Heineken Cup:Pienaar stars in Ulster win


Ulster beat Montpellier 27-16 on Friday, but failed to grab a crucial fourth try which would have guaranteed them a European Cup quarterfinal place.

The Irish province racked up a fifth win in five Pool Five matches to give them a seven-point lead over Leicester Tigers.

However, the English giants should close the gap with a win at group whipping boys Treviso on Saturday, before a potential pool decider at Welford Road against Ulster next weekend.

Ulster had looked in control, but never particularly comfortable in the first 40 minutes at Ravenhill against a Montpellier side which had lost six of their last seven matches.

Having slipped down 0-3 to a seventh-minute penalty from Eric Escande, Ulster were swiftly on top with two tries in three minutes.

Paddy Jackson’s accurate cross-field kick was calmly collected by flank Robbie Diack to dive over for his third career try in the tournament.

South African scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar kicked a difficult conversion from tight on the touchline for a 7-3 lead.

Pienaar added his team’s second try on 26 minutes after collecting his own kick ahead.

His simple conversion made it 14-3 but Ulster took their foot off the gas and ended up going in at just 17-13 in front at the interval.

Montpellier lock Robins Tchale-Watchou burst through for 14-8 with Escande adding the extras.

Pienaar and Escande then exchanged penalties before half-time.

A penalty apiece followed early in the second half before former All Blacks prop John Afoa barrelled through for Ulster’s third try just before hour mark.

Pienaar added the conversion for a personal haul of 17 points on the night but some dogged defence from Montpellier prevented Ulster from grabbing the bonus point try.

* In Friday’s other match, Scarlets beat Racing Metro 19-13 in Pool Four.

The result means Scarlets’ quarterfinal hopes stay alive for another day at least, after they stunned Racing at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir.

ASM Clermont Auvergne remain in the driving seat to qualify from Pool Four, with Harlequins hot on their heels ahead of Saturday’s mouth-watering match up at the Twickenham Stoop, but Scarlets are mathematically still in with a shout of a place in the last eight.

Young wing Kristian Phillips was their match winner, with his stunning solo score just past the hour handing them a six-point lead that they never relinquished.

Wales flyhalf Rhys Priestland picked up the Man of the Match award with an assured display that ended with a 14-point haul courtesy of four penalties from five attempts and the conversion of Phillips’ try.

British & Irish Lions stars Jonny Sexton and Mike Phillips stood out for Racing, with the scrumhalf grabbing his side’s early try, but the Scarlets deservedly stopped a run of six straight defeats.

Friday’s scores and scorers!

Ulster 27-16 Montpellier

The scorers:
For Ulster:
Diack, Pienaar, Afoa
Cons: Pienaar 3
Pens: Pienaar 2

For Montpellier:
Con: Escande
Pens: Escande 3

Racing Métro 92 13-19 Scarlets

The scorers:
For Racing Métro 92:
Con: Sexton
Pens: Sexton 2

For Scarlets:
Con: Priestland
Pens: Priestland 4

By: Rugby365

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7 comments for “Heineken Cup:Pienaar stars in Ulster win

  1. Profile photo of Jacques(Bunny)
    January 11, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Piemaar actually played a brilliant game last night again.

  2. Profile photo of DavidS
    January 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    In certain quarters him playing a good game is considered proof of what a kak league the Irish-British one is…

  3. Profile photo of Jacques(Bunny)
    January 11, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    @DavidS: Well David the way the game Between Toulon and Cardiff is going this is quite a kak league and standard are pretty kak, they play Stormers rugby.

    Don’t know why certain people on this site and others make such a big thing about these guys.

  4. Profile photo of Duiwel
    January 12, 2014 at 7:23 am

    RP is another dud.
    N gaffie.
    A blank.
    Looks like the real thing.
    Could be the real thing.
    But never gets firing.

  5. Profile photo of bryce_in_oz
    January 12, 2014 at 11:41 am



    ‘Never gets firing’?

    A 70% win ratio in 75 caps shows you up…

    Heyneke Meyers agrees, Ulster definitely agree… and it seems Toulon with their huge offers agree too…

    Dud my arse…


    “quite a kak league and standard are pretty kak.”

    Yeah everyone kept saying that until two of their 2nd teams beat the Boks.

  6. Profile photo of Jacques(Bunny)
    January 12, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    @bryce_in_oz: How many years ago? MMMhh

  7. Profile photo of bryce_in_oz
    January 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm


    Lucky for the Boks they no longer play mid-weekers any more eh?

    I reckon collectively a few of the EC teams would beat a few of the 6N teams every now and again…

    As for their style of play… well that’s down to Northern Hemisphere winter conditions…


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