Ulster players put the effort in and deserved win against Leinster insists defence coach Jared Payne

Ulster players aganst Leinster
Ulster players aganst Leinster
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Ulster defence coach Jared Payne said the 14-13 win over Leinster came down to the efforts put by the players on Saturday night at a packed Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster had trailed 13-7 at the break, Leinster in control for the most of that first half.

But it was a determined display by Ulster who dominated the third quarter, and a bit more, during which they scored the converted try which secured the win.

And the defensive effort towards the end in keeping Leinster out and secure a first win since 2017 over their rivals was something which pleased Payne.

It may have been two second strings who took to the pitch in Belfast, but it matters little when it comes to inter-pro games.

“To win against Leinster means a lot to these boys,” said Payne.

“They worked bloody hard for that out on the pitch. To get a win means a heck of a lot.

“Points don’t really matter, but for the effort they put in, it’s huge.”

Marcus Rea made his debut and turned in a memorable one, scoring a try and picking up the Guinness man of the match award.

“He was class wasn’t he?,” said Payne.

“He’s another one that’s really stood up behind the scenes throughout the year. So for him to get a reward for the effort, I’m stoked for him.”

And as for that defensive effort, Payne said: “Just two in a game, doesn’t matter if it’s attack or defence, these boys worked hard defensively through the whole game.

“To close out a game, doesn’t matter if it’s attack or D, you want to win.

“These boys play to win every game, doesn’t matter if it’s a derby or who it’s against.

“They don’t play to come second. We’ve always had that mindset.”

Ulster will now face Connacht in a semi-final qualifier on Saturday at Kingspan Stadium when they will go fully loaded.

A number of players who featured against Leinster are expected to be involved.

If Ulster win that game they will then face a trip to Scotstoun on Friday, May 17, to play Conference A winners, Glasgow Warriors in the semi-finals.