A last gasp try under the posts from Nick Timoney ensured Ulster had the small consolation of a losing bonus point from the Guinness PRO14 derby 22-14 loss against Connacht on Friday night.
However, there were few smiles from the backrow forward post match review after Ulster had surrender a 58-year-old unbeaten home record to the Western Province. And it came on the back of a record defeat to Munster, 64-7.
“I think we can take the fact that it was a hell of a lot better than last week,” said a clearly disappointed Timoney.
“Last week it felt like we were a good bit off the pace and it didn’t feel like we were here.
“We weren’t much away from winning that game. The trend from last week...we get into a habit of thinking things are worse than they are.
“Like, we went into that Munster game having not lost in nine games. The last two weeks, they’re not ideal but we don’t turn into a bad team overnight.
“We’re not 100 miles away,” he said.
Next up are Leicester Tigers in Europe and Timoney said there had to be an improvement.
“We’re not going to make excuses. We lost the game and we need to get better. We can’t just go into the next game saying we just hope the big decisions go our way.
“But I don’t think (tonight) was a convincing loss,” he added.