We rate the Ulster team after a thrilling match against Exeter in the Champions Cup
Although Ulster fell to a 31-19 defeat, their match against Exeter was end-to-end action and both teams should be applauded for how they approached the game.
Here's how we rated for Les Kiss's men:
Louis Ludik - 7
Embraced the open nature of the game where possible. Lovely swivel and turn in defence when under pressure in the first half.
Charles Piutau - 8
Quiet start to the match but grew into the game. Seemed to be double-marked whenever he got the ball yet managed to score two tries and nearly created another. It's a pity a player of his quality will miss the knock-out phases. Was caught out by Nowell for one of Exeter's tries though.
Charles Piutau scores for Ulster. Image: INPHO
Luke Marshall - 7
Played his part in a fluid Ulster back-line but was overshadowed by those around him.
Stuart McCloskey - 7
Brilliant break and offload to set up the first try and was a battering ram throughout.
Andrew Trimble - 7
Took some super running lines during the match and won a valuable turnover in the first half when Ulster were under the pump.
Paddy Jackson - 7
Ran the team competently and attacked the line constantly. Perfect cross-field kick set up Piutau for a try. Gambled with a deliberate knock-on and was punished with a yellow card and a penalty try.
Paddy Jackson takes a shot at goal. Image: INPHO
Dave Shanahan - 8
Outstanding debut for the youngster. Looked like he had been playing at this level for years. Plenty of sniping runs in a composed display. Has a big future ahead of him if he keeps playing like that.
Callum Black - 7
Played his part in a relatively solid Ulster scrum.
Rory Best - 7
Although not the team captain, he led by example. Even when 31-19 down, he kept calm and tried to engineer an improbable win.
Ross Kane - 7
Scrummaged well but was replaced early due to injury.
Kieran Treadwell - 7
Industrious display and made a fantastic tackle on the wing when Exeter threatened a break-away score in the first half.
Peter Browne - 7
Carried well around the field and did the unseen work.
Iain Henderson - 7
Slightly subdued compared to his usual self but still got through a fair amount of work.
Chris Henry - 7
Quiet enough display from the Ireland international and is unlikely to force his way into Joe Schmidt's 6 Nations squad now.
Sean Reidy - 8
Ran a brilliant support line to get the scoring going tonight and got stuck in whenever he could.
Reidy gets in for Ulster's first try. Image: INPHO
Bench - 7
Those who came on were unable to turn the tide when Ulster's Champions Cup campaign needed a boost at its most desperate moment.