Ulster 29-19 Northampton: Charles Piutau shines in friendly victory

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Ulster Northampton

Charles Piutau inspired Ulster to a 29-19 friendly victory over Northampton on his first Kingspan Stadium appearance for the Irish side on Friday evening.

The All Blacks utility back was involved in the opening try from Louis Ludik before he powered over for a try.

Rob Herring added a third Ulster try and they led 24-0 at the break.

Alex Walker touched down for the Saints and Piutau set up Jacob Stockdale for a try before Northampton tries from Tom Collins and JP Estelles.

Piutau, a rising star of New Zealand rugby, signed for Ulster in April and joined up with the Belfast team this summer.

Instant impact

It was a home debut to remember for the Ulster fans as Piutau caught a cross-field ball and passed to Robert Lyttle, who put in Ludik for the first try.

Piutau showed his strength to barge over for his own try while Herring added the third try from a driving maul.

A blistering run and lay-off from Piutau saw Stockdale complete Ulster's try-scoring.

Academy player Lyttle kicked nine points and he also caught the eye as Ulster completed their pre-season preparations.

Ulster start their Pro12 campaign against the Dragons at Kingspan Stadium next Friday.

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