Allen Clarke accepts Ulster did not their cause against Saracens

Ian Humphreys of Ulster scores a breakaway  try after an interception against Saracens
Ian Humphreys of Ulster scores a breakaway try after an interception against Saracens

Ulster assistant coach, Allen Clarke, said the side had hurt themselves in the 33-17 loss to Saracens.

A try right at the end of the first half saw the momentum swing in Saracens favour and they went on to score three further second half tries and leave Ulster well beaten at the end.

“We have no complaints,” said Clarke frankly. “We hurt ourselves today.

“We had a pretty decent position coming towards the end of the first half half with decent field position but we could not capitalise on all that we had.”

Ulster did show some spark at the start of the second half with Paddy Jackson landing a penalty.

But they failed to press on and Saracens upped the ante another gear.

Clarke said: “It comes down to fine margins in these high pressure games.

“You have to give credit to Saracens. They get a lot of momentum and put pressure on you.

“They are a big physical side, but having said that, we are hurting pretty badly about our inaccuracies.

“You have to be right on the money in terms of the quality of ball you provide and we did not do that today.”

Clarke believes Saracens are the best side they have played this season.

“We prepared for that, we prepared coming here knowing that this would be the toughest game and toughest opponents we would be playing against this season.

“And we were right in it. Our biggest frustration is that we certainly did not help our own cause today.

“The other results have gone our way today we are still very much into the hunt going into next week.

“We have to recover from this, we have got to face that hurt and the boys have already spoken on that.

“Next week at home we have to make sure we look after ourselves.

“Turn up, train well, prepare well for taking on Oyonnax next week and we know what we need to do in our home game.

“They are coming off the back of a good win against Toulouse.”

While Saturday’s results went in Ulster’s favour as such, Sunday’s went against them with Toulon winning against Wasps and Northampton securing the win against Glasgow - both winners needing last gasp tries to take victories.

There are many permutations to consider going into the final round of matches and Clarke said he would leave that to the statisticians.

“For us, we need to prepare to get 18 points to five us a chance. That is our sole focus.

“We can only deal and focus on what we can control and that is making sure we are mentally, physically and rugby wise in a good position going into the game next week.”