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Ulster looking to remain top of Pool 3

Thursday 12th December 2019

11:29 am (GMT)

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Ulster looking to remain top of Pool 3

Ulster Rugby scrum-half John Cooney, top scorer in the pool stage of the Heineken Champions Cup this season

Ulster Rugby will remain top of Heineken Champions Cup Pool 3 with a victory over Harlequins on Friday night, live from Twickenham Stoop at 19:45 GMT with coverage on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.

The two sides were involved in a thrilling Round 3 match at the Kingspan Stadium, with the Irish province coming out 25-24 victors after a late John Cooney penalty kick.

Key Facts

  • This will be the seventh time that Harlequins and Ulster have met in the Heineken Champions Cup. Quins won the first two encounters, but the current Pool 3 leaders have won the most recent four clashes.
  • Harlequins have a 50% win rate in home games against Irish opposition in the Heineken Champions Cup, losing two of their last three such matches.
  • Ulster have won their last three away pool matches by a single point.
  • Only Toulouse have made more metres with the driving maul than Ulster this season. They have also scored two tries in this fashion.
  • Only Munster’s CJ Stander has made more carries than Marcell Coetzee this season.

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Cooney guides Ulster to crucial away success

Friday 13th December 2019

10:10 pm (GMT)

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Cooney guides Ulster to crucial away success

Ulster Rugby scrum-half John Cooney

Ulster Rugby remained top of Heineken Champions Cup Pool 3 after a commanding 34-10 victory over Harlequins on Friday night, with scrum-half John Cooney scoring 19 points in the win at Twickenham Stoop.

The Irish province got off a good start and edged ahead when the hosts were penalised for not rolling away, allowing Heineken Man of the Match Cooney to slot over his first three-pointer.

It would take until the 34th minute before the scoreboard was troubled again. It was Harlequins who levelled the scores, with James Lang kicking a simple penalty kick after penalty advantage was being played by Alexandre Ruiz.

Ulster then grabbed what was a crucial opening try just before the interval.

It came through Billy Burns who straightened up from inside his own half, releasing Jacob Stockdale who sprinted clear before another hand off to Matt Faddes. He found in-form Cooney who was tackled but did just enough to get over the line, before stepping up and converting his try.

The visitors were a different animal in the second period, scoring a try in the 46th minute when a lovely kick in behind by Stuart McCloskey released Luke Marshall near the posts and he collected, got back to his feet and powered over the line.

On the hour mark, Cooney spotted a sloppy play at the breakdown from Harlequins inside their own 22 and he kicked away, collected his tap before bobbing and weaving past two Quins defenders and cutting back to score at the posts in breathtaking fashion.

Stephen Lewies responded for the hosts but it was Ulster who had the last laugh, scoring two tries in the final four minutes through Matt Faddes and Tom O’Toole, bringing up what could turn out to be a vital try bonus point.

Next up for Ulster will be a critical Round 5 clash with ASM Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel Michelin while Harlequins will host Bath Rugby.

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