RUGBY: Ulster coach Les Kiss hails character and toughness of players after victory

Ulster's Jacob Stockdale scores a try against Wasps
Ulster's Jacob Stockdale scores a try against Wasps

Ulster ended a sequence of three losing opening round games in Europe and Les Kiss was happy to see that ended with the 19-9 win over Wasps on Friday night.

“It was massive for us to be at Kingspan and play a team like Wasps.

“We didn’t play exceptionally well but we showed real character and toughness.

“We were able to get some momentum and make some smarter decisions in the second-half.”

The Charles Piutau-Jacob Stockdale combination again delivered a crucial try in the second half which saw the momentum swing Ulster’s way.

Kiss said: “They’re linking well but I’ve got to stress that the second-half was about building the right pressure in the rights part of the park.

“We let them off the hook a bit in that first-half. We played a lot in that halfway area but didn’t get the results that we wanted to.

“The second-half we made them tackle a lot more and if you do that, shorten the line, when you have Charles and Jacob and Co on the edges to exploit that space on the outside, they did it well.”

It was the fifth consecutive loss for Wasps and coach Dai Young said: “When the luck’s not with you it’s not with you, but it’ll turn.

“When you’re down there it seems like you keep getting kicked in the nuts but have to dust yourself down.

“They scored two quick tries and we were chasing the game a bit. When we had pressure, we conceded a penalty which didn’t give us any momentum.

“Things don’t seem to be going our way because we were in that game for big periods - but we’ve got to look at ourselves too.”

“We weren’t creative enough with the ball. The bounce of the ball isn’t going our way at the moment so I’d rather we played the percentages a bit more.”

Wasps, forced to play just five days after a Premiership defeat to Sarries, wilted badly in the second half.

Thomas Young pulled his hamstring and his coach claimed: “I’d have been surprised if we hadn’t come away with a pull after a five-day turnaround”.