Ulster take Irish to the wire
September 20, 1999
Ireland's shaky World Cup build up continued on Sunday when a spirited Ulster, missing their eight Ireland squad players, came very close to becoming the second province to beat the National side in a week, but finally went down 16-25.
After defeat by Munster Warren Gatland fielded a near full strength side for the game in Belfast, but in torrential rain in Belfast Ulster showed the commitment which took them to last year's European Championship title.
Gatland will have been pleased with the full-scale work out, and with the strength of purpose his side showed, especially in the closing minutes.
Ulster closed to within two points, from a Tyrone Howe try, with only five minutes left. Ireland however composed themselves, worked down field and from copy book line out possession Dion O'Cuinneagain (pictured) was able to squeeze over for the decisive score.
After the game Gatland seemed relatively pleased "It was very tough, exactly what we wanted at this stage. The game represented a good progression for us. Ulster showed a real competitive edge throughout."