Ulster were left ruing one of their worst first quarter performances for some time as they conceded four tries inside the opening 22 minutes of Friday’s Heineken Cup pool clash with Gloucester. Team captain Rory Best, centre Andrew Trimble and forwards coach Steve Williams gave their reactions to IrishRugby.ie afterwards.
RORY BEST –
“We have not started well in games and when you give teams a 10-15 point headstart you don’t have much chance. We sat back and waited to see what they had instead of showing them what we can do.
“We made a couple of silly mistakes and they capitalised on them – they scored three tries from 60 metres and from there it doesn’t leave you with a chance against a team of Gloucester’s calibre.
“There’s no hiding place for us, we are bottom of the Magners League and we haven’t made a good start in Europe. There’s nothing we can do except front up on Monday and roll our sleeves up and get things back on track.”
ANDREW TRIMBLE –
“We can go into work on Monday morning and look at it and see how we can be more like Gloucester. There is a lot of truth in saying that we admired them, we will look at it and struggle to get much out of what we did. We can look at how powerful and clinical Gloucester were in the first 25 minutes.
“After that, they took their foot off the pedal and we managed to get ourselves back into it a bit, but in the second half we felt as though we were banging our heads against a brick wall.
“We made little mistakes in their 22 and it was seven points at the other end, it is soul destroying when that happens. I do not think we have come up against anything like that before.
“We made mistakes and then it was not even a phase later – it was the same phase that they scored. I take my hat off to them, they had an awful lot of pace in their back three and a fair bit of power on the left wing (in Lesley Vainikolo) as well.”
STEVE WILLIAMS –
“It is the job we are in, there is a certain amount of pressure and yes we are under pressure, that is all I can say on that. It was the worst way we could have started our first match in the Heineken Cup, out of the game by 20 minutes.
“They were getting tries from 90 metres and in all reality the game was over by 20 minutes. We made basic errors and we were punished. They had world class players and they punish you if you make errors. They got exceptional scores from our errors.
“The players showed character in the last 10 minutes of the first half and showed there is belief there. We showed glimpses of what we’re good at. At half-time the players were determined to pull together and we went out with a bit of belief and to salvage some pride.”