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Ruan Pienaar scored 21 points playing at flyhalf as unbeaten Ulster secured a 46-19 away Pro12 victory against the Dragons on Friday.


The Irish side consolidated their place at the top of the Pro12 with an eighth straight win this season as they won in Wales.

Mark Anscombe’s side came into the game having won all five of their Pro12 matches, as well as both European clashes in the last fortnight, and despite a tight first half they proved too powerful at Rodney Parade.

Pienaar, Tom Court, Nick Williams and Darren Cave went over to secure the bonus point before the hour mark, with Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne adding further scores.

In response the Dragons went over through Andy Tuilagi but once Ulster got away the home side had no answer.

The Dragons made a quick start with consecutive bursts from Toby Faletau, who would later be forced off with a knock, and Tuilagi forcing Ulster to infringe at the breakdown.

Playing at fullback Tom Prydie made no mistake with the penalty, bisecting the uprights from just inside the Ulster half.

The home side added to that lead on eight minutes with another Prydie penalty after a great break from Will Harries, with Chris Henry penalised for slowing the ball down.

Ulster needed 15 minutes to get onto the scoreboard but when they did it was prop Tom Court who was the unlikely scorer.

Pienaar, playing at ten, tried to finish off what had been a period of concerted pressure and when he was stopped Court pounced on his offload to dive under the posts.

After Pienaar converted to make it 7-6, Prydie had the chance to put the home side back in front only for his third penalty attempt to drift wide but his South African counterpart did the same shortly after.

The Dragons had been impressive and on the half-hour they got their first try of the match through Tuilagi.

A barrage of pick and drives and clever switching of the play from scrum-half Jonathan Evans gave the Samoan centre a bit of space and despite a scrambling Ulster defence he battled his way over. Prydie converted to make it 13-7.

But almost as soon as the Dragons had retaken the lead, they found themselves under pressure again and could not stop Williams. The giant No.8 showed his strength on a rumble off the back of a ruck and when the Dragons failed to stop him at the first attempt he had too much power and scored the visitors’ second try.

In a topsy-turvy first half the Dragons were back in front when Prydie slotted a third penalty but the fullback turned from hero to villain when he conceded a chargedown try.

Pienaar’s grubber through was collected by Prydie but as he tried to clear the South African flyhalf blocked his kick and dived over for Ulster’s third try – his missed conversion leaving it at 19-16 at the break.

Ulster extended their lead to six with an early penalty in the second half from Pienaar and he added another a few minutes later to give the visitors a little breathing space.

The Dragons were then dealt a major blow when No.8 Faletau was forced off with an ankle problem to be replaced by Nic Cudd.

As the second half wore on a fourth Ulster try seemed inevitable and in the end it was centre Cave who drifted past Adam Hughes to score, Pienaar’s conversion making it 32-19.

The Dragons had to score next but as they tried to force it Andrew Trimble showed great hands to intercept a Lewis Robling pass and the Ireland winger went under the posts as Ulster began to cut loose.

In the end Ulster had to wait until the 78th minute for their sixth score, replacement Payne getting on the end of an inside pass to go under the posts.

The scorers:

For the Newport Gwent Dragons:
Try: Tuilagi
Con: Prydie
Pens: Prydie 4

For Ulster:
Tries: Trimble, Pienaar, Court, Cave, Williams, Payne
Cons: Pienaar 5
Pens: Pienaar 2


Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Will Harries, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tondi Chavhanga, 10 Lewis Robling, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Jevon Groves, 6 Tom Brown, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Owen A. Evans.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Nathan Williams, 18 Dan Way, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Nic Cudd, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Steffan Jones, 23 Pat Leach .

Ulster: 15 Tommy Bowe, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry (captain), 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Lewis Stevenson, 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Callum Black, 18 John Afoa, 19 Mike McComish, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Paddy Jackson, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Jared Payne.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Leighton Hodges, Neil Perkins (both Wales)
TMO: Neil Ballard (Wales)

14 Responses to RaboDirect Pro12 : Pienaar stars again for Ulster – at Flyhalf

  • 1

    Mooi so, Ruan!

  • 2

    Well done Ruan.

    One has to just wonder how good Ruan would have been if left to play FH for the Boks? He missed a few going for posts against the BIL and was dropped. Think it was a pity that happened. Ruan has always been a naturally gifted player.

  • 3

    For the final today. RAIN AND MORE RAIN! :roll: Crazy weather Durbs is having this year, so much rain.

    Seems rain is a cert for rugby Saturday each week here….lol.

    Go Sharks, just do it boys. BRING IT HOME!

  • 4

    Must put up a video for my Sharks. This song was not first sung by Liverpool fans, it was a Celtic Football song first sang by their supporters before Liverpool supporters started singing it. A good song for my Sharks today. Going now to find the Celtic Footballers singing it. As it started there first.

  • 5

    You Will Never Walk Alone sung by the Celtic Supporters.

    This is for my Sharks today.

    Your supporters are there behind supporting you all the way, win or lose boys. Good Luck Sharks.


  • 6

    Very dark rain clouds everywhere now. Slight mist of rain coming down the whole morning.

    Think the field will be a mess come 5pm especially after the u19’s and u21’s final have been played.

    Well conditions will be the same for both teams, but really this weather spoils it for a good game.

  • 7

    Sir Donald Currie, would not have worried about this weather, being a Scotsman. Who gave us our Currie Cup so many years ago.


    When the first overseas team to tour South Africa stepped ashore in 1891 they carried with them a particularly precious bit of cargo. Among the bags, boots and balls was a golden cup given to the British Isles squad by Sir Donald Currie, owner of Union-Castle Lines, the shipping company that transported them to the southern tip of Africa. The gold trophy was donated by Sir Donald Currie in 1891 before the arrival of the touring British Isles team. Sir Donald was clear with his instructions—hand this trophy over to the team in South Africa that gives you the best game and after a spirited display, Griqualand West became the first ever holders of the Currie Cup. To this day the trophy remains the holy grail of South African rugby. They then donated the trophy to the rugby board, and it became the prize for the Currie Cup competition. The inaugural Currie Cup tournament was held in 1892 with Western Province as the first winners.

  • 8

    6 @ Puma:
    The Under 19 game has been moved to the B-Field… and will not even be televised anymore.

    They are busy deciding about the Under 21 game… but the field looks so soggy that the fate of that one will probably be the same.

    There is shitty, shitty, shitty drainage at Kings Park, they need to do something about it in the off-season!

  • 9

    8 @ grootblousmile:
    Look I do agree, something has to be done there about the drainage. For now they have to get the drainage working well. Though for the future I really would like us to move over the the modern MM Stadium. Look I will always have great memories of going to the Tank and have truly enjoyed my times there, but really why stay stuck in a old out of date stadium when we have such a beautiful mordern first world one across the road? I know I can hear everyone saying we are dept free at KP. Would we in most things in life just stay stuck in the the old out dated systems, just because we are dept free? If that was the case we would all be still watching on the old box type tv’s and have cell phones the size of a brick…..hahaha. Dammit man it is time Sharks moved over the road. Again I say I love the Tank and will have great memories there, but we truly need to move on now. The stadium is old and dated.

  • 10

    They just need to build like another 300 suites at MM. That can be done. Time to move over.

  • 11

    9 @ Puma:
    The problem with Moses Mabidha Stadium is that it has far too few Hospitality Suites (Boxes) compared to Kings Park.

    Same with Cape Town Stadium compared to Newlands…
    Same with Soccer City compared to the Coke-Tin…

  • 12

    10 @ grootblousmile:
    I know mentioned that in my post 10. There is room to build those suites though. If they get those suites built we should move over. Brilliant stadium with great facilities. Hope we eventually move over. Went there for the Brazil/Portual game in the wc, and was truly blown away by that stadium. I thought you woule be able to see rugby there just as good as at KP. Every seat actually you would get a good view.

    Hope we do some day before they knock it down, that would be a bloody shame and what a waste of money.

  • 13

    menat Portugal

  • 14

    12 @ Puma:
    Sharks Rugby Union should hold out… eventually the new stadium will be offered to them for FREE… to OWN outright.

    Simply costs the Deben Local Gov too much… and they simply cannot utilize it fully.

    Mark my words….


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