Billy Burns has night to forget as Connacht blow Ulster away
CONNACHT 36-11 ULSTER
"This has been coming," lamented Stephen Ferris as Ulster were badly exposed by Connacht for their first true test of the season.
Ulster went into tonight's United Rugby Championship match against Connacht, at the Aviva Stadium, having won four from four and having collected a maximum of 20 points.
They head back up the road to Belfast with their league total still on 20. They conceded five tries to a fired-up Connacht side that had ceded home advantage to host Ulster in Dublin.
Conor Oliver, Dave Heffernan and Niall Murray were stand-out forwards for Connacht and that pressure, and press, told as Billy Burns threw risky passes for what turned out to be intercept tries for Mack Hansen and Diarmuid Kilgallen.
Lock Niall Murray got Connacht's first after a super carry and offload from Paul Boyle, while John Porch roasted Mike Lowry, over on the right wing, for their third try of the night.
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) October 23, 2021
Kilgallen's intercept score got Connacht the try-scoring bonus point. While Ulster responded with a try from Bradley Roberts, the last laugh went to Connacht when Caolin Blade made a turnover and Hansen powered away from a spent defence to get the exclamation point score.
Burns' poor outing will put his future Ireland chances in peril [he missed out on the November squad] while Nick Timoney had a quiet night for Ulster. There were a couple of positives in the performances of the returning Iain Henderson and Robert Baloucoune, though.
Irish-qualified Mack Hansen and outhalf Jack Carty both missed out on that Ireland squad. Both reminded us how good they are on a night that will hopefully provide a spark for the rest of Connacht's season.
Man of the Match: Conor Oliver (Connacht)
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