RaboDirect PRO12: Paddy Jackson helps Ulster beat Edinburgh
Last Updated: 21/03/14 10:41pm
Paddy Jackson: Kicked three penalties in Ulster victory
Paddy Jackson kicked Ulster to a 9-3 RaboDirect PRO12 victory over Edinburgh in the final match played on the Murrayfield turf before it is relaid.
Jackson slotted over two penalties in the first half and one in the second to leave Edinburgh with only a losing bonus point while Ulster climbed into second spot.
The rainy conditions were never going to allow flowing rugby and it was inevitable that the first points came from a penalty as a monster kick from Edinburgh No 10 Carl Bezuidenhout from halfway cleared the bar to take the home side into the lead after 14 minutes.
Ulster were having trouble with the sparky Edinburgh backs and their task became no easier after lock Iain Henderson collected a yellow card on 20 minutes, but Edinburgh were unable to take advantage.
Despite being a man short, Ulster muscled their way into kickable territory and, when Edinburgh were again penalised, Jackson had no difficulty in levelling the scores.
The game then developed into a midfield struggle with neither side getting the upper hand, but Edinburgh found themselves consistently frustrated as any momentum they tried to build was hindered by giving away frequent penalties.
With seven minutes left in the half, Jackson again had a penalty chance and his kick was good to give Ulster the lead. That advantage was almost increased by a third Jackson penalty attempt soon after, but it fell just short. Ulster went in 6-3 up having visited the Edinburgh 22 no more than three times.
The visitors started the second half brightly with Henderson, John Afoa and Roger Wilson taking play into the Edinburgh 22 and, from the almost inevitable penalty, Jackson added another three points to put Ulster 9-3 ahead.
The second half now replicated the first except that it was Ulster who dominated possession and territory with Edinburgh having to defend against remorseless attacks.
They withstood everything Ulster threw at them, however, with Roddy Grant, Cornell du Preeze and Grant Gilchrist performing heroically in defence.
The only respite came when, from a turnover, Nick De Luca slammed the ball deep into Ulster territory but the ball was eventually scrambled away.
As the final whistle loomed, Edinburgh finally strung some passes together, but they were forced to play too much rugby too far from the red zone.
And, to the surprise of no-one, a match which was dominated by the miserable conditions ended with Ulster kicking a penalty into touch.
Fri 24th Apr
Edinburgh37 - 0Zebre
Ulster26 - 10Leinster
Sat 25th Apr
Connacht13 - 31Glasgow Warriors
Cardiff Blues23 - 31Ospreys
Munster30 - 19Treviso
Dragons10 - 29Scarlets
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 2013/14 R17
John Muldoon scored two tries as Connacht cruised to a 24-8 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons.
Munster maintained their 100 per cent home record in the RaboDirect PRO12 with a 14-3 victory over Benetton Treviso.
Glasgow boosted their RaboDirect PRO12 top four hopes with a hard-fought 14-6 win over Scarlets.