International winger, Tommy Bowe, believes Ulster will put the defeat to Saracens in Saturday’s Heineken Cup quarter-final as another one that got away.
Down to 14 men for most of the match after Jared Payne’s sending off Ulster still came close to pulling off an amazing result, eventually losing 17-15 to the English Premiership side.
“We were up against it,” said Bowe. “To lose a member of the back three after just four minutes against a side like Saracens who pride themselves on their kicking game it was always going to make it extremely difficult.
“But we dug in as a team and we had to do a lot all around the park. It was a credit to everyone to have got so close to winning the game - and that ultimately makes it that bit more difficult to take.”
Bowe is well used to jumping and taking high balls in the air, in the same way as Alex Goode did during the collision with Payne which ultimately led to the latter’s dismissal.
The protection of players in that situation is important and Bowe said: “When a player goes in the air they expect to be looked after.
“There was certainly no malice from Jared, you can see he is genuinely looking at the ball the whole time.
“It is always difficult for those contestable balls because you are always going to have that little bit of risk there.
“But that is the sport and the nature of the game. There is not much you can do about it.
“Unfortunately it looked dangerous and a bad fall on the ground.
“Personally I do not think there was any malice in it and it was very disappointing for Jared and the team.”
Bowe hailed the Ulster support adding: “From when we came onto the pitch that was one of the best atmospheres I have every played in front off.
“We ow3 a huge amount to the supporters and it unfortunate we were not able to get over the line on this occasion.”