Cooney steers Ulster to 18-13 win over Clermont

John Cooney had an outstanding game for Ulster
John Cooney had an outstanding game for Ulster
©Steve Haag

Ulster 18-13 Clermont Auvergne, Kingspan Stadium
Scorecard

John Cooney starred with 13 points as Ulster edged out Clermont Auvergne by five points in the second round of the Heineken Champions Cup at Kingspan Stadium on Friday.

This is Ulster's second win from as many games as they occupy the pole position in Pool 3 with eight points while Clermont are at second with six points.

As Peceli Yato Senibitu was penalised at breakdown early in the game, Cooney kicked a penalty goal to begin the proceedings for Ulster. The Irish side went on to score their opening try inside the first quarter as Jordi Murphy dotted down at the back of a driving maul.

Cooney also kicked the conversion to take the scoreline 10-0. As the half-time was approaching, Greig Laidlaw and Cooney traded tries as the teams went into the break with a 13-3 scoreline.

The third quarter went without a point as both the teams were desperate for a breakthrough. The French side reduced the gap down to seven points as Ulster were penalised for offside in the 62nd minute and Laidlaw kicked a three-pointer.

However, brilliance from Cooney provided Ulster with a breathing space as he sped past the Clermont's defenders to score his side's second try which proved enough despite them considering a penalty try for the visitors in the 72nd minute.

 

2018-19 European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table