Ulster’s try scoring bonus point win over Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill on Friday night came at a cost with captain Johann Muller set to miss next week’s Welsh trip to Scarlets.
It took a bit of the gloss of the 39-21 victory – Ulster’s sixth on the bounce and fourth straight success in the PRO12.
Muller’s loss and the absence of double try scorer Dan Tuohy for next week’s game will give head coach, Mark Anscombe, room for concern in the locks department.
And Irish coach, Joe Schmidt, will also be concerned ahead of the November Test series after first choice hooker Rory Best limped off after just 20 minutes with a left ankle injury – although it is understood his withdrawal was precautionary.
Anscombe was still happy to see his side come away with a full haul of five points.
“The objective was to get the win. It wasn’t our best work but we got five points,” he said.
“We are happy with that and sometimes you can be too critical, but it was a tough old game. They came with a purpose and were buoyed by a good win last week in Europe over Toulon.
“We got out to 16-3 but let them back into it towards the end of the first half, but we controlled the second half well and are satisfied.”
Ulster remain fourth in the table, but closed the gap as the top three changed places – Munster going top after defeating previously unbeaten Glasgow and Ospreys lying in third after a big win over Newport Gwent Dragons.