Ulster coach Dan McFarland admits it was a tough week to take

Ulster's Jacob Stockdale tackled by Connacht's  Niyi Adeolokun and  Cian Kelleher
Ulster's Jacob Stockdale tackled by Connacht's Niyi Adeolokun and Cian Kelleher

Dan McFarland admitted it had been a tough week to take as Ulster suffered a second Irish derby Guinness PRO14 loss to Connacht at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night.

Tries from Tiernan O’Halloran and Bundee Aki, along with a penalty try, saw Connacht dramatically beat their provincial rivals 22-15 in the PRO14 for a first triumph in Belfast since 1960.

The result saw Ulster fall to successive league defeat s less than week after suffering a record 64-7 reverse at Munster.

Ulster were forced to play the whole of the second half with 14 men on the pitch after flanker Mattie Rea was shown a red card for upending Cian Kelleher just after the restart.

Ulster picked up a losing bonus point, but it was little consolation from a game that saw them have two tries disallowed.

“That’s tough to take for everybody,” admitted McFarland on the double defeats.

“ It was a game that, looking at as you went through, it was one thing after another that punched us in the stomach right from their first try, which they looked at on the TMO.

“To me it looked like clear blocking, so I’m going to have to ask a question on that - if you’re allowed to do that then we’re definitely going to be doing that, we’re going to be doing that every week.

“Then we scored two tries that were marginally offside, and they were offside. It was inches.”

McFarland had no issues with the red card in terms of the letter of the law.

“I firmly believe we could have come from 14-5 down, but that was just another sucker punch for us.”

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