PRO12 RUGBY: Ulster slump to third straight PRO12 loss

Ulster's Tommy Bowe
Ulster's Tommy Bowe
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Ulster suffered their third straight Guinness PRO12 loss on Friday night in a 28-178 reverse in Edinburgh.

Les Kiss’s side never recovered from a poor first half start, but in spite of the loss remain in fifth place in the standings.

The hosts were evidently desperate to atone for the previous week’s shock defeat to lowly Zebre and by half-time had established a 21-3 advantage through tries from Villiame Mata and Damien Hoyland, a conversion from Jason Tovey and a penalties from Blair Kinghorn and Duncan Weir (2).

Magnus Bradbury then crossed after the interval with Tovey adding a second conversion.

Ruan Pienaar kicked a first-half penalty for Ulster before converting second-half tries from Aaron Cairns and Jacob Stockdale and adding a penalty.

Ulster director of rugby, Les Kiss, was left disappointed by the result.

“Edinburgh came out firing – they were hungry. The physical battle was something that they won. We let them dominate us,” he said.

“I was pretty disappointed with it all to tell you the truth. It’s a bit of a mystery – it was not truly representative of who we are, but you can only go on what was delivered tonight. Unfortunately as a collective we just didn’t deliver, we just weren’t at the races today.

“It wasn’t until late in the game that we started to do something decent. You do take some solace in that. I think Conor Joyce came on and did a good job, Aaron Cairns was very busy when he came on and was rewarded with a try and Jacob Stockdale did well.

“Charles Piutau’s disallowed try was questionable but we shouldn’t have to rely on a referee’s call to get ourselves back into the game. It may have got us in closer to get a losing bonus point or even to win.

“For most of the year now we’ve played very strongly but at times haven’t been able to put teams away. Today we just didn’t play well at all. Ten minutes of rugby is not going to win you matches or competitions. We’ve got to stick together and work hard. Zebrze will be looking at us after the break and probably licking their lips.”

We need to be better and stay strong.”