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Connacht

  • Parks,
    Conversions: Parks,
7 - 18

Ulster

  • Allen, Jackson,
    Penalty goals: Jackson (2),
    Conversions: Jackson,
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 21st Sep 2013
  • KO 18:45
  • Ground: Galway Sportsground
  • Att: 6,500

RaboDirect PRO12: Paddy Jackson stars as Ulster beat Connacht

Last updated: 21st September 2013  

Ulster flanker Chris Henry going to ground

Ulster produced a strong second half

PADDY JACKSON ULSTER

Paddy Jackson: Star of the show for Ulster

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Paddy Jackson was the star of the show for Ulster with his 13 second-half points helping the visitors get off the mark for the new season with an 18-7 Irish derby victory over Connacht at a windswept Sportsground.

Ulster earned their first win of the new RaboDirect PRO12 campaign as Jackson put a disappointing first 40 minutes behind him to convert his own 57th minute try and kick two penalties to decide this first Irish interprovincial derby of the season.

The sides scored a try apiece in the opening quarter hour, Ulster winger Michael Allen replying to a try from Dan Parks, whose conversion separated them at the break - 7-5.

But Connacht were held scoreless for the remainder, with man-of-the-match Iain Henderson, who saw action in the second row and back row, and replacement Paul Marshall helping Mark Anscombe's men find an extra gear in their territorially dominant third quarter.

There was precious little space in a frenetically-paced first quarter, but a brief chink of light saw Willie Faloon canter away from a ruck before Jared Payne brought the flanker down.

Connacht kept up the pressure in the 22 and after good carries from Robbie Henshaw and Fionn Carr, Parks stepped off his right and evaded the grasp of front rowers Rob Herring and Declan Fitzpatrick on the way to the line.

Parks turned it into a seven-pointer as he became the first player to score more than 1,500 league points.

Wind behind

Wind-backed Ulster hit back within three minutes though, as Luke Marshall bludgeoned up close to the whitewash and Payne's soft hands put Allen in at the left corner.

Jackson pulled his conversion attempt across the posts and the youngster looked slightly unsettled as he kicked out on the full. From the resulting lineout, Connacht probed and won a penalty outside the 22 which Parks narrowly missed to the right.

Henderson barrelled forward to get Ulster back on track and they teed up a penalty in a similar range to Park's. However, Jackson, who only had a 56% kicking success rate from the past two rounds, slid his effort wide.

Connacht's penalty count spiralled towards double figures - Eoin Griffin the guilty party this time at a ruck - and Jackson mopped up with the three points for a 55th minute lead.

The 21-year-old then started and finished his province's second try, sending a work-hungry Luke Marshall bursting away over halfway. Henshaw got back to bring him down but a quick recycle allowed Payne to put Jackson over to the right of the posts.

With his confidence restored, Jackson added the extras and was narrowly wide with a monster penalty effort entering the final quarter.

Connacht's indiscipline at the breakdown soon gave Jackson a kickable penalty from closer in and he found the target to leave the hosts 11 points adrift with 16 minutes remaining.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - January 11 2015
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 13 10
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 13th February
Guinness PRO12
19:35Ulster vs Benetton Treviso
20:05Edinburgh vs Ospreys
Saturday 14th February
19:35Munster vs Cardiff Blues
Sunday 15th February
12:45Scarlets vs Connacht
13:00Zebre vs Glasgow
15:00Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 20th February
19:05Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Edinburgh vs Ulster
19:35Leinster vs Zebre
Saturday 21st February
14:40Scarlets vs Munster
17:15Glasgow vs Ospreys
Sunday 22nd February
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht
Friday 27th February
19:35Ospreys vs Leinster
19:35Ulster vs Scarlets
Saturday 28th February
19:15Munster vs Glasgow
Sunday 1st March
12:45Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh
17:00Zebre vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Connacht vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 6th March
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Connacht
19:35Glasgow vs Zebre
Saturday 7th March
14:40Ospreys vs Munster
17:15Scarlets vs Leinster
18:00Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh
Sunday 8th March
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ulster
Friday 27th March
19:35Leinster vs Glasgow

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