Four Provinces get a lift from Ireland success insists Ulster head coach Dan McFarland

Ulster's ''Iain Henderson, Jacob Stockdale, Rory Best and Jordi Murphy after Ireland defeated New Zealand in Dublin for the first time
Ulster's ''Iain Henderson, Jacob Stockdale, Rory Best and Jordi Murphy after Ireland defeated New Zealand in Dublin for the first time

The performance of the Ireland players in the historic first home win over the All Blacks in Dublin on Saturday reflects the standards all of the Provinces want to aim for insists Ulster head coach Dan McFarland.

In 113 years of trying Ireland had only previously beaten New Zealand once and that was in Chicago two years ago.

But the men in green produced one of their strongest performances ever to deliver a first victory in Dublin over the back-to-back World Champions.

The buzz following the game has not subsided and there appeared to be an extra step to people’s strides at Kingspan Stadium yesterday as Ulster prepared to return to Guinness PRO14 action with an away game at Scarlets on Friday night.

In terms of what the Irish result did for the Province’s psyche McFarland said: “I think there is a lot of pride.

“We are all part of Irish rugby. Here in Ulster we have a stated aim of getting as many of our younger players in Ireland team as we possibly can.

“So when we see one of our own or, as at the weekend, several of our own, there is a huge amount of pride.

“I think there is also a sense of the standards that we are aiming for as well, and a part of. We have to make sure we maintain those high standards.

“Guys when they come back here, they are also feeling as if they are being pushed and that those young lads are being pushed to the same level as those Ireland players.”

McFarland said there was no doubt the players back at each of the Province would absolutely be saying they want to be looking at being involved in something special like an Irish win over the All Blacks.

“These guys are ambitious young men. That’s why I love being a part of it. There are hopes and dreams in all of them.

“They have that desperation to get to that level that the knowledge that the amount of work they have to put in to get there and the willingness to do that is fantastic to be a part of,” added McFarland.

Ulster’s Rory Best produced one of this quality displays as he led the side to a second win over Ireland, while Jacob Stockdale stole the major headlines by scoring the only try of the match as the Irish won 16-9.

They both started the match while Iain Henderson and Jordi Murphy came off the bench and made an impact in the second half as Joe Schmidt’s side slayed the world number one nation.

McFarland said: “They all played well. You couldn’t be a part of that team and be carried.

“Everybody, all of the Ireland players stood up there, and none more so than our fellas.”

Ireland are due to face USA in their final Test match in Dublin of the November series this weekend and there are high hopes that several Ulster players will be involved.

Will Addison, Stuart McCloskey, John Cooney and Rob Herring could expect to see game time against the North Americans.

It does leave Ulster still missing their internationals, but McFarland and the squad were boosted by the potential of Louis Ludik returning from a lengthy injury layoff.

McFarland said: “We will see how he goes, he is on the edge of that so we will find out if he is available for this week.”

McFarland was not so certain on centre Darren Cave - initially saying he could potentially be available this week for the trip to Wales, but then added “probably not.”