Cheetahs' Pro 14 debut begins with disappointment as Ulster complete 42-19 win

Les Kiss saw his Ulster team start their Guinness PRO14 campaign with a win
Les Kiss saw his Ulster team start their Guinness PRO14 campaign with a win

Ulster 42 - 19 Cheetahs, Kingspan Stadium

Cheetahs struggled in their maiden outing in the Pro 14 season as Ulster amassed six tries to complete a 42-19 win at Kingspan Stadium on Friday.

Christian Leali'ifano on his debut with Ulster had a good outing until the 51st minute when he was replaced while their other summer signing from Connacht, John Cooney was impressive as well.

After an eighth minute penalty from Cooney, Cheetahs looked in complete control as Clayton Blommetjies and Makazole Mapimpi crossed over in the 15th and 22nd minute respectively with centre William Small-Smith converting both. Tommy Bowe's touch down the 18th minute provided some respite to Les Kiss' side as they were trailing by six points at the end of 25 minutes.

However, Cheetahs suffered a setback with a sin bin to Henco Venter in the 26th minute and Ulster capitalised on the advantage to turn the game around completely with tries from Alan O'Connor, Stuart McCloskey and Charles Pitau as they finished the first half with a 27-14 lead.

Winger Louis Ludik extended Ulster's advantage with an early try in the second half. Even though Cheetahs' third try came through Sergeal Petersen, the gap between the two teams were too much to handle for the South African side. Peter Nelson capped off a fantastic game for Ulster with their sixth try that came in the 74th minute as they completed a resounding 42-19 bonus point victory.