Although Ulster scored four tries in the 24-20 win over Newcastle in Belfast and made it an unbeaten pre-season run, head coach Mark Anscombe, was disappointed with the delivery from the side on Friday night.
Ulster had been coasting 24-5 at one stage, but allowed the visitors to come back to four points in the closing minutes, the home side deservedly clinging on to win the last of their three pre-season games.
But while pleased with the four tries scored and some little pieces of his side’s performance, on the whole Anscombe said he felt the team “were pretty average and the performance was flat.”
“I was disappointed. We were flat in our warm up and we took that into the game.
“I felt for the whole time that while we had little bursts overall it was a flat performance.
“We did not look after possession; we turned it over 19 times in the games. There were numerous penalties, the discipline was poor and we finished the last 10 minutes with 13 guys.
“All those little things added up and I think it summed up the day to be honest.”
Next up for Ulster on Friday is the start of the RaboDirect PRO12 campaign and a home game against last year’s beaten semi-finalists, Glasgow Warriors, who have strengthened well over the season.
Anscombe admitted that the performance was not the sort he wanted to be seeing going into the competitive part of the season.
However, the Ulster coach said it was not a case of doom and gloom nor were they any panic buttons being pressed.
“Look, we won tonight, it was our second win in three games, the other being a draw. It was individual errors which hurt us.
“Things like trying to offload balls which wee just not there, passes which were not on and simply not looking after the ball.
“A couple of guys carried the ball well and were not supported by the cleaners.”
He added: “It is the attention to the little details which matter, and tonight we were a bit loose.
“I think no matter what the level of game you are playing at, whether it is Rabo or International, the attitude coming in was just not right.”