Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Magners League: Best looks on the positive side following stalemate

Connacht 15 Ulster 15
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Willie Faloon chased by Ray Ofisa of ConnachtMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/Billy Stickland
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterConnacht's Gavin Duffy and Stephen Ferris of UlsterMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/James Crombie
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterConnacht's Michael Swift and Ryan Caldwell of UlsterMdandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie *** Local Caption ***
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Pedrie Wannenburg tackled by Keith Matthews and Ian Keatley of ConnachtMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland *** Local Caption ***
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Stephen Ferris treated for an injury shortly before being replacedMdandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie *** Local Caption ***
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Darren Cave hands off Brett Wilkinson of ConnachtMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland *** Local Caption ***
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Paul Emerick tries to break throughMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland *** Local Caption ***
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/James Crombie
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterConnacht's Ryan Caldwell clashes with Jamie Hagan of UlsterMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/James Crombie
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterConnacht's Keith Matthews and Ian Keatley tackle Paddy Wallace of UlsterMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/James Crombie
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterConnacht's Jamie Hagan and Darren Cave of UlsterMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/James Crombie
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterConnacht's Keith Matthews tackled by Ian Whitten and Paddy Wallace of UlsterMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/James Crombie
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterConnacht's Niva TaÕauso tackled by Darren Cave of UlsterMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/James Crombie
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Darren Cave hands off Brett Wilkinson of ConnachtMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/Billy Stickland
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterConnacht's Niva TaÕauso tackled by Darren Cave and Ryan Caldwell of UlsterMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/James Crombie
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Willie Faloon chased by Ray Ofisa of ConnachtMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/Billy Stickland
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Pedrie Wannenburg tackled by Keith Matthews and Ian Keatley of ConnachtMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/Billy Stickland
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Ian Whitten and Chris Henry tackle Gavin Duffy of ConnachtMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/Billy Stickland
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Paddy Wallace kicks a penaltyMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/Billy Stickland
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Paul Marshall kicks the ballMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/Billy Stickland
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterConnacht's Gavin Duffy climbs for a high ballMandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie *** Local Caption ***
Magners League 25/9/2010Connacht vs UlsterUlster's Tom Court caught by Brett Wilkinson of UlsterMandatory Credit ©PRESSEYE / INPHO/James Crombie

Rory Best got exactly what he had been expecting at The Sportsground on Saturday night — a very hard game from a wholly committed Connacht.

In the circumstances he reckoned a share of the spoils was a reasonable result.

“From a neutral’s point of view I’d imagine it was probably a hell of a game of rugby, the sort of thing you always grew up with when you watched inter-pros — hard, physical, with teams prepared to do anything to win it,” said the Ulster captain.

“Probably in the end a draw was a fair result.”

He took satisfaction from the fact that when Connacht got some momentum going and the crowd got behind them, Ulster were able to handle that.

“We were able to re-group, keep our composure and get ourselves back in the game. In days gone by we would have lost that one,” he said.

That is becoming something of a trend, for exactly the same observation has been made following each of Ulster’s Magners League matches to date.

“We started really well. We looked good, we had good shape and caused Connacht problems. Those are positives we have to build on,” Best added.

His summary of the impact of having lost the injured Stephen Ferris after little more than 10 minutes was: “You have some world class players and some go-to players and certainly Stevie is one of those guys, but it’s not bad having a replacement like Willie Faloon to bring on because he’s something similar.”

Admitting that referee Alain Rolland “was beginning to get a bit annoyed by the end of it” Best said that the scrum had been quite a battle.

“It was always going to be that way. You’d a few individual battles in there which lead to collective battles,” he said.

“Connacht have a good scrum, we like to think that we have a good scrum so there was always going to be a bit of arm-wrestling to see who would get the upper hand.”

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