Ulster director of rugby, Les Kiss, hailed his players after they secured a bonus point winning try right at the death of their Guinness PRO12 win over Zebre in Belfast last night.
Replacement scrumhalf, Paul Marshall, reached out at full stretch to take a pass from Stuart Olding and score the crucial fourth try two minutes from the end which yielded the five match points in a 32-0 victory against the Italians – and keep Ulster right in the mix for the play-offs.
A brace from Nick Williams in the first half put Ulster in control before Peter Browne and Marshall went over.
Paddy Jackson added 12 points with the boot from two penalties and three conversions, while Ulster had another three tries disallowed.
“It was a case of us doing the best thing at the given time on both sides of the ball, in defence and attack. We did that and it meant we separated the scoreline and made it a real mission to take the fourth try,” a delighted Kiss said.
“We had a couple of disallowed tries out there today and maybe the referee and TMO did not help us with a couple of calls, but we did finish the game off well.
“What was really special for me was the way we scored that try in the end.
“The boys just said to themselves ‘we can do this’ and they got their reward. Yes, it was a relief to see them do that but they did complete the job and that is really pleasing for us as a coaching staff.
“The other aspect, given the way our defence has been in recent weeks, was the way we kept Zebre to nil.
Last night’s game marked the end of a 16-week run of fixtures in both the Guinness PRO12 and Europe.
“To finish in the manner we did tonight shows the strength of this group and we will come back refreshed for what will be another tough run in to the end of the season,” added Kiss.