Ulster 38-0 Toulouse: Les Kiss’s men romp to biggest win of the season with five-try thumping of French in European Champions Cup
Ulster thrashed Toulouse 38-0 in the European Champions Cup at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday night
The Irish province led 17-0 at the break compliments of tries from Nick Williams and Andrew Trimble with Paddy Jackson completing the total with seven points from the tee
Tries after the break from Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey and Stuart McCloskey secured the bonus point while one conversion each from Jackson and Ian Humphreys completed the hosts scoring
Ulster romped to their biggest win of the season as they thrashed Top 14 high-flyers and four-time European Champions Toulouse 38-0 at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday night.
Nick Williams and Andrew Trimble got first half tries for the hosts, Paddy Jackson with two conversions and a penalty which set up a comfortable 17-0 interval lead.
And their dominance continued after the break as they ran in three more tries, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey and Chris Henry all going over to make it a bonus-point win, Jackson adding two more goals, before substitute Ian Humphreys rounded off the scoring with the last two-pointer of the game on a memorable night at the Kingspan.
Coming into the game, the outcome looked likely to be on a knife edge, with Pro12’s fifth-placed side, Ulster at 11/10 to win, while their visitors, sitting third in the Top 14, were 10/11 with SkyBet.
But Ulster were outstanding from start to finish as they nilled an opponent for the first time this season and racked up their second biggest score of the season, second only to their 42-7 Pro12 thrashing of Italian minnows Benneton Treviso in October.
After absorbing some early pressure, Ulster showed their attacking intent as Jackson opted to kick to touch rather than go for goal, and it paid off as Williams stormed over from five metres out, Jackson with the goal to make it 7-0 after 22 minutes.
Things got worse for Toulouse soon after as influential number nine Sebastien Bezy was sin binned before Jackson added a penalty for a ten-point lead.
The French visitors looked to hit back but soon had the wind firmly taken from their sails as 58-cap Irishman Trimble scored one of the tries of the season on the stroke of half time, scorching through the defensive line before gathering his own chipped kick, leaving visiting full back Clement Poitrenaud helpless.
Jackson added the two for a 17-point half-time lead.
The home crowd were palpably buzzing after a stunning first 40, but the atmosphere quickly became euphoric just four minutes into the second half.
It was Marshall who got the third try of a remarkable night, racing under the posts after a pinpoint crossfield kick from Ruan Pienaar.
Jackson made it 24-0 but that soon became a 31-point advantage, McCloskey with a fine exhibition of his searing pace to clinch the hosts’ bonus-point try, Jackson keeping up his 100 per cent record with the boot.
Only one try came in the final quarter, through Henry on 70 minutes following a maul, Humphreys with the extras, but is was far from a sedate conclusion as Ulster fought tooth and nail to retain their clean sheet.
A stand out effort from Trimble late on saw Jean-Marc Doussain lose the ball over the line when it looked easier to score was the tip of an immovable defensive iceberg, a fact perhaps epitomised by the Ulstermen out-tacking their illustrious opponents 141-97.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Ulster: Ruan Pienaar
Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Craig Gilroy; 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Kyle McCall
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Andy Warwick, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Clive Ross, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Rory Scholes
Toulouse: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Toby Flood, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Vasil Kakovin
Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Edwin Maka, 20 Gregory Lamboley, 21 Gillian Galan, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Alexis Palisson
Date: Friday, December 11
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)