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Ulster have won all five of their previous home games played against South African opposition in the United Rugby Championship.
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The Sharks have won their last two fixtures against Irish opposition but lost on their only previous trip to Ireland.
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Sharks: Aphelele Fassi, Werner Kok, Lukhanyo Am, Marius Louw, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch, Jaden Hendrikse, Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit (captain), Ruben van Heerden, Reniel Hugo, Siya Kolisi, Henco Venter, Phepsi Buthelezi. Replacements: Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Khutha Mchunu, Hyron Andrews, Jeandre Labuschagne, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Grant Williams, Boeta Chamberlain.
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Ulster: Mike Lowry, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney, Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (captain), Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen. Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Matty Rea, Nathan Doak, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle.
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Greetings and a warm welcome to our coverage of the United Rugby Championship match Round 18 match between Ulster and the Sharks from the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.
1'
KICK OFF: ULSTER 0-0 SHARKS The game is underway as Ulster kick deep.
2'
Kok hits Lowry hard on the kick chase but Ulster do well to hold onto the ball and return a kick which is spilled by the Sharks just outside their 22.
3'
Ulster look slick on attack but McIlroy throws a wild pass forward and into touch and the Sharks now have the scrum feed just outside their own 22.
4'
It is carried back into the Ulster 22 and they kick it straight out to gift the Sharks an attacking lineout in great position.
7'
The Sharks get good go-forward but then their attack is isolated and Ulster are awarded a penalty which they use to move play towards halfway.
9'
An end to end back and forth ends with Ulster finding touch just inside their own half where the Sharks will have the lineout feed.
11'
The Sharks somehow manage to contrive not to score after a terrible knock-on by Ulster.
12'
A sloppy penalty for being in front of the kick against the Sharks allows Ulster to switch play into their opponent's half of the field.
14'
The Sharks scramble it clear after a lineout five from their own line. Ulster now have them hemmed in.
17'
An Ulster player is standing in the Sharks backline but the referee incredibly penalises the Sharks.
17'
In a tight game Ulster are content to drive the Sharks back towards their 22 where they will have a lineout.
18'
PENALTY, ULSTER, COONEY, 3-0: Cooney slots the cheap penalty and Ulster have the lead.
20'
Ulster knock-on in attack and the Sharks have the scrum on their own 22 where the match has largely been played.
22'
Fassi's kick is charged down and the Sharks will have a lineout still just outside their 22.
23'
Ulster reject a long shot at goal after Baloucoune gets up for a hoist but is tackled in the air. The hosts put a kick down into the Sharks 22.
25'
Ulster get another generous penalty and reject the shot in favour of another go at the maul.
27'
TRY, ULSTER, LOWRY, 8-0: Lowry gets over as Ulster finally beat the rush defence out wide.
28'
CONVERSION, ULSTER, COONEY, 10-0: Cooney slots and Ulster have ten points.
30'
Fassi is forced into touch on attack and isn't happy with the tackle but the referee sees no problem with the high tackle and Ulster have the lineout.
32'
Lowry is down after a tackle and there is an extended stoppage. The Sharks lost it on the ground just outside the Ulster 22.
33'
McIlroy drops the ball after Ulster fashion an overlap and that is a huge let-off for the Sharks whose defence was exposed again.
35'
The Sharks take the shot at goal after a scrum penalty but Bosch nudges his kick just wide.
37'
The Sharks have the scrum after Ulster spill the ball straight after a turnover.
39'
The Sharks are kept out by ferocious defence from Ulster and eventually, the hosts get a jackal over the ball and win the penalty.
40'
HALF TIME: ULSTER 10-0 SHARKS
41'
The Sharks kick down into the Ulster 22 and the hosts don't kick out on the exit.
43'
The Sharks will drop out from the goal-line as Burns shreds the Sharks line and kicks ahead but Fassi gets back.
44'
TRY, ULSTER, MCCLOSKEY, 15-0: McCloskey bursts through the Sharks defence with a powerful run, that's a great try.
45'
CONVERSION, ULSTER, COONEY, 17-0: Cooney makes it a tough old game for the Sharks to get back into with the conversion.
47'
The Sharks lose their ball on a five metre lineout but Ulster's clearance is skewed and then knocked on by the hosts. The Sharks attack again but Fassi loses it forward out wide.
50'
The Sharks are pegged back again as Ulster kick deep into the 22 again after another line break.
51'
A good box kick from Hendrikse takes the Sharks back up to the halfway line but Ulster will have the feed and the Sharks defence is looking increasingly anxious.
53'
A seatbelt tackle is missed by the referee but the Sharks still have the ball on attack.
55'
The Sharks bash away at the line but can't find a way through even when they get the chance to attack with advantage and they come back for a penalty.
56'
The Sharks call for the scrum five out.
57'
The Sharks win another scrum penalty but can't use the advantage to score and will come back. They call for another scrum.
60'
Hendrikse knocks on in attack and the Sharks frustration goes on.
62'
Ulster give away another penalty in their 22 and it must be getting close to yellow card territory with the persistent negative tactics from Ulster.
63'
TRY, SHARKS, MCHUNU, 17-5: The quick tap allows Mchunu to smash over and put the Sharks on the board.
65'
TRY, ULSTER, HUME, 22-7: Great backline play from Ulster makes mincemeat of the Sharks defence and Hume finishes off under the posts.
65'
CONVERSION, SHARKS, BOSCH, 17-7: Bosch slots the conversion.
66'
CONVERSION, ULSTERS, COONEY, 24-7: Cooney kicks the conversion and that might be the game now.
67'
Ulster give away another penalty after the restart and the Sharks send them back into their 22.
68'
Van Vuuren's lineout feed is not straight and Ulster have the scrum about ten from their line.
71'
A final insult to the Sharks who see their best attack ended with an Ulsterman flopping onto the ball and bizarrely winning a penalty from the referee who has been poor throughout the contest.
74'
Another desperate but uninspired Sharks attack ends with a silly little mistake as Louw tries to place the ball but chucks it into touch on the Ulster 22.
76'
TRY, SHARKS, LOUW, 24-12: Williams finds a hole and Louw goes over next to the posts.
76'
Ulster are content to go for the safety of touch ten metres from halfway.
77'
CONVERSION, SHARKS, CHAMBERLAIN, 24-14: Chamberlain nails the conversion.
79'
TRY, SHARKS, WILLIAMS, 24-19: Williams sprints away to score from a kick and chase and suddenly its game on with little time to go.
80'
FULL TIME: ULSTER 24-21 SHARKS The Sharks give it one last throw of the dice but in the end they lose it and Ulster kick it out to hold on for the win.
80'
SHARKS, CONVERSION, CHAMBERLAIN, 24-21: Chamberlain hurries but slots the kick.
Ulster
Sharks
3
Tries
3
26' Lowry Michael
44' McCloskey Stuart
64' Hume James
62' Mchunu Ntuthukho
76' Louw Marius
80' Williams Grant
3
Conversions
3
27' Cooney John
45' Cooney John
65' Cooney John
63' Bosch Curwin
77' Chamberlain B...
80' Chamberlain B...
1
Penalties
0
16' Cooney John
0
Drop Goals
0
0
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
15
Squad
15
Warwick Andrew
Herring Rob
O'Toole Tom
O'Connor Alan
Henderson Iain
Rea Marcus
Timoney Nick
Vermeulen Duane
Cooney John
Burns Billy
McIlroy Ethan
McCloskey Stuart
Hume James
Baloucoune Robert
Lowry Michael
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Nche Ox
Mbonambi Bongi
du Toit Thomas
van Heerden Ruben
Hugo Reniel
Kolisi Siya
Venter Henco
Buthelezi Phendulani
Hendrikse Jaden
Bosch Curwin
Mapimpi Makazole
Louw Marius
Am Lukhanyo
Kok Werner
Fassi Aphelele
8
Reserves
8
Milasinovich Gareth
O'Sullivan Eric
Andrew John
Treadwell Kieran
Rea Matthew
Lyttle Rob
Moore Stewart
Doak Nathan
18
17
16
19
20
23
22
21
Notshe Sikumbuzo
Andrews Hyron
van Vuuren Kerron
Williams Grant
Mchunu Khuthuzani
Chamberlain Boeta
Mchunu Ntuthukho
Labuschagne Jeandre