Ulster 18-13 Clermont Auvergne: Cooney stars as Pro14 side prevail at home

By Rob Lancaster 23 November 2019 1
Ulster 18-13 Clermont Auvergne: Cooney stars as Pro14 side prevail at home

John Cooney scored 13 points, including a superb second-half try, to help Ulster record a hard-fought 18-13 European Champions Cup win over Clermont Auvergne on Friday.

The Pro14 side went ahead inside the opening minute with a penalty, setting the tone for an impressive first-half performance that saw Jordi Murphy cross following a rolling maul at a line-out.

Cooney added the conversion as well as a further penalty before the break, with the only response from Clermont coming from the boot of Greig Laidlaw, making it 13-3 at the midway stage of the contest.

Scotland international Laidlaw landed a second penalty to cut the gap only for Ulster to reply with a try from Cooney that saw the scrum-half hack on his own kick over the top before diving on the loose ball.

Clermont made it a nervy finish by forcing a penalty try with nine minutes remaining, though they were forced to settle for a losing bonus point. Ulster, meanwhile, top Pool 3 after recording back-to-back triumphs in Europe.

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