Exeter Chiefs v Ulster

Stakes are high as Ulster travel to Sandy Park to face Exeter Chiefs in Champions Cup encounter

Johnny Watterson Sun, Jan 15
LIVE: Exeter Chiefs v Ulster

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  • Welcome to Ulster's make or break match against Exeter. The Irish province must win to keep their chances for qualification for the knockout phase alive. Nothing but a win will do with Ulster facing the English side without Springbok Ruan Pienaar.
    Exeter are out of the running for qualification and so are playing for pride in Sandy Park.
    Kick off is in around five minutes.
  • Dave Shanahan is making his first start for Ullster at outhalf in Pienaar's absence, while Ulsterman Gareth Steenson is the Exeter captain and outhalf opposite Ulster's Paddy Jackson.
  • Jackson gets it under way.
  • Ulster throwing the ball around. But they are going backwards in the opening phase...Just as we were being critical Stuart McCloskey bursts through the middle makes good ground and gives a one handed off load to Sean Reidy Reidy in support. Ulster try !
    Great work by McCloskey. Is Joe Schmidt watching|?
    Jackson misses the conversion.
    4 mins Ulster 5 Exeter 0
  • Ulster are pressing up and going through the phases again. At the moment they own the ball and the territory. McCloskey is again smashing through. He's proving a handful in the centre and causing panic on his runs.
    Ulster captain Trimble breaks through and into the Exeter 22. Seven metres short but pemalty for Exeter at the breakdown and they safely kick to touch.
  • Whoops Exeter burst through finding space out wide. But a misplaced final pass to the right wing lets Ulster off the hook for what would have been a run in try.
  • Ulster not having it all their own way and Exeter putting in some big tackles in the Ulster 22. The bearded Jack Nowell breaks the gain line in the centre but Ulster scramble.
  • Shanahan very busy in his first Ulster start at scrumhalf. He's keeping the ball alive as Ulster press into the Exeter half again. Exeter scrum wheels around. Penalty to the English side and it's kicked safely away.
  • Ulster were expecting a big pack gamne from Exeter but the home are throwing it around and getting their wide men on the ball. But great tackle from Trimble and Ulster counter.
    Lineoutt deep in the Exeter half.
  • 2o mins
    Exeter counter ruck Ulster off the ball in their 22. First signs of the pack doing their business.
  • 22 mins
    Wow...Italy's Campagnaro tears Ulster apart with a nice show and go. He makes the final 10 yards down the left touchline to the Ulster line with an Ulster defender on his shirt. Nicely done by the Italian internationl but it looked a little too easy.
    Exeter 5 Ulster 5
  • 26 mins
    Nowells kicks and chases but Ludic at fullback collects nicely for Ulster. He needed the bounce and he got it. But Exeter showing they are unafraid to attack Ulster, who have lost a bit of shape in the last five minutes.
  • Exeter now going through phases and pressing into Ulster22.and Campagnaro brings it up to the five metre line. Exeter lineout
    They put in a good heave from the lineout. Ulster desperately defending their line as bodies pile in for Exeter. The French referee Poite goes to the TMO for a try or no try. Even the replays are difficult to see.
    No try.
  • 28 mins

    5 yard scrum for Exeter
  • 30 mins
    Nowells is lined up if Exeter can get the ball to him. Ulster under pressure here in the scrum. Exeter push and Ulster go backwards. Again they power over the line and again Poite goes to the TMO. This time it looks clearly like a try for Exeter from Waldrom.
    Try given and Exeter take the lead.

    Exeter 12 Ulster 5
  • So much for the up front game promised by Exeter. They are playing it wide and hand to hand bettter than Ulster have been.
  • 35 mins
    Whow...what a try from Ulster winger Piutau. The ball goes left and Exeter seemed to have it covered but a little magic from the Kiwi accelerating and cutting inside off his left foot to dance his way over the line gives Ulster their second try of the match.
    Brilliant play from the All Black.
    Jackson converts to pull Ulster level.
    Exeter 12 Ulster 123
  • Halftime

    Okay the referee blows for halftime, the two sides level. The good news is Ulster are half way to a bonus point four tries. The bad news is Exeter are game for the match and in Campagnaro and Nowels have dangermen if given room.
    Ulster need to bring more control into the game. If they can open the second half going thnrough the phases as they did for the first 10 minutes. It will pay dividends. But there is little sign of that as the first half closes.

    Exeter 12 Ulster 12
  • "Fair play to both teams they are throwing the ball around. A few linebreaks as well," Stephen Ferris.
  • Ulster have 40 minutes to save their European season. They have to win in Exeter and then win their final match of the pool to sneak in to the knockout phase as one of the better second placed sides. Lots to be done in Sandy Park.
    Ulster need to do better at the break down, Go through controlled phases and get the ball wide quickley. They cannot allow it to become an open Sevens type running and throwing game.
  • Exeter straight into offensive mode from the restart. In the Ulster 22. Looked like a high tackle on Compagnaro from Luke Marshall but ref lets it go.

    Exeter 5 yards out. Bodies are going in. One metre out. Ref toots his whistle. Scrum five yards out.
  • 46 mins
    Resets the scrum. Danger here for Ulster. They need to dig deep.Ball played left to Nowells who makes it to within a yard. Ref blows for an Exeter penalty and they go for a lineout.
    Exeter drive at the Ulster line but brilliant defence from Ulster stops the driving maul. Poite blows for Ulster scrum.
  • Early danger for Ulster weathered. But the troubling thing is Exeter own possession and are back punching up the pitch to Ulster's 22.
  • The ponttailed Italian drives through the Ulster defence with bodies all over him. Poite runs around to see if the ball has been grounded.
  • 50 mins
    Poite is getting some technical assistance with his mic. All done its an Exeter 5 yards scrum.
    Steenson and Johnson go in but its Waldrom who forces his way over for Exeter's third try. The continued pressure has earned the flanker his second touchdown of the match.
    Steenson converts this time.
    Exeter 19 Ulster 12
  • 55 mins
    Now Ulster reply with Exeter scrambling. But McCloskey drops the ball at the halfway line and Exeter counter attack
    Nowells takes off and steps past the first Ulster defender Piutau.
    He streaks off on a solo with Campagnaro on his shoulder. The off load is good to Campagnaro and it's a try for Exeter, Campagnaro's second of the match.
    Ulster are now in a deep hole and on their way out of this competition.
    Exeter 24 Ulster 12
  • 60 mins
    Ulster looking urgent make groyund through Piutau and McCloskey, a goose step from the All Black getting him down the left side.
    Ulster in the Exeter 22 and draw a penalty. They kick to touch looking for a try at this stage.
    Exeter 24 Ulster 12

  • 61 mins
    It has worked Piutau gets his second try as Jackson's deft little chip out to the wing finds the Kiwi. Perfect judgement from the Ulster out half and great take from Piutau, who catches it on the run and dots down under the posts..
    Jackson converts and Ulster are back in the game.
    Exeter 24 Ulster 19
  • 64 mins Another great pass from Jackson sends Piutau on his way. Jackson stays with him and takes it on, kicking in field just before he's tackled. But the ball bounces the wrong way for Shanahan to touch down. It is unbearbly close for Ulster's fourth try but Shanahan knocked on in the race for the ball just inches from the Exeter line.
    Exeter 24 Ulster 19
  • Oops Shanahan misses a pass that would have sent him through from a deep run. Knock on from the scrumhalf. These are chances Ulster must take with 12 minutes remaining.
  • 71 mins
    Exeter penalty from 36 metres and central.
    But Steenson misses it and Ulster breath.
  • 73 mins
    Jackson is binned for for deliberately knocking on as Exeter sweep forward towards the Ulster line.. There were three defenders outside and Jackson was on his own. Poite also gives the penalty try to Exeter much to the disgust of Rory Best.
    But it is the right call from the referee. Jackson knows he is gone and he did prevent a try. Ulster now with one foot out of the competition.
    Exeter 31 Ulster 19
  • McCloskey and Henderson muscle forward. Reidy is in there and Piutau too. Best takes it forward. A quick tap penalty and Henry is five yards out. Ulster hit Exeter with bodies but Exeter are hanging tough and Ulster are going backwards.
    Poite blowsas Piutau is put into touch.
  • 77 mins
    Exeter 31 Ulster 19
  • 79 mins
    Everyone is blowing hard but Exeter now have the territory as the clock counts down. Ulster are out of Europe unless they can score two tries in one minute and its not looking likely.
  • 80 mins
    Fair play to Exeter who could have played this match for the dead rubber that it was for them. Exeter can get 16 points if they beat Clermont away in the next match
    But Ulster just weren't good enough and they are out of Europe for this year. "They can't buy a win at the moment," says Stephen Ferris.
  • Campagnaro wins man of the match. At leaset Italian coach Conor O'Shea will be happy.
    Disappointed Ulstenow to focus on the Pro 12 and ensure they stay in the top 7 to qualify for next year's competition.
    Ulster at the bottom of their pool on 9 points so the max they can get is 14 points.
    Down and out Kiss and Ulster have a lot of thinking to do now.