Losing bonus point sees Ulster qualify

Ulster 20-22 Leinster
Published Friday, 02 May 2014
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Ulster sealed their semi-final place in the PRO12 play-offs despite losing to Leinster at the newly-reopened Ravenhill on Friday evening.

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The team needed just one point after Ospreys' shock defeat to Zebre and they got it courtesy of a losing bonus point after finishing 22-20 down to their provincial rivals.

Ulster had to play most of the match with 14 men after Tom Court was sent off in the first half with Leinster already 6-0 up following penalties from Ian Madigan.

The home side defended well before hitting back with a Paddy Jackson try as he grounded in the corner, but the Ulsterman failed to convert from the touchline.

Jackson and Madigan added penalties to make it 9-8 to Leinster at half time.

The visitors extended their lead in the second half with help from a Shane Jennings try but Jackson kept Ulster within touching distance, scoring on 72 minutes to reduce the gap back down to five points as the score stood at 22-17 to Leinster.

Roared on by the crowd, Jackson slotted over another to make the final score 20-22 and give Ulster the losing bonus point which guarantees qualification for the PRO12 play-offs.

Friday night's game marked the official reopening of the east Belfast stadium and a special one-hour event took place before kick-off to celebrate the history of local rugby.

It featured contributions from schools and clubs and will culminate in the cutting of a ribbon.

Three new stands have been built as part of an almost £16m redevelopment of Ravenhill which has seen capacity raised from 11,000 to 18,000 spectators.

It is now capable of hosting a Heineken Cup quarter-final and a RaboDirect PRO12 final.

Ulster Rugby Chief Executive, Shane Logan, said: "The new Ravenhill Stadium is a world class stadium and a state of the art home for all of rugby in Ulster. We have some exciting plans for the opening and I have no doubt that it will truly be a once in a lifetime event for any Ulster Rugby fan."

A sell-out crowd turned out on Friday night for Ulster v Leinster - which was also the first ever game to be played at the stadium back in January 1924.

The fans saw Ulster secure their PRO12 play off place, with the award of man of the match going to Paddy Jackson who scored his team's only try and kicked the remaining 15 points.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
4 Comments
Munster in Thomond wrote (169 days ago):
Lol at the comments again. "Referees are at it again" hahaha,"we get nothing,they get everything" (remind you of anything else ?) When are you going to see that Ulster cannot finish a game with 15 men because they are a mickey mouse team who bottle it every time against the big boys. Not a dirty team but end up doing dangerous plays by getting over excited like little boys !
w logan in Ballyclare wrote (170 days ago):
Another poor referee robs Ulster, where do they get them from?, also do the linesmen not open their eyes, crooked feeds at the scrum, blatant off sides all ignored, v v. poor
Freddie in Bangor wrote (172 days ago):
Poor refereeing ruined the spectacle.
Stewart in Belfast wrote (172 days ago):
The ref a joke gave Leinster everything unreal
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