2
Pens: Humphreys
Dragons: (10): 17
Tries: Jones, Luscombe
Cons: Warlow 2
Pens: Warlow
David Humphreys was the star as Ulster raced back to the top of the Celtic League after an deserved win against the Dragons at Ravenhill.

The Ireland fly-half scored a converted try and added the points to touchdowns by Bryn Cunningham and Tommy Bowe.

Steve Jones scored an early try and Hal Luscombe a late effort but the Dragons never threatened to overturn Ulster.

Ulster, however, will be kicking themselves after failing to lift a bonus point despite their dominance.

Ulster started the day in second place after Leinster's free weekend allowed them to move into the top slot.

But playing against the wind, they allowed the Dragons to taker the lead after seven minutes when Craig Warlow knocked over a penalty.

Ulster, however, played all the rugby in the opening half, and skipped into the lead when Humphreys tossed out a beautifully-flighted ball to Cunningham for the full-back to score.

A little piece of magic from Humphreys sent Jonny Bell away through a gap and the centre's his flip pass was taken by Bowe who sauntered in under the posts.

Ulster, however, allowed the Dragons a very easy score when no-one collected an Aled Thomas bomb under their posts and the Welsh side recycled the ball with Thomas giving the scoring pass to Jones.

It was Humphreys who pushed Ulster further ahead with a brilliant piece of play when he chipped the rush defence before sliding and then adding his third conversion.

This lead was further extended a minute before the break Humphreys landed a penalty.

Dragons' problems continued as Ulster turned up the heat at the start of the second half with the first quarter practically all being played deep in the Welsh side's territory.

But even with Gareth Baber and skipper Jason Forster binned, Ulster failed to collect a vital bonus point.

Out of nowhere in the last minute of normal time, Dragons found a chink of light and Ceri Sweeney put Luscombe clear with Warlow adding the conversion to give his side a useful bonus point.

Ulster:Cunningham; Bowe, Bell, Steinmetz, Maxwell; Humphreys, Boss; Young, Best, Best; Harrison, McCullough; Best, Ferris, Wilson.
Replacements: Maggs for Steinmetz (28), Campbell for Boss (67), J Fitzpatrick for B. Young (49), Brady for R. Best (71), McMillan for Ferris (78), Larkin for Bell (80).

Dragons: Thomas; Brew, Luscombe, Sweeney, Fussell; Warlow, Baber; Black, Jones, Thomas, Hall, Sidoli, Ringer, Forster (capt), Oakley.
Replacements: Bryant for Fussell (74), Ireland for Baber (74), Brown for S Jones (80), Anthony for R Thomas (60), Charteris for Hall (51), Van Rensberg for Ringer (51), Maddocks for Van Rensberg (57).

Referee: Malcolm Changleng (Scotland)



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18 Sep 05 |  Wales


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