Ulster eventually shook off Ospreys late on in the game, but most of their talk will be of their captains dismissal. Ulster saw themselves in control of the game for long periods, but with Iain Henderson being shown a late red, they and Ireland will now likely be without the lock for upcoming games.
Stockdale scored the first of 3 Ulster tries while Marcell Coetzee got the second after halftime. 4 Ospreys penalties kept the Welsh side in the game, when really Ulster should have been out of site. Ospreys struggled to deal with Ulster’s power. Eventually Cooney got over to seal the win, converting his own try.
Ospreys 12-24 Ulster
Henderson was shown red late on for charging shoulder first into a ruck. Ireland and Ulster face a nervous wait on his availability.
Just 3 weeks after losing the 2019/20 Pro14 Final, Ulster got their league campaign underway against Benetton. If any of the 600 fans in attendance thought Ulster would stroll to another final this weekend they were given a wake up call. They were also provided with an entertaining game that was level at 21021 at halftime.
Tries from James Humer and Stewart Moore gave Ulster the lead, with John Cooney converting on both occasions. Federico Ruzza got one back for the Italians before Lowry restored Ulsters 14-point lead. Tries late in the half from Garbisi and Steyn, the former adding two conversions, ensured Benetton would go in level.
Despite Garbisi giving Benetton an early lead with a penalty, Coetzee crossed the line, with Cooney adding his 4th conversion. Ulster would secure the victory late on with McBurney touching down. Johnston added the conversion.
Ulster secure an opening day win in a season where they will look to go one step further and finally claim the league title.
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