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Friday 28 April 2017

Andrew leaves it late to guide Ulster home

Dragons 17 Ulster 27

Craig Gilroy celebrates. Pic: Sportsfile
Craig Gilroy celebrates. Pic: Sportsfile

Ulster reclaimed their place in the top four of the Pro12 when replacement John Andrew's late try was converted by Ireland's Paddy Jackson at Rodney Parade.

They went with tempo from the start and Ruan Pienaar's kick took an awkward bounce for Craig Gilroy to outsmart Angus O'Brien, Pienaar converting in the eighth minute.

Out-half O'Brien encouraged the Dragons with a penalty.

They were on the verge of greater reward when Wiehahn Herbst forced a spill.

The Welsh grew into the game well enough to convince Pienaar it was better to take three than go for seven in the 34th minute.

Then, Gilroy was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on by referee Mike Adamson. The ensuing lineout was driven on by prop Brok Harris and lock Rynard Landman carried to the line. O'Brien's extras then levelled it up in the 50th minute.

Ulster went for three short-range lineouts without getting their act together.

It took the soft hands of Stuart Olding to release Jared Payne for Pienaar to make it 17-10 in the 59th minute.

Then, Chris Henry's peach of a poach was ruined when Paul Marshall was blocked down by Ollie Griffiths for the latter to pounce on the breaking ball, O'Brien squaring it.

A sustained period of pressure concluded with Jackson slipping the visitors in front before Rodney Ah You was sent off.

It all came down to a late lineout-into-maul for Andrew to rumble over and Jackson's conversion made it safe.

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