Defence coach Jared Payne is hoping that Ulster will tighten up on Friday after conceding 12 tries in two games across the mini-tour of South Africa.
“To concede nine tries in one game (Cheetahs) is disappointing but I think apart from one slip up against the Ospreys game here, we were pretty good, in that Kings game to defend well for as long as we did was pleasing - it’s never going to be a perfect world but, hopefully, we can improve on that Cheetahs performance,” said Payne ahead of Ulster’s home clash at Kingspan Stadium with Cardiff Blues. “I think it was the system, we got beaten a few times on turnover ball which is always tough, you’ve got to be on your bike when you turn the ball over, especially against a team like that, they’ve got a few boys that are pretty quick.
“We didn’t quite connect that well or work hard hard enough for each other so that was a bit disappointing in some of those early tries and than there was some individual tackling that the boys won’t look back on too well, a few individual errors and system communication stuff as well.
“We’ve definitely tweaked one or two things to figure a way to get into the games a bit quicker.”
Ulster took six points from the two games in South Africa.
“Cheetahs was disappointing, I would have liked to have got more out of that.
“It feels a bit funny coming in on a Monday, having been away for a while, the boys are looking forward to playing again on home soil.”
“Cardiff have threats across the board, they’ll probably be a bit disappointed with the way they’ve started so they’ll have worked hard last week and they’ll work pretty hard this week to get back on the horse.
“If we give them early exits and early energy they’ll grow a leg and I imagine they’ll be a pretty good team, they’ve got a couple of backs there, their back line has got pretty good feet, pretty dangerous.
“They’ve a couple of good forwards and Nick (Williams) is a turnover specialist, so it’s going to be a tough night at the office if we don’t front up early and put some real life into the game and make it tough.”