European Champions Cup: Ulster 52-24 Harlequins

Craig Gilroy scores the third of Ulster's six tries against Harlequins
Craig Gilroy scored the third of Ulster's six tries against Harlequins
European Champions Cup
Ulster (16) 52
Tries: McCloskey, Gilroy, Piutau, O'Connor, Cooney, Trimble Cons: Cooney 5 Pens: Cooney 4
Harlequins (12) 24
Tries: Smith, Walker, R Chisholm, Ward Cons: Smith 2

Ulster beat Harlequins for the second time in six days and got a bonus point to stay in contention for a European Champions Cup quarter-final place.

Centre Stuart McCloskey, winger Craig Gilroy, full-back Charles Piutau, lock Alan O'Connor, scrum-half John Cooney and wing Andrew Trimble got the tries.

Harlequins also bagged a bonus point with tries by Marcus Smith, Charlie Walker, Ross Chisholm and Dave Ward.

Ulster remain second in Pool One, two points behind 100% leaders La Rochelle.

Listen to the 10 tries at the Kingspan Stadium

The French side, hot favourites to win the pool, face Wasps at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.

Ulster will be hoping to get through to the last eight as one of the three best runners-up and their back-to-back victories over the winless Quins keeps them in the hunt.

In January, the Belfast-based side host La Rochelle and then round off the pool stage with a trip to Coventry to take on Wasps.

Harlequins winger Charlie Walker was among the try scorers for the visitors
Harlequins winger Charlie Walker was among the try scorers for the visitors

Cooney kicked five conversions and four penalties for a personal haul of 27 points in the contest at the Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster made a good start and two Cooney penalties had them 6-0 up inside 10 minutes.

But Quins hit back when Renaldo Bothma intercepted a Piutau pass and although Gilroy hauled the number eight down short of the line, the visitors recycled and Smith darted in at the left corner.

Ulster responded when McCloskey crossed after hacking on from a Christian Leali'ifano kick over the top. Cooney added a superb conversion from the touchline and Ulster led 13-5.

Walker just failed to touch down in the right corner for Quins but almost immediately got in under the posts after a great arcing run.

Smith's conversion cut Ulster's lead to a point but a third Cooney penalty left it 16-12 at the break.

CHAMPIONS CUP POOL 1
TeamPlayedWonLostForAgainstBonus PtsPoints
La Rochelle33012473315
Ulster43110579113
Wasps312797826
Harlequins4036614422

Gilroy wriggled over four minutes after the restart and Cooney added another marvellous conversion to put the home side 23-12 up.

That became 26-12 in the 50th minute with Cooney's fourth penalty and then five minutes later Piutau barged over for Ulster's third try.

Quins came back again with full-back Ross Chisholm's 58th-minute try but they then had prop Kyle Sinckler yellow carded on the hour mark for a late no-arms barge into Jacob Stockdale.

Almost immediately lock O'Connor scrambled over his first-ever try for Ulster to make sure of the bonus point.

Quins then got their bonus touchdown from skipper Dave Ward but Ulster had the final say with late tries by Cooney and Trimble.

Ulster: Piutau, Gilroy, Ludik, McCloskey, Stockdale, Lealiifano, Cooney, Black, Herbst, O'Connor, Treadwell, Henderson, Henry, Timoney, Andrew, Herring.

Replacements: Trimble for Piutau (61), Nelson for Stockdale (66), P. Marshall for Cooney (77), Warwick for Black (41), Kane for Herbst (41), Rea for Treadwell (69), Reidy for Timoney (56), Herring for Andrew (41), Andrew for Herring (35).

Harlequins: R. Chisholm, Walker, Stanley, Roberts, Alofa, Smith, Prior, Boyce, Elia, Sinckler, Merrick, Matthews, White, Ward, Bothma.

Replacements: Brown for Smith (77), Lambert for Boyce (61), Piper for Elia (69), Lamb for Merrick (66), Swainston for White (66), Luamanu for Bothma (56).

Not used: Lang, Visser.

Sin bin: Sinckler (61).

Referee: Alex Ruiz (France).

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