Ulster qualified for the Champions Cup quarter-finals with a dramatic 14-13 comeback win over Leicester Tigers on Saturday.

The hosts went into half-time 10-0 up at Welford Road, with the visitors’ hopes hanging by a thread, but Ulster showed their class in the final quarter of the game to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The game got off to a physical, cagey start, with Leicester playing the better rugby, but failing to capitalise on their chances. That was until the 32nd minute, when the deadlock was finally broken by a George Ford penalty.

Ulster looked to hit back, but costly errors pinned them on the back foot. On the stroke of half-time, they were truly made to pay, as Ford’s grubber sent Matt Toomua in behind the defence and the centre dotted down to score the game’s first try.

Life didn’t get any easier for Ulster after the break, as Leicester continued to frustrate them. 10 minutes into the second-half, Ford extended the Tigers’ lead with a penalty.

The visitors were not without their opportunities, but a combination of Leicester’s brilliant defence and their own sloppy mistakes kept them on the back foot. However, they finally crossed the try-line in the 59th minute when Marty Moore dived over off a line-out maul, putting them back within touching distance.

All of a sudden, Ulster had come to life. It was only a matter of minutes before Billy Burns unlocked the home defence with a moment of magic, chipping over the top for Robert Baloucoune to gather and finish. The conversion from John Cooney put Dan McFarland’s outfit in front.

Although Ulster clinched their quarter-final spot, their efforts were not enough to top Pool 4, as Racing 92 wrapped first place up with a high-scoring 46-33 victory over Scarlets.

The Welsh side led 16-15 at half-time, but were overrun in the closing stages of the game. Simon Zebo scored two of Racing’s six tries, with the others coming through Juan Imhoff, Henry Chavancy, Virimi Vakatawa and Teddy Iribaren.

Meanwhile, Scarlets narrowly missed a four-try bonus point despite a brace from Johnny McNicholl and a Steff Evans try.

The post Ulster through to quarters, but Racing 92 top pool appeared first on Planet Rugby.


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