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- Guinness PRO12
- 8th Sep 2012
- KO 18:30
- Ground: Liberty Stadium, Swansea
- Att: 8,566
Comeback Ulster stun Ospreys
Visitors run in 13 unanswered points to beat Ospreys 16-13
Unbeaten Ulster battled back to inflict a second successive defeat on defending RaboDirect PRO12 champions Ospreys.
The Irish province, who had posted an opening 18-10 win over Glasgow, were trailing 13-3 with 56 minutes on the clock at the Liberty Stadium.
But replacements that included All Black prop John Afoa and British and Irish Lion Stephen Ferris made a major impact as the Ulstermen ran in 13 unanswered points to keep up their unbeaten record.
The Ospreys looked set to atone for their opening 12-6 defeat in Treviso as a fine solo try from Hanno Dirksen and eight points from the boot of fly-half Matthew Morgan appeared to put them in control.
But they crumbled badly late in the second half with their scrum coming under huge pressure from Ulster's reinforced pack.
The Ospreys had enjoyed the better of an error-strewn first half, lit up by a moment of brilliance from South African-born speedster Dirksen.
There was plenty of intent shown from both sides, but all too often promising attacks were undone by sloppy handling.
It took until 22 minutes for the game to come alive with right wing Dirksen producing a superb individual run to claim the game's first try.
Picking up a loose pass 35 metres out, Dirksen hurtled through a fragile defence, fended off Ulster full-back Jared Payne and then turned on the afterburners to make the line unopposed.
Morgan added the extras, but the Ospreys failed to build on their lead as mistakes continued to plague their game.
Fly-half Niall O'Connor made up for an earlier miss to land a fine long-range penalty after 31 minutes, but failed with an ambitious attempt from inside his own half just before the break as the Ospreys went in at half-time 7-3 to the good.
Two penalties from Morgan after the break extended the home side's advantage as the champions attempted to assert control.
But a clutch of substitutions by Ulster coach Mark Anscombe turned the match on its head.
The arrival of Afoa and Ireland prop Tom Court saw the Ospreys scrum forced into retreat, while Ferris produced some thunderous tackles.
Another replacement, Paddy Jackson, nailed a couple of penalties to make it 13-9 before yet another member of the cavalry, scrum-half Paul Marshall, claimed the match-winning score with six minutes remaining.
A sharp counter-attack from wing Craig Gilroy set up the opportunity which eventually saw Marshall touch down from close range.
It needed the television match official to confirm the score, but Marshall and his Ulster team-mates were in little doubt.
It left the Ospreys with little time to redeem themselves, but any chance they had of salvaging the win disappeared when they coughed up the ball again, leaving them with just two losing bonus points to show from their opening two matches.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 27th February|
|19:35||Ospreys vs Leinster|
|19:35||Ulster vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 28th February|
|19:15||Munster vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Sunday 1st March|
|12:45||Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh|
|17:00||Zebre vs Dragons|
|17:15||Connacht vs Treviso|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|19:35||Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:40||Ospreys vs Munster|
|17:15||Scarlets vs Leinster|
|18:00||Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Dragons vs Ulster|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
|Sunday 11th January|
|Ospreys 22 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Benetton Treviso 20 - 24 Ulster|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Zebre 7 - 31 Munster|
|Cardiff Blues 13 - 22 Leinster|
|Friday 9th January|
|Connacht 13 - 16 Edinburgh|
|Glasgow 22 - 7 Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com