Ulster job is only half done says Paddy Jackson

Ulster  Paddy Jackson   and Toulouse Toby Flood
Ulster Paddy Jackson and Toulouse Toby Flood

It will be filed under one of those great European nights at home as Ulster scored five tries to beat Toulouse and prevented the four times winners from registering a point but Ireland out half Paddy Jackson knows the job is only half done.

Tries from Nick Williams, Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey and Chris Henry gave Ulster a 38-0 win.

Jackson converted four tries and slotted over a penalty while replacement outhalf, Ian Humphreys, converted Henry’s final try of the night.

The sides meet on Sunday at the Stade Ernest Wallon and Fabien Pelous men will be smarting after failing to score for the first time in their European history.

“I think we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves,” Jackson said cautiously.

“It’ll be nice to look back on the game and see how things played into our hands but you look back a few years ago, Northampton in the back-to-backs, where we ran away with it over there and they came back here and beat us.

“It’s happened to a lot of teams. It’s happened to Leinster a few times, it’s something we have to talk about, these back to backs are always tough.”

The Irish outhalf was pleased with how clinical Ulster were along with his own contribution to the victory.

“We said that we had a lot of work to do on the training park and we’ve been training well.

“It’s nice to see that come through on the pitch, we left a few tries out there last week but we’ve made up for it.”

“We wanted to stay away from their big back, standing in the tunnel, they’re big guys, just before half time they were blowing and that meant we’d done our job and the strategy paid off.

“The way they defended suited my style of rugby, I think I only kicked the ball out of hand once.

“I like to take the ball to the line and it was a night that definitely worked for me.”

“We knew they had a big pack so we wanted to move them about, we talked a lot about that as a backline, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to organise the forwards and we’re just glad that I got the backline moving again.

“Since coming back (World Cup), not playing for so long, I’ve been trying to find my feet a bit, I don’t think I’ve been playing badly just maybe not as well as I could.

“Against Toulouse we started to run the ball a bit and I was glad to be a part of it.”

The outhalf praised Ulster’s midfield pairing of Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall.

“It’s nice to have a big guy outside you, and having Luke there as well.

“The last two weeks they’ve been brilliant, especially Lukey (Marshall) has been stepping up into 10 when I haven’t been able to make certain phases.

“That’s made my job a hell of a lot easier and means I can focus on the next phase.”

It was a record victory for Ulster against a French team in Europe and it was built on defence.

“It was bizarre looking at their backline, I was on the Ultimate Rugby app just flicking through the players I was playing against and it’s guys I’ve watched since I was a kid.

“McAllister, Clerc and Poitrenaud, it was a bit daunting but once we got in, their wingers were looking to get hands on the ball but we dealt with it well.

“It was a really good defensive performance. Fair play to the forwards, they kept things really tight on the inside and it allowed us to worry about the outside channels.”

Jackson is enjoying working with Les kiss.

“When he was in charge in America and Canada, he had a bit more of an attacking role so that’s familiar.

“Since then it’s been a defensive role and that’s how I’ve worked with him, he’s back here.

“Himself and Doakie (Neil Doak) have put together good patterns that we’ve been working hard on.

“We’re just really glad he’s here.”

Kiss said a lot of things which had been put into the game over the past few weeks had yielded some reward against Toulouse.

“We knew this performance was there sitting on the edges and it was great to see them back themselves the way they did.

“For us to put pressure on the pool we had to do that. It’s important we get some points out of it next week,” he then added of the return game.

“For us we can pat ourselves on the back then miss the boat next weekend. We know they’ll come back at us and what it will take to win over there.”