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Ulster make light of Dan McFarland departure to claim big win over Dragons

02 Mar 2024 2 minute read
Rodney Parade picture by COYB01 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Ulster made light of former head coach Dan McFarland’s sudden departure from Ravenhill as they ran in seven tries to register a vital and convincing 49-26 victory over the Dragons.

Michael Lowry and David McCann scored two tries each in a thumping win while John Cooney kicked 14 points by converting all seven touchdowns.

Will Addison, Harry Sheridan and Nick Timoney also crossed for Ulster, who saw long-serving coach McFarland leave his post last month after three consecutive defeats.

The Dragons managed a bonus point of their own after being awarded a late penalty try.

The hosts took the lead after just four minutes, Will Addison opening the scoring after a grubber from Billy Burns, with Cooney converting well.

Driving maul

The Dragons managed to draw level when James Benjamin was driven over after 11 minutes from a driving maul with Will Reed converting.

But Ulster were back in front six minutes later with their second try, Lowry running in unopposed after Addison and McCann had linked up out on the flank off turnover ball.

Cooney slotted his third conversion on the half hour after Harry Sheridan had battered over from close range to put the Irish province 21-7 ahead.

The bonus-point try came when Lowry scored his second of the match after 32 minutes, yet again Cooney converting and the first half came to a close with Ulster ahead 28-7 and looking in complete charge.

The visitors responded with the first score of the second half, when lock Matthew Screech drove through from close range in the 51st minute, although Reed’s conversion hit the post and stayed out.

Ulster hit back five minutes later with the fifth try of the night when McCann touched down with Cooney slotting another excellent touchline conversion.


Once again, the Dragons refused to buckle and came back again with their third try when Brodie Coghlan drove over, and this time Reed converted.

Ulster were back on the scoresheet with nine minute remaining Timoney scored in the corner, Cooney again superb with the extras, before McCann ran in for his second touchdown with five minutes to go.

The game ended with a penalty try for the Dragons and a try bonus which also resulted in Timoney being yellow carded.

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