Ulster defeat by Scarlets takes gloss off Roger Wilson’s 200th appearance

Roger Wilson leads Ulster out to win his 200th cap during the Guinness Pro12 clash against Scarlets at Kingspan Stadium
Roger Wilson leads Ulster out to win his 200th cap during the Guinness Pro12 clash against Scarlets at Kingspan Stadium

Ulster couldn’t deliver a victory against the Scarlets to mark Roger Wilson’s 200th appearance for the Province.

Les Kiss side went down by a point (21-20) at home to the Welsh region and the number eight was disappointed with the result which sees Ulster slip to fourth in the table.

“It was a bit like Trimby’s 200th appearance, we didn’t quite get the performance,” said Wilson. “It was disappointing and is really a wake up call for us.

“It has probably been coming in the last few weeks we haven’t been performing well but we still have plenty of time to put it right.

“Looking back this is what we maybe needed a good kick up the backside. We’re disappointed but we’ve been told to have a good look at the video and when we get back in over we’ll take ownership,” added Wilson.

Ulster had plenty of chances to win the game but couldn’t convert territory and possession into points.

“That is one of the areas we talked about,” said Wilson. “We weren’t clinical enough in the opposition 22. We had plenty of opportunities in there and this season generally we have been quite good in there.

“But credit to the Scarlets they defended well but we just couldn’t put them away and that is something that we will definitely be working on.”

Ulster could have won the game in the closing stages but their set piece let them down.

“There was just inconsistency. Generally on our ball the scrum was okay it creaked a bit towards the end.

“We couldn’t really get the platform as opposed to previous weeks, the maul went quite well but we couldn’t get a platform to launch from our maul a couple of times in their 22 and they defended it very well.”

“We just didn’t give ourselves a chance from the beginning we were just very slow out of the blocks and defensively more so than anything.

“I think the defensive tone sets everything else and it reflected in the performance for most of the game.”

Ulster have conceded four tries in their last two home games.

“Defence has been one of the strong points of the season and we have a pretty proud record,” highlighted Wilson.

“You don’t become a bad team overnight but recently we have began to stand off them a little bit and the worrying thing is our first half performances and especially the first 15 to 20 minutes we’re not getting into the game as quickly as we want to we’re letting teams get a foothold in the game and it’s difficult to chase in those conditions.

“We’ll be disappointed with the defence it was far too soft.”

Ulster travel to Cardiff on Sunday knowing there isn’t much margin for error.

“It’s pretty tight between the top six or seven teams and there isn’t much between them, a few teams have a game in hand and Glasgow have two so we can’t afford anymore slip ups.

“You need to win your home games and we didn’t do that so we need to bounce back with a big result on Sunday.”

Wilson was part of the Ulster side that won the 2006 Celtic League and a decade on he wants to like the trophy again.

“200 is a nice milestone personally but I think you don’t look back on the number of games you play but on what you have won, in the last few years we have put ourselves in a good position and haven’t delivered and to be brutally honest we probably have undelivered in the last few years, we need to step up to the plate and there is still plenty of opportunities left, it’s about silverware not individual milestones.”

It wasn’t difficult for Wilson to pick out the highlight of his 200 caps.

“Probably winning the Celtic League would be the highlight, for a team that has been right up there in Europe and in the top 10 we should have delivered more, there have been a few big away wins in Europe which have been nice, beating Leicester Tigers because playing in Northampton for so long they were local rivals and winning that one away was nice personally.”