Ulster move to second with 5-17 win over Harlequins

John Cooney, centre, scored four penalties to pick up the man of the match award
John Cooney, centre, scored four penalties to pick up the man of the match award

Harlequins 5-17 Ulster, Twickenham Stoop

Harlequins chances of progressing to the play-off of the European Champions Cup suffered a major blow as they succumbed to their third consecutive defeat after beaten by Ulster 5-17 at Twickenham Stoop on Sunday.

This is also the first time since the 2009/10 season, Quins have lost three straight European games and now find themselves in bottom of Pool 1 with Ulster moving to second.

The Quins' chances were hampered when Chris Robshaw and Danny Care failed head injury assessments and their only points came through Kyle Sinckler in the second half.

John Cooney kicked a sixth minute penalty to get Ulster off the mark but both the teams failed to come into terms with the snowy and greasy condition at The Stoop. Robshaw left the field with a head injury in the 15th minute but Cooney missed a chance to extend Ulster's lead with a straightforward penalty kick.

Nevertheless, the scrum-half made amends when he set up the opening try in the game that saw Jacob Stockdale crossing over and Ulster stretched their lead to eight points before half time.

The start of the second half saw the hosts suffer another setback with Care leaving the field after a head injury but they managed to overcome it with Sinckler getting them off the board with a touchdown in the 49th minute to bring down the gap to three points.

Care failed to return before Cooney kicked his second penalty to give Ulster an 11-5 lead going into the final quarter. Two further penalties from the Ireland scrum-half snuffed out any chance of a Quins revival as the visitors easily held on for victory and moved up to second in the table.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table