Head coach Neil Doak hailed the commitment of his side on Friday night as Ulster secured their place in this season’s Guinness PRO12 play-offs with a 26-10 win over Leinster.
PRO12 leading try scorer, Craig Gilroy, took his tally to 11 with a late score which basically ended the Leinster resolve and their chances of a third successive title.
The defending champions had shocked Ulster in the opening 10 minutes by going into a 10-0 lead after a try from Ben Te’o and a penalty and conversion from Jimmy Gopperth.
But a try from man of the match Iain Henderson and 16 points from Ruan Pienaar secured a valuable win for Ulster in front of 17,000 in the Kingpsan Stadium
Doak said: “Given the way the conditions deteriorated (heavy rain) and the fact we went 10-0 down early on, I think the boys played remarkably well.
“It is obviously good to have secured the play-off spot and that comes down to taking it each game at a time and targeting what we need. One week it is Champions Cup qualification, the next it is a top four finish.
“The commitment of the players really impressed me given the way things had gone early on. The way we defended at the end was incredible and credit it to the players.”
Ulster moved from third to the top of the table with the win although the teams they leapfrogged Glasgow and Munster are both due to play later today.
“This was always going to be a tough run-in,” said Doak. “We had Leinster tonight and then we have Munster in a fortnight. We will take stock of tonight and take the positives and there are also some areas to work on as well.
“We will watch the Munster game tomorrow and then we will prepare for them.”