Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Repeat: Off The Ball


Cooney stars as Ulster beat Clermont

John Cooney scored an excellent individual try as Ulster beat ASM Clermont-Auvergne 18-13 in thei...

John Cooney scored an excellent individual try as Ulster beat ASM Clermont-Auvergne 18-13 in their second Heineken Champions Cup pool game.

The scrum-half had put in a Man of the Match display in their pool opener last Saturday as they edged Bath 17-16 at the Rec.

And he stood out again from boot and general play at Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster didn't wait long to get on the scoreboard. Within a minute, John Cooney converted a penalty to give the home side a 3-0 lead.

They extended that lead on 17 minutes. A maul followed a line-out yards from the try-line. Clermont were powerless to stop Ulster's momentum and the Ireland international crossed over. Cooney added the extras to make it 10-0.

Clermont thought they had scored a try of their own five minutes later. But referee JP Doyle ruled it out due to a knock-on in the build-up.

Cooney Magic

Cooney's half-back counterpart Greig Laidlaw reduced the arrears with a penalty on 32 minutes as the veteran Scottish international left the scores at 10-3.

Another Cooney penalty restored Ulster's 10-point advantage although the ball struck the post on its way over.

Clermont were unable to claw their way back closer on the scoresheet with the match still locked at 13-3 as the game ticked towards the hour mark.

But the French side did convert another penalty on exactly 60 minutes as Laidlaw converted.

However, Ulster would not allow that seven point gap to last long. A decisive break down-field saw Cooney chip forwards brilliantly before collecting his own kick-through and scoring Ulster's second try of the night.

He missed his conversion from a wide angle but his try-scoring excellence had given his side a sizeable 18-6 cushion already with a quarter hour to play.

However, Clermont showed resolve again as a penalty try brought the gap back down to 18-13 with 10 minutes still on the clock. But Ulster hung on for another valuable win.

Saturday's Live Off The Ball Commentary

We will also have live commentary of two Heineken Champions Cup games this Saturday. Nathan Murphy and ex-Munster player Johne Murphy will be on hand for us at Toulouse vs Connacht. Meanwhile, former Ireland captain Fiona Steed and ex-Munster and Leinster back-row Liam Toland are alongside Neil Treacy for Munster vs Racing 92.

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Clermont Heineken Champions Cup John Cooney Off The Ball Rugby Ulster