Kyle McCall thanked his team mates for paving the way for his first Ulster try as the Ireland Under 20 loosehead prop picked up the plaudits for playing his part in an amazing second-half fightback.
Ulster were 23-0 down at half-time against Oyonnax at Stade Charles Mathon and seemingly on their way out of the running for a Champions Cup quarter-final place in Pool 1. But then up popped McCall to score his side’s third try to cut the gap to two points and allow Paddy Jackson to grab the glory with his 77th-minute penalty.
“We were pretty disappointed with our first-half display. We needed to front up and we didn’t, but fair play to Oyonnax, they did,” said McCall.
“We wanted to restart the game in the second half and really go at them. It was about getting our heads right at the scrum, working on our technique and going at them because we had to get everything right in that area.
“It was my first try for Ulster, which I am very happy with, but it was a team effort really. We really had to dig deep to overhaul Oyonnax.
“I was off the field when Paddy Jackson kicked the winning penalty and after that it was just a question of not giving away any penalties and staying strong.”
The win cut the gap at the top of Pool 1 to six points and Ulster get the chance to gain revenge for their home defeat against table-toppers Saracens in the return leg at Allianz Park in round five.
“We are still in a good position and we can take confidence from our second-half performance. We can take it into next week and hopefully show what we can do for two halves,” added McCall.
The defeat for Oyonnax was their fourth in a row in their first season in the Champions Cup and their eighth in their last nine matches in all tournaments.
“It was a classic game of two halves and credit to Ulster for nicking it in the end,” said Oyonnax second row George Robson.