Director of rugby, Les Kiss, was disappointed with Ulster’s error rate as they were forced to come from behind four times to draw with Cardiff Blues at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night.
“We gave them a chance to stay in the game. Whether it was a missed tackle, a kick out on the full, or a line-out throw, we didn’t put those clinical edges on the game that you need to win the game.
“We shared the spoils but we now have to see what Munster, Glasgow, Ospreys and Leinster come up with tomorrow and see where the ladder sits at the end of the weekend
“It just makes for a pretty compelling last three weeks starting with Munster.”
But Ulster could have moved into third place with a win and kept their destiny in their own hands.
“That would have been the ideal scenario,” said Kiss.
“ But unfortunately when you look at the game when we played with the intensity we should we could hurt them but they slowed the game down.
“The ruck was anyone’s guess which was frustrating but that’s what happens when you let the ruck be reffed that way.
“It just becomes a frustrating mess. We probably didn’t play to that.”
A Scarlets win today in Treviso could see them push Ulster down to fifth place and Kiss admitted that would be disappointing, particularly after Ulster have not lost in seven matches.
“We need to be nailing every other game from now on. You’d expect they’d (Scarlets) would get the bonus point.”
Ulster were in a decent position in the closing minutes to go for a drop goal, but never put themselves in the right place.
Kiss said: “It was the intent to try and work to it, but it got a little bit messy at times.
“We did not handle the fact the way they attacked the ruck from all angles and we did not hold our shape and be able to get a roll to set up for that area then and possibly steal it.
“There were some tackles off the ball, possibly a call there would have helped, but we needed to be better than those things, but we were not and that was where it became a draw.
In relation to the error count, Kiss said the players had to take responsibility for it.
“The talk was about individual responsibility and accountability for your work and just being really honest with yourself about being clinical and strong in terms of staying disciplined with hour work, so that is where that stands.
“We now have to go out and do a job against Munster next week.
“There are three rounds left, there are three big games and we simply have to make sure we nail our chances.”