Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Anscombe proud after French success

Andrew Trimble scored Ulster's only try in a memorable win at Montpellier.

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe was "enormously proud" of his players after they claimed their biggest Heineken Cup win on French soil 25-8 over Montpellier.

Andrew Trimble crossed for Ulster's only try on 11 minutes before Ruan Pienaar paved the way for victory with 15 points from his boot. Paddy Jackson also added five points.

Ulster had waited 15 matches in the Heineken Cup to beat a French side on their own soil when they edged Castres 9-8 to reach the last-eight last season, but this was a far more impressive triumph to show how much they have grown.

Not only did this win move Ulster two points clear of Leicester Tigers - who they beat last week - in Pool Five, but it also prevented Montpellier from taking a point at their own Yves du Manoir stadium.

"I'm enormously proud of the boys today, of the way we stuck to our game," Anscombe said.

"We had talked about what we wanted to do and they did just that.

"The guys who started and the bench stuck to our plan. The defence was outstanding, we accumulated points, our kicking game was great and our chasing completed it to make it that way.

"To come here and beat them, and inflict their first home defeat this year, and by nearly 20 points - it's a pretty great occasion for our boys.

"A lot of our kicks were contested and we put them under pressure under those kicks, regained possession.

"That's what you want to do. They have a big team and we wanted to turn them around, prevent them from getting some go forward. We didn't want to give them early targets so they could put us on the back foot.

"We had looked at we thought we needed to do. They have a massive back and good backs, so the key for us was not to give them some front-foot ball.

"We wanted to turn their big guys around, make them work hard, make them have to get back to do the work. It can be hard for the big boys to do that and that's we achieved."

Montpellier coach Fabien Galthie, whose team had opened with an away win in Italy over Benetton Treviso, was unhappy at the way his team failed to get to grips with the occasion and the opposition.

"I knew that a team like Ulster was certainly capable of hurting us," he said.

"We played with a couple of young, inexperienced players who had never played at this level. It was one of those days where, if the smallest thing doesn't go your way, it can get pretty ugly.

"That was the case today, a lot of things didn't go our way.

"We are now in a very tough position for qualification. We have to be realistic, it is going to be complicated for us."

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