McLaughlin 'hugely disappointed' by Munster defeat06/05/2012 - 16:50:35
Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin could not hide his frustration after his side fell to a 36-8 defeat to Munster in Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 meeting at Thomond Park.
Having suffered a rare Heineken Cup defeat in Thomond Park at the hands of Ulster in the quarter-final stages, Munster were always likely to produce a big performance.
With little chance of Ulster making the PRO12 knockout stages and a Heineken Cup final against Leinster on the horizon McLaughlin chose to field a weakened team featuring a number of academy players.
Despite the inexperience on show McLaughlin believes Ulster made too many basic errors which contributed to Munster’s five try haul.
“We are hugely disappointed,” he said. “We turned over too much ball and made too many mistakes all round.
“They didn’t have to do much to score their tries as our defence was soft and we lacked discipline.
“We did well in the first twenty minutes of the second half but at this level you have to perform for the whole game or you will get punished.”
While his overriding reaction to the game was one of disappointment, McLaughlin took encouragement from the performances of some of his younger players.
“There were some positives to take from tonight though. Iain Henderson put in a tremendous performance and scored a great try.
“It was also good to see Blane McIlroy and Niall Annett get another run out at this level.”
Focus now switches back to the Heineken Cup for McLauhglin’s charges who will head to a training camp in Portugal in preparation for the all important showdown in Twickenham on May 19th.
McLaughlin is under no illusions about the scale of the challenge presented by defending champions Leinster and knows Ulster will need to be on top of their game if they are to claim their second Heineken Cup title.
“We will get rested before we go over for the camp in Portugal on Monday.
“We will go there for a few days to make sure we get everything on the money so we are ready for Twickenham.