Published: Saturday October 13, 2012 MYT 8:07:00 AM
Rugby: Ulster, Ospreys clinch bonus-point triumphs
PARIS: Scrum-half Paul Marshall grabbed a brace of tries as last season's runners-up Ulster began their new European Cup campaign with a bonus-point 41-17 victory over French side Castres on Friday.
Winger Andrew Trimble also crossed at Ravenhill in Belfast, as did South African replacement fly-half Ruan Pienaar in the last minute, after a punishing 17 phases following a loss of possession by Castres.
Paddy Jackson converted three of the tries and added five penalties for Ulster, who were soundly beaten 42-14 by fellow Irish side Leinster in last season's final. Ulster, the 1999 European champions, are now unbeaten in six matches this season.
In Friday's other game on the opening night of the 2012-13 tournament, Welsh side Ospreys also secured a bonus point victory with a last-minute try from Ashley Beck.
Eli Walker and Hanno Dirksen, with a brace, scored the other tries, with fly-half Dan Biggar kicking 18 points at Swansea's Liberty Stadium. Treviso scored two tries through Manoa Vosawai and Luke McLean.
"We are pretty pleased with the performance, but there's still a bit to work on. We have got to be able to think a bit quicker and not play so wide too early," said Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones.
"We can be pleased with the end result and the most pleasing thing for me was the composure we showed in the last minute, minute and a half.
"In the past you would have seen us tighten up in that situation but we realise that these pool games will come down to the last minute."
The win was sweet revenge for Ospreys, who had lost 12-6 to the same opponents in the Celtic League earlier this season. - AFP