Cardiff Rugby I XV v Ulster Rugby I XV: Post-match reaction from Brian McLaughlin

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Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin believes the 21-14 loss to Cardiff was an opportunity miss and believes his side weren’t clinical enough:

“The difference between the two sides tonight is that they took their chances and we didn’t take ours. We squandered too many opportunities and we didn’t respect the rugby ball enough. We got turned over too easily and gave away silly penalties. The problem was that we just couldn’t control the ball.

“I think if you look at the game, whenever we got into the opposition 22 weren’t ruthless enough. We had chance after chance but we weren’t able to convert the pressure that we had into points. And as a result that opened the door for Cardiff. The penalty they got just before half time brought them right back into it and the try they got immediately after half time put us under pressure.”

A Ruan Pienaar penalty earned Ulster a losing bonus point and McLaughlin is happy to take something from the game:

“We’re leaving here with a bonus point so that’s some consolation. It shows you how far we’ve come that we can come to a place like this and be very, very disappointed not to come home with more. But we have to learn from this – we will get on the training paddock this week and make sure we are back on form for Ospreys next weekend.”

McLaughlin is still confident his team can achieve their goal of reaching the PRO12 play off is May:

“It is going to be very tight but that bonus point tonight could prove crucial. We’re still in with a shout but we’ll have to wait and see how other results go this weekend.”

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