Dan McFarland lauds hard work as Ulster take win over Cheetahs in Belfast

Head coach Dan McFarland was pleased to see the hard work from the training sessions pay dividends as Ulster defeated the Toyota Cheetahs 20-10 at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday night.

Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 10:16 pm
Updated Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 10:18 pm
Ulster defeated the Cheetahs in the Guinness PRO14

In spite of difficult conditions, Ulster outscored the South African side by two tries to one and secure a win which keeps them in second place and 10 points ahead of the Cheetahs in the race for the play-offs.

Tommy O’Toole and Robert Baloucoune crossed for tries with outhalf Bill Johnston adding 10 points from the boot in a man of the match performance.

Former Ulster favourite Ruan Pienaar, who returned to Belfast to play for the first time since leaving the Province in 2017, kicked a penalty and the conversion to a try from fullback Clayton Blommetjies.

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McFarland said: “I thought the lads really stuck in there tonight.

“We had a hard week after the disappointment of losing last week (against Ospreys), they worked really hard.

“All credit to Roddy Grant, I thought our lineout was excellent. I thought our maul defence was tremendous and Dave Shanahan and Bill Johnston did a great job this week against two really top class performers.

“Both the set pieces are crucial and in weather like this, Eric (O’Sullivan) and Adam (McBurney) and Tom (O’Toole) are really young players and against an experienced and tough front row; and Tom had to come on early and Eric had to play the whole 80.

“They did an excellent job and again the lineout was excellent this week, Al ran a great lineout.”