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Cooney on form as Ulster down Clermont

Cooney on form as Ulster down Clermont

John Cooney maintained his brilliant form for Ulster by slotting the winning penalty against Harlequins (Inpho)

  • Scrum-half scored a superb try in Champions Cup encounter
  • France's Matthieu Jalibert kicked Bordeaux-Bègles to a draw at Edinburgh
  • Wales’ Johnny McNicholl pressed his claims with a starting spot against the Barbarians next week with a try for Scarlets at Toulon

Ireland duo Jordi Murphy and John Cooney pressed their Guinness Six Nations claims with a try each as Ulster saw off Clermont Auvergne in the European Champions Cup.

Flanker Murphy – who suffered a rib injury during the World Cup – powered over from the back of a driving maul, while scrum-half Cooney produced some individual brilliance to finish off his own chip.

Ulster emerged 18-13 winners and are now the only side with a 100 per cent record in Pool B, with the away side struggling to break down a stubborn defence.

Scotland’s Greig Laidlaw scored two penalties, while their only other points came via a penalty try.

Elsewhere in the Challenge Cup, Wales’ Johnny McNicholl once again underlined his potential but Scarlets slipped to a 17-16 defeat to Toulon in the Challenge Cup, which Anthony Belleau kicking a last-gasp conversion of a try from France colleague Charles Ollivon for the home side.

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McNicholl could be set for his international debut against the Barbarians next week after being selected by new head coach Wayne Pivac, and he scored Scarlets’ only try in France.

Blair Kinghorn once again did the business for Edinburgh, but they were held to a 16-16 draw by Bordeaux-Bègles.

Kinghorn – who scored Scotland’s first Championship hat-trick in 30 years against Italy in February – grabbed Edinburgh’s only try here, but they were frustrated by a stubborn Bordeaux side that had fly-half Matthieu Jalibert to thank.

The 21-year-old France international kicked three penalties and converted Semi Radradra’s second-half try to ensure his side left unbeaten.