Pienaar inspires Ulster to famous win

Ruan Pienaar helped Ulster overcome Toulouse for only their third-ever victory in France on Sunday, while Clermont and Leicester also recorded wins in the European Champions Cup.

Ulster were made to work hard to complete the double against Toulouse after their 38-0 thrashing of the French side last week in Belfast.

The visitors took an early lead as Paddy Jackson slotted a penalty in the second minute of the match. Much of the first half was evenly poised with both sides looking to attack and defending well. Ulster had more opportunities, but were unable to convert as Jackson and Pienaar missed a penalty each with the score remaining 3-0. The Springbok scrumhalf made up for his blunder as he darted over under the posts to score Ulster’s first try of the match in the 32nd minute. Jackson converted to give the visitors a 10-3 lead at half-time.

Toulouse fought their way back in the second half with a converted try from Gaël Fickou and two penalties from scrumhalf Sebastien Bézy, putting the hosts 16-15 ahead. Ulster regained the lead a few minutes later through a Jackson penalty, while a converted try from Luke Marshall in the 76th minute effectively closed down the game. Toulouse scored a converted try in the 79th minute, but ran out of time to go for the win.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Clermont outclassed the Exeter Chiefs five tries to one to win 42-10 at home after last week’s 31-14 beating at Sandy Park.

Clermont dominated in the first half taking a 21-3 lead into the break. The second half was pretty much a repeat as Clermont raced to a 42-3 lead in the 63rd minute, all but securing victory. Exeter scored in the 73rd minute after Clermont suffered two yellow cards, but still slumped to a 32-point defeat.

The Leicester Tigers remained top of Pool 4 after they outmuscled Munster 17-6 for their fourth straight victory in the competition.

The match at Welford Road was far from a one-sided affair, but it was the hosts who managed to score in each half. Munster took an early 3-0 lead, but Leicester pulled away in the 23rd minute with their first try.

With the Tigers leading 10-6 at the restart, they effectively sealed their win in the 65th minute with a second try. Munster fought back valiantly, but Leicester held on to their 11-point lead.

Ulster (25) – Tries: Ruan Pienaar, Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall. Conversions: Paddy Jackson (2). Penalties: Paddy Jackon (2).
Toulouse (23) – Tries: Gaël Fickou, Louis Picamoles. Conversions: Sebastien Bézy, Jean Marc Doussain. Penalties: Sebastien Bézy (3).

Clermont (42) – Tries: David Strettle, Alexandre Lepandry, Fritz Lee, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Jonathan Davies. Conversions: Morgan Parra (3), Camille Lopez. Penalties: Morgan Parra (2), Scott Spedding.
Exeter Chiefs (10) – Try: Tom Johnson. Conversion: Will Hooley. Penalty: Gareth Steenson.

Leicester Tigers (17) – Tries: Ed Slater, Vereniki Goneva. Conversions: Freddie Burns (2). Penalty: Freddie Burns.
Munster (6) – Penalties: Ian Keatley.