Ulster win but coach Anscombe has little reason to celebrate

Ulster's Michael Allen is tackled by the Ospreys' Duncan Jones
Ulster's Michael Allen is tackled by the Ospreys' Duncan Jones

Mark Anscombe had little to be overly cheerful about on Friday night as he marked his 50th game since joining Ulster as head coach.

The New Zealander, who signed a one-year extension to his contract earlier this week, described last night’s 10-7 success over Ospreys as “ugly.”

A try from Darren Cave at the start of the second half, converted by Ruan Pienaar who had added a first half penalty, saw Ulster come from 7-3 down with an unconvincing display to make it nine consecutive home victories.

The win moved Ulster into second place, a point ahead of Ospreys, although Leinster are still to play this weekend.

Michael Allen and Iain Henderson had both managed to get over the try line for Ulster, but both were ruled out after referee Nigel Owens had consulted with the TMO.

“We got over the line three times in total, but two did not count. I think if Henderson’s try had been given it would have given us a bit of momentum. We could have built from that,” Anscombe said afterwards.

“We missed more tackles tonight than we did in combined in every game since I have been here. Our defence and kicking was poor.

“It was a real first game back from holiday and it looked like it.”