Defeat for Ulster but crowd enjoys game

European Champions Cup Pool 3

Defeat for Ulster but crowd enjoys game

Ulster number eight Roger Wilson admits they struggled to get to grips with a rampant Toulon side in record 60-22 European defeat.

They conceded eight tries against the reigning European champions, including a hat-trick for Steffon Armitage as Toulon secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup.

Ulster did manage four tries of their own through Paddy Jackson, Jared Payne and two for Mike McComish but Wilson conceded their defence was not up to scratch in the Pool 3 encounter.

Wilson said: “When you look at the scoreboard it’s very disappointing but I don’t think that reflects the effort we put in for 80 minutes.

“Not many teams will go to Toulon and score four tries but the big negative for us was the defence.”

However, Toulon head coach Bernard Laporte was not impressed with his side’s display.

They became the first side to qualify for the knockout stages and travel to the Scarlets next week looking to secure a home quarter-final.

Laporte said: “Our mission was to secure the qualification and get a bonus point. We can now celebrate and prepare for our next game.

“There was some good defensive aggressiveness in our last couple of games, I did not see it today, especially from the 15th to the 35th minute.

“We did not play well during those 20 minutes. This is not good enough and we need to do more.

“Ulster gave us more space later in the game and we were able to score tries.

“Our backline players got sick with the flu on Thursday and I’m wondering if our lack of rhythm comes from this.

“I am not impressed by those 60 points, although we are happy because we feel like the crowd enjoyed the game.”

Toulon scorers: Tries: Sanchez, Habana, Bastareaud, Castrogiovanni, S. Armitage 3, Gordodze. Cons: Sanchez, Halfpenny 6. Pens: Halfpenny 2.

TOULON: Halfpenny, Mitchell, Bastareaud, Mermoz, Habana, Sanchez, Tillous-Borde, Chiocci, Guirado, Castrogiovanni, Suta, Williams, J. Smith, S. Armitage, Masoe.

Replacements: Wulf for Bastareaud (61), D. Smith for Sanchez (70), Escande for Tillous-Borde (62), Fresia for Chiocci (55), Orioli for Guirado (41), Taofifenua for Suta (64), Gordodze for J. Smith (61).

Ulster scorers: Tries: P. Jackson, McComish 2, Payne. Cons: Pienaar.

ULSTER: Payne, Ludik, Cave, Olding, Allen, P. Jackson, Pienaar, Warwick, Herring, B. Ross, A. O’Connor, van der Merwe, C. Ross, McComish, Wilson.

Replacements: Heaney for Olding (45), Black for Warwick (64), J. Andrew for Herring (72), Fitzpatrick for B. Ross (52), Stevenson for van der Merwe (61), Diack for Wilson (52).

Ref: Leighton Hodges (Wales)

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