Ulster grab dramatic draw with Cheetahs in PRO14

Australian winger Henry Speight ran in the try which saw his team Ulster pull off a dramatic PRO14 tie -- 39-all -- against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Former Wallaby Henry Speight scored a try in a dramatic finish to ensure a draw for Ulster in their PRO14 encounter against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday -- in the process, the South African hosts missed out on a chance for their first win of this season's competition.

The game ended in a 39-39 draw after the Cheetahs led 17-14 at half-time as Speight went over at the end of a frenetic final push from the Irish side and flyhalf Billy Burns put over the resultant conversion to tie the game.

The Cheetahs had looked odds on to win just minutes before when Rabs Maxwane scored their fifth try of the night to put them seemingly on the road to victory and they will be bitterly disappointed at letting the chance slip from their grasp.

Maxwane scored the last of their five tries with Gerhard Olivier, William Small-Smith, Joseph Dweba and Jacques du Toit getting the others. Flyhalf Tian Schoeman landed three conversions and a penalty and replacement Louis Fouche slotted a conversion and a penalty.

Ulster also crossed the line five times, starting with a penalty try, and then one from Johnny Stewart and two by Dave Shanahan before Speight's last gasp effort.

Burns slotted two penalties and three conversions.

Ulster showed great resolve after losing four starters to injury in the first half, seeing Alan O'Connor sent to the bin for the second match running just after the interval and then struggling with their fitness in the high altitude. But three tries in the final 15 minutes saw them take home three points from the match.

Ulster now return home in buoyant mood -- and ready for next Saturday's derby with Munster -- after also beating the Southern Kings 28-7 in Port Elizabeth last Sunday in the first of their two matches on their brief trip to South Africa.

The Cheetahs also head north where they meet the Cardiff Blues in Wales next Friday.