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Ulster 43 Ospreys 7

Ulster 43 Ospreys 7

Ulster went top of the Magners League after a bonus point 43-7 win over the Ospreys at Ravenhill on Friday. David Humphreys led the scoring for the home side with 23 points in a win which lifted Ulster above Llanelli Scarlets in the Magners League Table.

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An early penalty from Ulster was soon wiped out by a superbly taken score from Ospreys full back Lee Byrne. The visitors, playing their fourth game in just over a week, showed great pace after former All Black Justin Marshall’s flat pass sent Gavin Henson into space before Byrne got the touchdown in the left corner.

James Hook’s excellent touchline conversion gave the Ospreys a four point lead, but their scoring ended there. Humphreys narrowed the gap to a point with a great strike from just over 50 metres; Ulster had the wind behind them.

Ulster took the lead in the 28th minute when a well worked lineout move saw Rory Best squeeze in at the left corner and Humphreys kicked the extras to give the home side a 13-7 advantage. Humphreys added another penalty five minutes later after former Lions star Ryan Jones was sent to the sin bin for persistent killing of the ball. He was again on target three minutes later, this time from 55 metres.

Hook then missed the target, and the Ospreys misery continued when they were reduced to 13 men following the injury time sin binning of Alun Wyn Jones for what appeared to be a late tackle. Humphreys arrowed the subsequent penalty wide, meaning Ulster’s lead remained 12 points at the interval.

Six minutes after the restart, and with only Ryan Jones back from the bin for the visitors, Ulster crossed the Ospreys line again as Tommy Bowe took an inside line off Paddy Wallace. Bowe was making his first appearance of the season after being released by Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan.

Humphreys added the two points to make it 26-7 to the home side. Ulster’s push for a bonus point was helped a minute after the hour mark when an Isaac Boss break put Paul Steinmetz clear to make the two points a formality for Humphreys. The bonus point duly arrived courtesy of substitute Neil McMillan and Humphreys again made it a seven point haul as the Ospreys failied.

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