OPTA rankings: Timoney and Bellini deliver stellar performances

Charlie Peat
24 April 2018

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Two dramatic games lit up the Guinness PRO14 last weekend as Ulster secured a crucial victory over Glasgow Warriors and Zebre downed Ospreys.

Ulster’s 36-15 triumph at the Kingspan keeps their hopes of qualifying for the Guinness PRO14 Final Series alive.

Meanwhile Zebre got the better of Ospreys with a 37-14 win as the Italian outfit chalked up back-to-back wins for the second time this season.

Bellini brilliance

It was a sensational weekend for Mattia Bellini as he crossed the try line three times to secure a priceless victory over Ospreys.

The first two came inside 15 minutes before he notched up his third and Zebre’s fifth of the afternoon in the 66th minute.

Bellini made more metres than any other player in the Guinness PRO14 this weekend but Charles Piutau was equally as impressive, making 106 metres for Ulster in their win over the Warriors.

Metres gained:

Mattia Bellini (Zebre) – 110
Charles Piutau (Ulster) – 106
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster) – 96
Mattia Minozzi (Zebre) – 85
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster) – 79
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) -67

The Timoney show

Nick Timoney was certainly turning heads at the Kingspan as his brace kept Ulster’s hopes of reaching the Final Series alive.

Timoney secured the crucial bonus-point try in the 82nd minute against the Scottish side to leave them four points off third-placed Edinburgh in Conference B.

Not only impressive with ball in hand, Timoney put in a sensational performance in the back row, making 16 tackles along with teammate Rob Herring at the Kingspan.

Tackles made:
Nick Timoney (Ulster) – 16
Rob Herring (Ulster) – 16
Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) – 14
Sam Cross (Ospreys)  – 14
Callum Gibbins (Warriors) – 13
Giulio Biagi (Zebre) – 10

Scintillating Stockdale

It’s fair to say Jacob Stockdale has enjoyed a fabulous 2018 so far for both club and country.

The wing was in fine form yet again against the Warriors, slicing his way through five defenders as Ulster humbled Conference A’s top team.

Zebre’s Jacapo Sarto’s was also putting on the afterburners against Ospreys, beating four defenders at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

Defenders beaten:

Jacob Stockdale (Ulster) – 5
Nick Timoney (Ulster) – 4
Jacapo Sarto (Zebre) – 4
Joe Thomas (Ospreys) – 4
Charles Piutau (Ulster) – 4

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality visit:
 https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s visit: http://www.dublin7sfestival.ie

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