EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP: Les Kiss proud of Ulster performance in delivering result against Oyonnax

Ulster Craig Gilroy, scores a try against  Qyonnax
Ulster Craig Gilroy, scores a try against Qyonnax

Ulster director of rugby, Les Kiss, was proud to see his squad deliver what they could in terms of giving them as good a chance as they could of making the knockout stages of the European Champions Cup.

The Irish produced the bonus point victory they needed from their final European Champions Cup pool game with a 56-3 win over Oyonnax but must now wait on other results to secure qualification to the last eight as one of three best runners-up.

Kiss’ squad scored eight tries to beat the Top 14 side and boost their points differential to plus 60 which may also come into play in the final shakedown.

Ulster, who had narrowly beaten Oyonnax in France, put in a huge performance in front of their home crowd with star turns coming from Jared Payne, Luke Marshall, Paddy Jackson and Nick Williams.

The home side had their bonus point wrapped up by half-time when they led 28-3 after tries from Rob Herring, Darren Cave, Rory Scholes and Sean Reidy, which were all converted by Jackson.

They then racked up another four scores in the second half from Craig Gilroy, Robbie Diack, Ian Humphreys and Payne with Jackson converting one and replacement Humphreys nailing the other three.

“We knew the mission at the beginning of the week,” said Kiss.

“In previous games we didn’t nail a couple of points that we could have got which would have made it easier.

“In the context of this week we put pressure on ourselves to do well and now we sit back and wait.

Kiss said he was proud of the team delivering what was needed.

“There was disappointment last week (losing to Saracens) and it hurt,” added Kiss.

“To their credit we came in at the beginning of the week, let’s just cleanse ourselves with a good session and build on what we have to this week.

“The campaign was not perfect, we know that. I guess anyone who had a perfect campaign I will give you the champions. But our ability to stay in the hunt and keep fighting away is something we have to take as a strength.

“I have been very proud of what the boys have delivered in the campaign albeit we probably regret a couple of misses along the way.

“It is what is now and we will take a lot out of it.

“We have six games now while the Six Nations are on and we can establish ourselves in the PRO12 as well.”