Ulster head coach, Mark Anscombe, admitted he was proud of the way his players had responded on Friday night with a 27-19 win over Leinster in the PRO12.
In gaining a rare victory in recent years – their third in 19 matches – over their arch Provincial rivals, Ulster also put some of the self doubt that may have crept in after their defeat to Northampton Saints the previous week.
Ulster remain nine points clear in the PRO12 after maintaining their 100 per cent record in the competition after a penalty try at the end of the first half was followed up by scores from Nick Williams and Andrew Trimble.
Anscombe said: “The pleasing thing is that the guys bounced back tonight in front of a tremendous crowd, after disappointing them last weekend. We go into Christmas on the back of a good performance.
“I felt, though, that we maybe were a little tentative in the first quarter, but once a few things went our way and things started to happen for us, you could see the self belief coming. With that the confidence grew.
“Our set piece was key and our scrum was outstanding. Robbie Diack came in and the lineouts went well.
“I was proud of the way the guys played tonight, I really am.”
After losing their third game on the bounce, Leinster coach, Joe Schmidt said: “It is disappointing for us though not to have got something from the game. I think we should have a got a losing bonus point at least.
“We will dig ourselves out of this and I would just ask the fans to be patience.”