Ulster director of rugby, Les Kiss, admitted the 27-17 defeat to Glasgow at Scotstoun on Friday night was a hard one to take.
Having led 17-9 four minutes into the second half, Ulster shipped two tries and a late penalty which denied them even a losing bonus point.
Defending champions Glasgow - who have a game in hand - made it five wins on the bounce and moved level on points with Ulster who slipped to fifth place after Munster’s bonus point home win over Zebre pushed them into the top four.
Finn Russell was the key man for the champions, creating tries for Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour and kicking 14 points.
Hogg had the final word with a monstrous penalty in an encounter that saw Glasgow trail until the final quarter when they pulled away to secure an important success.
Iain Henderson and Stuart McCloskey had a try apiece for Ulster, both converted by Paddy Jackson, who also kicked a penalty.
Kiss admitted it was tough to lose a bonus point right at the end.
“Sometimes you’ve got to be able to rise above certain factors in the game that you can’t control completely. Some of the errors we made to let them back into the game were very disappointing.
“They scored some points that we were disappointed with. We were unsure whether there was a forward pass at one point - but the key was in the first-half when we opened them up three or four times apart from the one we scored with.”
Next up for Ulster if the visit of League leaders Connacht to Kingspan Stadium next Friday (april 1) - a fixture that now takes on added importance following the defeat in Glasgow.
“We’ve got to make sure we can control the things we can do better with - but it’s done and we’ve now got to move on and make sure we’ve got Connacht in our sights.
“It’ll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow night between Connacht and Leinster, then next weeks there’s a lot of teams playing each other who will take points from each other. It’s becoming bigger and bigger every week that goes by. “We’ve just got to stay focused and make sure we can deliver against Connacht next week.”
Nevertheless Les was prepared to take some consolation from the defeat, not least a dissatisfaction with John Lacey, an opinion he shared with most of the Scotstoun crowd.
“There’s massive positives to take from tonight. We started so well, we opened them up. We just needed one more score.
“We’ll have a look at the penalties - 13 - 4 is a massive score. Overall we have to build on those positives and see who we’ve got available.
“We’ve probably lost Alan O’Connor for a while and it doesn’t look good for Nick Williams either.”