A late surge by the Sharks was not enough to prevent them from losing 24-21 (first half 10-0) against Ulster in the last match of the Rugby Championship (URC) at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Friday night.
It was an incredible return of the visitors with two reworked attempts in the last five minutes of the match that led them to three hosts with 30 seconds of play, but it was too late as Ulster eventually returned the ball and cleared to secure the win.
However, the Sharks have gained an important losing bonus point, which they hope will keep them in the fight for the home quarterfinals, but they will need other results to go their own way.
Slow first half
The first half began with the fact that both teams made a number of mistakes in difficult conditions, moving from one side of the field to the other, and neither side managed to break through.
It’s been 18th a minute for Ulster to come out on the board, from the penalty spot right in front of the racks, allowing John Cooney’s skirmishes to beat them ahead.
At 27th The hosts then put the line-up on the Sharks at 5m but couldn’t get ahead, so they blew the ball along the line where defender Mike Lowry got an inside pass to go for the score and the extra Coons put them 10 -0 up.
The Sharks attacked desperately at the end of the half, but the excellent defense from Ulster saw how they withstood the storm and got to the break intact.
A quick start to the second half
Ulster then got the second half from the best start thanks to a Sharks error.
After Ulster’s shot in front was inflicted behind his line by Afelel Fassi, the Sharks were knocked out of the goal line, but instead of scoring the ball into the field, fraudster Kervin Bosch decided to strike a dangerous blow in the 22nd.
This allowed Ulster to return the ball and start the attack, and inside center Stuart McCloskey took a break and repulsed Fassi on the way to the transformation and leads 17-0 in the 45th minute.
The Sharks then enjoyed one of the best spells of the game, pinning Ulster in their 22 meters until they finally broke through the home side’s defense with a kick and a penalty when Ntutuho Mchun’s substitute made his way and additional Bosch teams made it 17- 7 in 63 minutes.
Three minutes later Ulster made the game safe when they started the attack from their own half, with some great interaction between the defenders when Cooney took away outside central James Hume to convert the score.
The Sharks then created a fantastic rebuff to make the match exciting when it was replaced by Scrimhaf Grant Williams and Inner Central Marius Lou, who created the magic to complete the podium.
The first from the lineup Williams got the ball and also punched his way into Ulster’s half before taking Lou to take the score.
Then from a 22-meter creek Williams threw over Ulster’s defense, and Lou caught the ball and took Williams to score, both attempts realized by replacing Flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain, but it was too late as Ulster endured.
Ulster: Attempts – Mike Lowry, Stuart McCloskey, James Hume; Conversions – John Cooney (3); Penalties – Cooney
sharks: Tries – Ntutuko Mchunu, Marius Lou, Grant Williams; Conversions – Kervin Bosch, Boeta Chamberlain (2)