PRO12 RUGBY: Ulster must not let further opportunities slip says Les Kiss

Ulster Rigby's Director of Rugby Les Kiss
Ulster Rigby's Director of Rugby Les Kiss

Director of rugby Les Kiss knows his side cannot let further opportunities slip if they want to achieve a play-off place in the Guinness PRO12 this season.

Ulster stretched their unbeaten run to seven last Friday night, but the 24-all draw with Cardiff Blues saw a chance to move into third place in the standings missed.

Instead, Ulster slipped to fifth place and outside the play-off qualification zone.

Had they beaten Cardiff, with third placed Ospreys losing at home to leaders Leinster, Ulster could have leapfrogged the Welsh side.

Adding to the equation was Scarlets bonus point home win over Treviso which saw them go level on points with Ulster but go above the Irish Province on having more wins.

Ulster’s performance against the Blues was not what it could have been.

With Munster and Leinster almost assured of their play-off places - and home draws in those semis - it is left for Ulster, Scarlets and Ospreys to scrap it out for the remaining two spots.

And Ulster have to play the current top three between now and end of the regular season on May 6.

“It is bloody interesting, lot of people hanging on results here or there for sure.,” said Kiss. “We certainly had to and other teams have had to as well.

“But we dropped the opportunity really push ourselves into a good spot.

“We have tried to pull the positives from it. We know we are still in the hunt but we were disappointed with certain executions on the pitch at times.

“Sometimes it is the right decision but a poor execution; sometimes we are just making that wrong decision.

“You do not hold a guy (in a tackle), but a couple of missed tackles were costly.

“But ultimately we had a chance and we did not take it. Two points was enough to keep us right in the hunt.

“When you look at the run of the other teams and ourselves it becomes pretty desperate for all of the teams.

“The Welsh and the Irish teams, the main people in the hunt, all of us have two derbies as well.

“Derbies also throw up a lot of interesting situations, circumstances and we are coming up against one of the more brilliant teams in these situations, particularly at Thomond.

“It is treated like a fortress by them and the guys have spoken about it this week and guys like Charles (Piutau) when it will be his first time.

“It is a special place to play as well so we have to embrace that side of it.

“It is fairly tenuous at the minute the competition and we have to be as good as we have been away, bringing to mind the Glasgow type performance early in the season,” added Kiss.