RaboDirect PRO12: Tommy Bowe stars as Ulster crush Dragons
Last Updated: 12/04/13 10:00pm
Tommy Bowe: scored the opening try
Ulster went back to the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table with a 31-5 bonus-point win over Dragons.
Ireland winger Tommy Bowe marked his return to the starting line-up with the opening try and Ulster then added to that with scores from the impressive Stuart Olding, Darren Cave and Paul Marshall.
Ruan Pienaar - who started at outside half - kicked all the conversions and added a penalty for a perfect night from the tee.
Ulster led 24-0 at half-time and had greatly benefited from the first half sin-binning of Dan Evans to score 17 of those points.
The hosts' pressure finally told six minutes before the half hour when Ulster attacked off a scrum and Nick Williams put Paul Marshall clear and the scrum half drew the defence and put Bowe in at the right corner, with Pienaar converting.
Five minutes later and with Evans sent to the bin by Leighton Hodges for back chat, Pienaar's penalty made it 10-0.
Ulster then further punished the 14-man Dragons and after Craig Gilroy's wonderful break had established the home side deep inside the Dragons' 22, an angled run by Bowe saw the ball snapped up by Olding who smashed over.
Pienaar again added a terrific conversion and Ulster were now 17-0 to the good and then almost immediately scored again after Prydie sliced a clearance over his own line while under pressure allowing the home side to gather possession and put Cave clear on the right.
Four minutes after the restart the busy Marshall sniped over from close range down the narrow side from a ruck to bag the bonus try which Pienaar again converted.
With both benches being emptied and breaking up the game there were no further scores until the 69th minute when Prydie scored after Toby Faletau's tremendous break out as the Dragons started to run the ball from deep.
It proved to be the last score of the game though Ulster came close on a number of occasions and really should have come away with a couple more tries though the maximum points proved sufficient reward for their efforts.
Fri 8th May
Dragons0 - 0Edinburgh
Leinster0 - 0Treviso
Ospreys0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Sat 9th May
Ulster0 - 0Munster
Zebre0 - 0Connacht
Sun 10th May
Scarlets0 - 0Cardiff Blues
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Zebre
Connacht0 - 0Ospreys
Edinburgh0 - 0Leinster
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Munster0 - 0Dragons
Treviso0 - 0Scarlets
RaboDirect PRO12 2012/13 Round 19
Ulster will aim to finish at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table when they take on Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill.
Connacht say goodbye to their number seven Johnny O'Connor when they take on Glasgow at the Galway Sportsground.
Paul O'Donohoe's last-minute try salvaged a 23-23 draw for Connacht in Treviso.
- Weir injury blow for Glasgow
- Leinster boost play-off hopes
- Davies stars in Scarlets win
- Ulster bag bonus at Connacht
- Soaring Glasgow claim points
- Forwards seal Treviso win
- Dragons hold off Munster rally
- Scarlets v Cardiff: Teams
- O'Driscoll seals Leinster win
- Ospreys soar into top four
- Cardiff ease past Zebre
- Connacht hold off Edinburgh
- Scarlets see off Glasgow
- Munster v Leinster: Teams
- Cardiff Blues v Zebre: Teams
- Edinburgh v Connacht: Teams
- Scarlets v Glasgow: Teams
- Treviso-Connacht postponed
- Ulster finally win in Dublin
- Ospreys stay in play-off hunt
- Scarlets hold off Dragons
- Glasgow top with Munster mash
- Successive wins for Edinburgh