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Monday 24 September 2018

Cool Cooney keeps Ulster hopes alive

Ulster’s John Cooney gets the ball away during their Champions Cup Pool 1 victory over Harlequins at The Stoop. Photo: Sportsfile
Ulster’s John Cooney gets the ball away during their Champions Cup Pool 1 victory over Harlequins at The Stoop. Photo: Sportsfile

Ulster kept their Champions Cup campaign alive as John Cooney's 12 points made all the difference in their 17-5 Pool 1 victory at Harlequins yesterday.

It was a dominant performance, that man Jacob Stockdale picking up their only try in the 25th minute.

The game was in the balance going into the final quarter after prop Kyle Sinckler's close range try for 'Quins when Cooney landed penalties in the 61st, 68th and 79th minutes.

"We knew we had to adapt and we had to play well," said Cooney.

"The conditions were perfect. We want to show heart. We want to show what we are made of.

"We stood up and we wanted to answer all the questions we've had."

However, La Rochelle earned a bonus-point win over Wasps (42-24) to lead the quartet by seven points with three rounds up for grabs.

When Connacht slumped 19 points behind Brive at Stade Domenech, the way was being cleared for another one of coach Kieran Keane's cold, confusing post-match comments.

They came back from the grave to make it three wins from three (38-31) in Pool Five of the Challenge Cup.

Connacht can salvage their season in Europe as long as they can stay ahead of Donncha O'Callaghan's Worcester Warriors, three points behind them.

The Western Province will be eager to add at least four more tries to those from Ultan Dillane, Kieran Marmion, Jack Carty and Cian Kelleher when Brive come to The Sportsground on Saturday.

The round five rematch at Sixways Stadium will decide which of the two will make the quarters.

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