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Five-Try Ulster Avenge Home Defeat To Saracens

Stung by last week’s 24-point home loss, Ulster bounced back to beat Saracens in comprehensive fashion, winning their final pre-season game 33-3 at the Honourable Artillery Company grounds.

With most of their Ireland internationals back on board, Dan McFarland’s side turned in an impressive all-round display in London and had a brace of tries from Craig Gilroy.

Nick Timoney, Angus Curtis and Marcus Rea also touched down for the visitors. 21-year-old talent Ethan McIlroy delivered a player-of-the-match performance off the bench.

Head coach McFarland commented afterwards: “In terms of where we’re at, I’m pretty pleased. We’re functioning well in the key parts of our game.

“Defensively, we sorted out a few things this week and worked really hard. Attack-wise, we changed our shape and it looked closer to where we needed it to be. It’s not where it needs to be as a final result.

“The set piece looked good once we got a grip on it. We’ll get better at our maul, I know that, because it wasn’t as effective as we want it to be. We know how good we are there.

“There’s lots of things we need to keep working on but I’m pretty pleased that all the playing staff and the support group have worked hard over the pre-season to get us to where we are now.

“It’ll be a few days of freshening up and then getting our minds on that first competitive game (against Glasgow Warriors in the United Rugby Championship).”