Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Ulster Rugby did basics well and stuck to gameplan: Trimble

Ruan Pienaar launches another Ulster attack
Ruan Pienaar launches another Ulster attack

On a night on which wingers saw precious little of the ball in attacking positions, Ulster's Andrew Trimble explained some of the problems the wide runners had faced.

"It's difficult here, I've been here a few times and it's a narrow pitch," he said.

"Leicester didn't contest rucks and you just keep hitting brick walls. Maybe we could have snapped back a few times but they're very regimented.

"You can't get bored with just doing basic stuff, especially with Ruan and Paddy putting the ball on a sixpence every time.

"The breeze was a nightmare in terms of gathering kicks. I was all over the place with one in the opening few minutes."

Contrasting the win with Ulster's October victory in France, Trimble said: "We weren't as structured as we were against Montpellier. They (Leicester) put a lot of homework into us especially in terms of defence.

"They tried to exploit our weaknesses but I thought we coped pretty well. We stuck to our guns even though we weren't as clinical or as organised in our kick-chase as we were in Montpellier."

Admitting that having had to chase the game from 6-0 and 19-9 in arrears, Trimble – who is now off to Ireland's pre-Six Nations camp – admitted: "You find yourself thinking that they're chipping away a good lead for themselves, and you're wondering if the wind is giving them a big impact.

"We just didn't want them to get their tails up (because) we knew the crowd would get behind them.

"A side like Leicester have holds on against so many English sides because of that – they chip away at a lead and get the crowd behind them. Then teams just go out the gate.

"We've shown that we can deal with that environment. We've been coping pretty well and tonight was one of those nights when we really dug deep. We showed real self-belief and mental toughness. And all of us bought into that.

"I've no problem with playing a game like that if it's what the occasion demands.

As for the support Ulster received, skipper Johann Muller described it as "outstanding", adding: "I couldn't believe it after the game when we were running round the field the number of people – Ulster supporters – who were in the stands.

"I actually thought that Ruan had missed a kick because the cheer was so big and then I could see the flags going up.

"It's almost unbelievable that we're getting used to it now. Whether it's at Ravenhill or away from home the Ulster supporters are absolutely outstanding."

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