Ulster were defeated by Leicester at Welford Road in the Heineken Cup on Saturday evening. The Irish side were the better team for much of the game and were unfortunate to lose out on a bonus point at the very least.
The sides went in level at the break but the Tigers stepped it up for periods of the second half and held their opponents scoreless for the entire forty minutes. At the finish they were deserving winners but failed to show their true potential and found it difficult to get to grips with the visitors for much of the night. Toby Flood led the way for the English side and his fifteen points did much to help his side over the line. Brian McLoughlin and his men will be satisfied with their performance but disappointed that these efforts were not reflected on the scoreboard.
The Irish side were quick out of the blocks and led 3-0 after five minutes, thanks to a penalty from Ian Humphries. Flood tied the game for the hosts but Ulster hit back and the outhalf made it 6-3. Again Flood kept his team in touch and he converted a three pointer top leave it 6-6. In what was beginning to become a private battle between the two kickers, Humphries gave Ulster back the advantage as the game approached halftime. However, Flood ensured his side would go in on par when he fired over a late effort to leave the score 9-9.
Leicester led for the first time in the match after 45 minutes when Flood profited from an Ulster error and kicked his fourth penalty. The visitors were pressing hard and looked the better side for much of the half but found it difficult to get those all important points. The crucial point of the game came on 66 minutes when Matt Smith crossed over for the only try of the night. At 17-9, Ulster needed two scores to get anything out of the game. It was not to be and Flood had the final say, as his last minute penalty left the final score 20-9.