GUINNESS PRO12: Ulster desperate to end losing run against Edinburgh

Leinster's Ben Te'o celebrates Sean Cronin's try
Leinster's Ben Te'o celebrates Sean Cronin's try

Ulster are desperate to return to winning ways in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday night when Edinburgh are the visitors to Belfast.

The 8-3 loss to Leinster in Dublin on Friday night saw Ulster drop to seventh place in the standings.

Edinburgh, who picked up five match points in their 32-13 win over Newport Gwent Dragons are level on points with Ulster, but are in sixth place by virtue of having won a game more to date in the campaign.

The Scots defeated Ulster in the Scottish capital earlier in the season, but the Irish Province will be looking to make home advantage count for them as they look to stay in touch with those in the play-off places as well as improve their chances of European Champions Cup qualification for next season.

Director of rugby, Les Kiss, said the game against Edinburgh “was massive for sure.”

“Winning or losing against Leinster was not going to define the season for anyone, there is still a lot of water to go under the bridge.

“But it does become tighter each time and the pressure is constant in this game. You look at the ladder and you can either respond to it in negative fashion or take up the challenge.

“Our first challenge is Edinburgh next week at home and we have to be ready for them as they are physical. They played a fairly simple game but it is effective and is getting the results for them.

“We have to get a result at home!”

He added: “A win is obviously something we would desperately like to get. We will look at the vision (from the Leinster game) and work forward in terms of what we have to get to,

“We understand the challenge against an Edinburgh side. We are at home and we owe the fans a bit from the last time.”

Saturday’s game was a bruising encounter with Sean Cronin’s second half try securing the victory after the sides had been deadlocked at 3-3 for a long period.

Kiss said: “The second half was a cracking game and if we could have put that into the first half performance a bit more then we would have been a lot more dangerous

“In hindsight Leinster controlled that top third of the pitch and pushed themselves up there enough times to get the second chance of a driving maul and a try. We get one of those chances and it would have been different.

“But I am really happy that we just played the game in the second half and if we had done that a little bit more in the first half I would be happier.

“I really want to take those positives from it more than anything. And that is not taking away the fact that it is still a loss.”

He added: “I am not going to lose confidence of what the boys are doing and how we are trying to shape the game.”

Having just had his first month in the position, Kiss admitted he was still getting used to the difference of being at a club from his previous role as assistant coach to Ireland.

“It is different for sure. Even how you prep your week has some different aspects to it. I am getting my teeth into it and it is quite interesting.

“I would say I am getting closer and closer as each week goes by and getting a sense of how it all runs.”

Looking ahead Kiss said he was keen to keep challenging everyone involved.

“You do not get anywhere by standing still you have to challenge ourselves and each other in the group and after the Saracens game and this game I do think we have put a layer of solid stuff on where we need to go.

“You can perform well against the fourth and below in the PRO12, but when you get above that you just have got to get better and better at facing up to that and coming up with the solutions to it. “I think we got closer against Leinster, who as we know, at home are always tough, tough opposition.”