Ulster 14 Gloucester 32: Lamb leads humbling of Ulster

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Gloucester made a smart start to their campaign in Pool Two of the Heineken Cup with a comprehensive bonus-point win over Ulster at Ravenhill last night. The Cherry and Whites overwhelmed Ulster with five tries in the first half-hour. The fly-half Ryan Lamb led the way with 12 points from a try, conversion and two penalties.

The visitors' first try came after six minutes, Lamb putting through a chip which Lesley Vainikolo touched down. Four minutes later, Gloucester had their second try – running from a scrum in their own 22 and Iain Balshaw slipping a pass for Mike Tindall to score. It was soon 17-0 when Lamb danced past some dreadful defending and then converted his own try.

The bonus point duly arrived after 20 minutes when a Paddy Wallace inside pass was collected by Lamb in his own 22, before he ran virtually the length of the field and then put James Simpson-Daniel clear. It was little surprise when Gloucester scored a fifth try, Simpson-Daniel putting Balshaw in from about 50 metres. Lamb converted to put Gloucester out of sight at 29-0.

Ulster did then fight back – firstly through a Matt McCullough try and then, in injury time, when Wallace raced through after some rare pressure on the Gloucester line. Both were converted by Wallace to make it 29-14 to the visitors at the break.

Despite a battling second-half effort, Ulster failed to score again – and Gloucester managed just a 67th-minute Lamb penalty.

Ulster: Tries McCullough, Wallace; Conversions Wallace 2. Gloucester: Tries Vainikolo, Tindall, Lamb, Simpson-Daniel, Balshaw; Conversions Lamb 2; Penalty Lamb.

Ulster: Cunningham; Bowe, Trimble, Dewey, McCrea; Wallace, Boss; J Fitzpatrick, R Best, B Young, Harrison, Del Fava, McCullough, N Best, Wilson. Replacements: Brady, D Fitzpatrick, Caldwell, Dawson, Campbell, Humphreys, 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: N Owens (WRFU).

l Newport Gwent Dragons scored a late try to earn a surprise bonus point in their 23-19 defeat at Perpignan in Pool One of the Heineken Cup last night. Ceri Sweeney followed up tries by Joe Bearman and Gareth Wyatt as the Welsh side out-scored their hosts by three tries to two at Stade Aimé Giral.

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