This was a nice wee freebie for me, I won a competition online to win free tickets for this game. I usually only go to one game a season, usually in Europe, so this was a nice bonus for me having been to the match against Wasps in October.
This was the second successive home game for Ulster, having scored a routine 59-10 win over Southern Kings last week. Edinburgh also won last weekend, but it was a lot harder, securing a Bonus Point 29-24 win over Leinster in the last minute.
Little did we know it would be a warning.
My tickets were in the Grandstand. It was my first time in there since it was rebuilt. I’d always said to myself that i’d want to see what it was like there for a change.
I was seated towards The Aquinas End and I had a slightly obstructed view when the ball was at the other end of the field. If I was to go seated at Ravenhill again, i’d like to try behind one of the goals. Hey, the tickets were free, I shouldn’t be complaining.
Ulster made a positive start to the game and had Edinburgh pinned into their own half in the opening minutes. It was no surprise when Ulster took the lead through a John Cooney try, which was then converted to give Ulster a 7-0 lead.
You know when you’re watching a football match, and the home team scores in the opening minutes and you expect them to storm to victory but they don’t?
Yep, this was the Rugby equivalent.
Ulster couldn’t build on it, and never really looked like adding to their try count. It was very dull for long periods.
Edinburgh were the better team, and it was no surprise when Edinburgh got a try from Jason Harries, which was converted to make it 7-7, which stayed the score at half-time.
Early in the second-half, Ulster went 10-7 up through a John Cooney penalty. So early in fact, that I missed it as I was making my way back to my seat.
Another Cooney penalty made it 13-7, and it looked like Ulster now had the foundation for victory.
With only a six point lead, Ulster knew that a converted try would put Edinburgh into the lead.
Their fears were confirmed when a Lewis Carmichael try was converted to put Edinburgh 14-13 in front.
Soon after, Ulster were back in front, Cooney again, another penalty. 16-14. There was no margin for error now.
Ulster couldn’t get any further scores that could give them more breathing space. Even a drop goal or a penalty would have meant Edinburgh would need a converted try to win the game.
Unable to kill off Edinburgh, Ulster were now hanging on. The aim now was to hold on to the ball until the clock hit 80 minutes.
The crowd at Ravenhill had been quiet and subdued for most of the game. In the final minutes, they burst into life, trying to cheer their side to see them through the final minutes.
Edinburgh were able to get upfield for one last attack.
Ulster just couldn’t get the ball away, they just couldn’t get the ball to kick it out of play.
As Edinburgh, were attacking The Aquinas End, I had a perfect view of it all. You could see what was going to happen.
Edinburgh were able to get possession in a shooting position, as Duncan Weir was able to hit a drop goal to win the game 17-16 in injury time.
That was it, game over. Ravenhill fell silent.