Nick Williams admits Connacht felt the full force of Ulster’s pent up frustration from their narrow exit to Saracens in the Heineken Cup in the 58-12 drubbing last weekend when the PRO12 resumed.
Ulster only had a six-day turnaround from going out of Europe and Connacht received the backlash as Ulster ran in eight tries to move up to second in the table.
The Ulster No 8 said: “The dressing room is never a good place to be (after Saracens), nobody knew what to say.
“Mark didn’t know what to say. We just sat in there for a good half hour to 45 minutes and just pondered on the ifs and maybes.
“No matter how long you play this game it still gets you right at the heart. The fashion we lost the quarter final it was an extra knife to the heart,” added Williams.
“I haven’t been involved in a more gutsy performance. I probably would have preferred to have lost by 60 points than losing by two.
“And then the fashion that we did with 14 men for 70 odd minutes – it was a huge downer.
“I’m normally a guy that tends to leave the game in the changing room but when I got home my partner said she’d never seen me in that state,” said Williams.
“Connacht could have gone one way or the other, we could have had a bit of a cry and ended up losing quite badly.
“We just needed to pull our finger out and give a performance that we were capable of not just for ourselves but for our supporters.”
In his first season at Ravenhill Williams won the Pro12 Player of the Year and the Irish Rugby Union Players Association’s Player of the Year awards, but with an injury plagued season the Polynesian powerhouse has struggled to recapture that form but he is showing glimpses of getting back to his best.
“I know I haven’t played my best rugby. Defensively teams have targeted me a bit more this season and fair to play to them and I probably haven’t done myself any favours by trying to counteract that by changing my game a little bit.
“I’ve enjoyed the way I have played the last two or three weeks and hopefully I’ll be able to carry it on until the end of the Rabo.”
Ulster travel to fourth placed Glasgow on Friday night hoping to avenge their defeat by Gregor Townsend’s side in September at Ravenhill.
“We reviewed it this morning (Glasgow at home) and that is probably the most amount of opportunities we have had to get over the white line all season,” added Williams.
“But we were unable to capitalise, we had a few opportunities but the boys had white line fever and dropped the ball two or three metres out from the line and hopefully on Friday we can do a job on them.
“A semi final is our objective and you don’t want to go there under cooked by playing the not so strong teams, if we make the semis at least we know what we are coming up against having played them in the last couple of weeks.
“As tough as it is every team is beatable and we’re going over there to get a ‘W’ next to our names and nothing less.”