Gutted Ulster coach Neil Doak explains late use of the bench

Glasgow's Finn Russell kicks the winning conversion to win the game
Glasgow's Finn Russell kicks the winning conversion to win the game

Ulster head coach, Neil Doak said he was left gutted after watching his side concede a late score which left them on the wrong side of a 16-14 scoreline against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun.

The Irish Province were five minutes away from reaching their second Guinness PRO12 final, only to suffer heartbreak when the Scots scored a converted try to nudge them in front for the first time in the game.

A victory for Ulster would have seen them facing Munster this Saturday at The Kingspan Stadium and the chance to win the league for the first time since 2006.

“I am gutted,” said Doak.

“It’s frustrating as it’s been a hell of a season with the turmoil at the start.

“Then there was injury profile. To have got this stage and be very competitive for 75 minutes, and then to have it taken away, well, it’s pretty frustrating.

“We’ve just got to keep growing as a group and growing as an organisation and be consistently in the top four and working hard to be the best that we can be.

“We’ve said it a few times now, we’ve got to learn from these scenarios.

“The players were outstanding but just couldn’t get over that last little hill.

“We had a decent run there but it’s just frustrating for the players.”

Glasgow were forced to go to their bench early for a number of first half injuries, but they had most of their replacements on going into the final quarter.

Ulster made their first substitution after 72 minutes.

“With hindsight we maybe could have gone to the bench a little bit earlier but the players were feeling pretty comfortable,” explained Doak.

“I suppose if you look back it was a bit like Munster.

“We played some decent rugby and came away with a draw and out there I thought we were pretty decent for large portions of the game.

“Just little bits of fundamentals let us down. We were up against a good side and they got in for that score and we just didn’t get a big enough lead.”

While the majority of this Saturday’s tickets have been snapped up by Ulster fans, Doak said he would now probably watch his son play cricket or play himself!

“It is really disappointing that we are not in the final, but that is sport, that is the way it can go sometimes.

“On this occasion it went against us.”

He added: “The boys put everything on the line and we talked about being physical and making sure we played in the right areas.

“I think that’s the disappointing thing.

“We played so well in the first half, didn’t start the second half well enough and ultimately that put us under pressure.”