Dan McFarland happy to take the positives from Glasgow victory

Dan McFarland wanted to concentrate on the positives after Friday night’s 19-13 away win against Glasgow at Scotstoun.

By Sports Desk
Sunday, 21st February 2021, 8:31 pm
Updated Sunday, 21st February 2021, 8:36 pm

Coming of a five week break Ulster scored three tries against the Warriors and looked poised to kick on and score a fourth to pick up a valuable bonus point, but replacement scrum half Alby Mathewson was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on.

That allowed Glasgow to score a converted try and Ulster were holding on in a nervy end to the game.

As a result McFarland’s side lost ground at the top of Conference A to Leinster as the defending champions got a maximum point win at the Dragons to extend their lead to five points.

Ulster Head Coach Dan McFarland. Photo by Alan Harvey/Dicksondigital

“We have come to Glasgow a place that I don’t think we have won in for five years and took a great victory, the only thing we can deal with is the week to week basis and we need to keep winning,” said McFarland.

“The first half was bits and pieces and a lot of that was down to the teams not having played matches in five weeks, when you add into that the physical intensity the first half was played at it was a stop start affair, if both teams had the rhythm they had in the second half we would have had a bonus point game whether we would have won it or not I don’t know.

“The bottom line is we have to keep winning, would we have liked a bonus point, of course we would have done but we are playing Glasgow away I’ll take the win.”

McFarland had special praise for man of the match Michael Lowry, the full back finished off a great team try on the stoke of half time to give Ulster the lead and provided the scoring pass for Craig Gilroy’s touchdown.

Lowry, an outhalf at school, has made the Ulster No15 berth his own with a string of fine performances.

“We had no full backs and we were playing Racing away from home and Mikey had an excellent game that day,” said McFarland.

“He has an incredible work ethic, really good speed and he has a good understanding of the game and playing at full back those are a lot of the pre-requisites for playing there.

“He has done a really good job for us and we also believe he can play at 10, he had to play there a bit against Glasgow when Alby went off and Ian Madigan had to went into nine, he really didn’t get much of a chance to run the game but he is a quality footballer.”

McFarland was also delighted with the contribution of Jordi Murphy who captained the province for the first time on Friday night.

“He was outstanding over the Christmas period, when we went to Connacht we were missing a lot of our senior players mainly through injury but we were trying out a few guys, we needed guys like Jordi to stand up and I thought he was absolutely outstanding,” he said.

“He has played a lot of good front football this last while both in attack and defence, he is getting a few turnovers now and he approaches his life as a rugby player as who he is.

“He turns up and it is all business and that rubs off on the people around him, he wants to do his job and he wants to do it really well and that is leading by example and he deserved the role of captain.

“As a captain you need to influence the people around you and Jordi does it in a business like way, he is very straight down the line.”

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