European Champions Cup: Ulster 56-3 Oyonnax
|European Champions Cup, Pool One|
|Ulster (28) 56|
|Tries: Herring, Cave, Scholes, Reidy, Gilroy, Diack, Humphreys, Payne Cons: Jackson 5, Humphreys 3|
|Oyonnax (3) 3|
Impressive Ulster secured the bonus-point win over Oyonnax they needed to stay in contention for a European Champions Cup quarter-final place.
Ulster finished second in Pool One but must wait to discover if they are one of the best three runners-up.
Rob Herring, Darren Cave, Rory Scholes and Sean Reidy scored tries to put the hosts 28-3 ahead at half-time.
Craig Gilroy, Robbie Diack, Ian Humphreys and Jared Payne added touchdowns after the interval.
It was an attacking and hugely entertaining performance by the Belfast side who did everything they possibly could to snatch a place in the last eight.
What happens next?
Ulster's fate in the European competition will be decided by the results elsewhere in the final round of pool fixtures and, having played first, their 18 points will be the target for their rivals.
The teams in second place in the other pools - Wasps, Stade Francais, Clermont and Northampton - could all overtake Ulster with wins this weekend, although all but Wasps may need bonus-point victories.
Wasps entertain Leinster and Northampton visit the Scarlets on Saturday.
Stade host Leicester while Clermont are at home to Bordeaux on Sunday.
What they said
Ulster winger Andrew Trimble: "We kept the pace up from the first minute.
"Scoring eight tries was a brave effort, but keeping our line intact was important as well.
"We were first up so we had no target. We just put as many points as possible on the board.
"Turning the screw for 80 minutes is hard to do but we are pleased with our performance."
Ulster: Payne, Trimble, Cave, L. Marshall, Gilroy, Jackson, P. Marshall, McCall, Herring, Lutton, O'Connor, van der Merwe, Diack, Reidy, Williams.
Replacements: Scholes for Cave (62), Humphreys for Jackson (51), Shanahan for P. Marshall (67), R. Best for Herring (73), Wilson for van der Merwe (51), B. Ross for Williams (59).
Not used: Black, C. Ross.
Oyonnax: Denos, Ikpefan, Bousses, Taufa, Codjo, Clegg, Blanc, Tonga'uiha, Bordes, Vepkhvadze, Power, Fabbri, Ursache, Gunther, Wannenburg.
Replacements: Sheridan for Taufa (62), Lespinas for Clegg (55), Delboulbes for Tonga'uiha (67), Maurouard for Bordes (51), Pungea for Vepkhvadze (41), Metz for Power (51), Faasavalu for Ursache (66).
Not used: Cibray.
Ref: Marius Mitrea (Italy).