Ulster score three tries in friendly win over Leinster

Ulster ran in three tries as they began their season with a 21-19 win over Leinster in a pre-season friendly at a new-look Ravenhill stadium.

Centre Jared Payne, captain for the night, and number eight Nick Williams, scored tries in the first half as the hosts built up a 14-13 interval lead.

Ian Porter touched down late in the second half while fly-half James McKinney converted all three tries.

Dominic Ryan scored Leinster's try and new boy Jimmy Gopperth added 14 points.

Conditions were greasy underfoot for the Irish inter-provincial clash, which saw Matt O'Connor take charge of Leinster for the first time.

Ulster's early Pro12 fixtures

  • 6 September - Dragons (a)
  • 13 September - Glasgow (h)
  • 21 September - Connacht (a)
  • 27 September - Benetton Treviso (h)
  • 4 October - Ospreys (a)

Summer acquisition Gopperth scored his first points for his new club with two first-half penalties and then flanker Ryan went over in the corner, Gopperth converting.

Williams powered forward from a Niall Annett lineout and then McKinney found Payne, who dived over.

McKinney was successful with the conversion and again added the extra points after Williams barged over for a try a minute into added time at the end of the first period.

Gopperth nudged Leinster in front with two further penalties after the break but replacement Porter delighted the majority of the 10,000 capacity crowd by scoring the winning try in the 76th minute after a period of good Ulster pressure.

McKinney's conversion ensured victory for Mark Anscombe's side, who face Leicester in another pre-season fixture at Welford Road on Saturday 31 August.

Ulster's first competitive game is away to the Dragons in the Pro12 on Friday 6 September.

Ulster: P Nelson; R Scholes, J Payne (capt), C Farrell, M Allen; J McKinney, M Heaney; K McCall, N Annett, D Fitzpatrick; L Stevenson, N McComb; M McComish, S Doyle, N Williams.

Replacements: C Black, J Murphy, B Ross, A O'Connor D Tuohy, R Diack, R Wilson, I Porter, C Cochrane, L Marshall, D McIlwaine, R Andrew.

Leinster: D Hudson; D Fanning, B Macken, N Reid, A Boyle; J Gopperth, J Cooney; J O'Connell, A Dundon, M Moore; T Beirne, Q Roux; R Ruddock (capt), D Ryan, L Auva'a.

Replacements from : J Tracy, J McGrath, M Bent, T Furlong, B Marshall, J Murphy, D Leavy, L McGrath, C O'Shea, A Byrne, T Daly, B Dardis, T Farrell, C Marsh.