|Stormers (10) 17|
|Tries: Kotze, Roos, Gelant Con: Libbok|
|Ulster (15) 15|
|Tries: Baloucoune, Moore Con: Cooney Pen: Cooney|
Ulster let slip a 5 level lead in opposition to 14-man Stormers to overlook out on the United Rugby Championship last.
Robert Baloucoune and Stewart Moore cancelled out an early Stormers surge as Ulster led 15-10 at half-time.
It appeared like Ulster would maintain out when Adre Smith was despatched off on 70 minutes, however Manie Libbok transformed Warrick Gelant’s strive within the pink to present the Stormers a last-gasp 17-15 win.
The Stormers will now the face Bulls in an all-South African last on Saturday.
The defeat means Ulster’s trophy drought, which stretches again to 2006, will proceed whereas the Stormers may have dwelling benefit in Cape City for the ultimate in opposition to the Bulls, who defeated favourites Leinster on Friday.
The second-half was scoreless till Gelant’s strive, which got here in opposition to the percentages after Smith was despatched off for making contact with the attention space of Ulster captain Iain Henderson, and Libbok, who had but to land any of this three makes an attempt, cut up the posts with the ultimate kick of the sport to ship the hosts to the decider.
Ulster hit again after sluggish begin
Stormers took the lead by way of JJ Kotze within the fourth minute, though referee Mike Adamson jogged below the posts to award a penalty strive, his contact choose alerted him that the hooker had grounded the ball from the maul earlier than it was introduced down.
That spared Ulster a possible yellow card, and, in an extra slice of luck, Libbok missed the conversion in what can be, till his decisive kick, an error-strewn show.
If the primary was by way of brute drive, Stormers’ second was a flowing transfer which obtained the house crowd off their ft. From a lineout on the Ulster 22, Evan Roos broke away from the ensuing maul and fed Herschel Jantjies out large, who returned the favour for the quantity eight to the touch down after skipping away from diving and determined tackles.
Libbok missed his second conversion, and Ulster hit again moments later when Baloucoune burst over within the nook following a penalty benefit.
A fast TMO test determined Moore’s last move was flat, a lot to the despair of the partisan dwelling assist, nevertheless the jeers turned to ironic cheers as John Cooney pushed the conversion large.
That strive settled Ulster, who have been second-best within the opening levels, and Billy Burns’ chic solo run, which consisted to 2 chip kicks, almost resulted in a second strive for the guests however the dwelling defence scrambled to clear.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Dan McFarland’s aspect obtained the strive they deserved. Baloucoune turned from scorer to supplier and his darting run created area for Moore, who gathered the winger’s offload to attain unchallenged and stage the sport on 28 minutes.
Cooney added the conversion to place Ulster into the lead for the primary time earlier than Libbok missed a drop-goal from contained in the 22 after sustained interval of Stormers stress – a mistake not repeated by Cooney because the Ulster scrum-half slotted a penalty with the ultimate act of the half.
Scrappy second half
Motion was restricted in a scrappy opening 10 minutes after the restart, nevertheless Ulster have been pressured right into a change early when Baloucoune pulled up when catching a ball and was pressured off for Ben Moxham
Ulster, who had received 11 of their 13 URC video games when main at half-time, squandered an opportunity to increase their lead when hooker Rob Herring misplaced management of the ball when breaking away from a maul two metres out.
The hosts started to pile stress on Ulster’s defence with 20 minutes to play, nevertheless one other mistake by Libbok – whose error-strewn afternoon continued as he kicked the ball lifeless when aiming for the nook – allowed the guests to clear their strains.
With Ulster trying strong in defence, it appeared just like the guests would safe their spot within the last when Smith was proven a straight pink card with 10 minutes remaining for making contact with the face of Iain Henderson, with referee Mike Adamson adjudging it was a severe act of foul play across the eyes of the Ulster captain.
Regardless of being a person down, Smith’s dismissal boosted Stormers they usually remained camped deep within the Ulster 22.
The clock was within the pink when the ball was performed large to Gelant within the 84th minute and the winger took benefit of the time and area afforded to him however the full praise of Ulster gamers to stage the sport.
There have been seen nerves as Libbok stepped up for the ultimate conversion, nevertheless he put his earlier errors behind him to land the kick and spark wild celebrations on the house bench and within the stands.
Stormers: W Gelant; S Senatla, R Nel, D Willemse, L Zas; M Libbok, H Jantjies; S Kitshoff, JJ Kotze, F Malherbe; S Moerat, M Orie; D Fourie, H Dayimani, E Roos.
Replacements: AH Venter, B Harris, N Fouche, A Smith, E van Rhyn, N Xaba, G Masimla, S Mngomezulu.
Ulster: S Moore; R Baloucoune, J Hume, S McCloskey, E McIlroy; B Burns, J Cooney; A Warwick, R Herring, T O’Toole; A O’Connor, I Henderson (capt); Marcus Rea, N Timoney, D Vermeulen.
Replacements: J Andrew, E O’Sullivan, G Milasinovich, Ok Treadwell, Matthew Rea, N Doak, I Madigan, B Moxham.