Ulster hooker Rory Best found it hard to conceal his disappointment as Ulster lost the Pro12 final to Leinster.
“We’re devastated as we came here and we thought we could win,” stated Best.
“As always with our squad, I think it is 10 out of 10 for effort.
“We really competed for long periods of the game but ultimately it came down to the break down and they were a lot more wise that what we were.
“With a kicker like Jonny Sexton if you gave him chances he will take them.”
“I think they probably infringed as much as we did but they were probably a bit more street wise about it and that is where you have got to be.
“That’s why when you look at them they have improved at the breakdown by slowing ball down and getting away with it.”
“We were probably a little naïve at times and we hung round the tackler a bit longer than they did and it was disappointing we sort of got played that way.”
Best believed Ulster’s poor start in the game left them with a mountain to climb.
“The penalty cost us field position and they scored a great try,” he said.
“I think we conceded far too many penalties at the breakdown and the penalty count is what ultimately cost us.
“It probably shows how good a team we are and how much character we had to get back in the game and to give us a chance at the end.”
“They were clinical, in the first half they got into out half four times and they got four different scores from it, we had three or four chances and got two scores from it.”
Best dismissed suggestions that Ulster should have a penalty try in the first half following a series on five metre scrums.
“A front row when you’re going forward you always think it should be a penalty try.
“I think it is only fair the referee resets it and on the third scrum we had them under pressure and we probably let the referee have an easy out and that is disappointing from our side of things.”
“When you get two penalties on the third one is where you really have to concentrate and we let them off and that probably summed the game up for us.
“We were not as ruthless and as clinical as we should have been.”
Best felt the defeat in the Pro12 final would be harder to take than last year’s reversal in the Heineken Cup final against Leinster at Twickenham.
“It’s probably worse than last year because we were beaten out the gate at Twickenham and we were stuffed and they were the better team.
“For long periods we showed we were more than capable of matching and bettering them, street wise and a little bit of nous cost us.
“You have to look around and think we’ll have our entire squad back next year.”
“We have to put pressure on ourselves to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“Saracens done us at the breakdown and Leinster have done it and the breakdown is a massive part of the game.
“Our set piece is always going to be decent at best and it was rock solid on Saturday and that’s were we wan to be.
“We’re always going to put phases together, we have a lot of attacking threats out wide but we just have to be better at the breakdown.”