Belfast Telegraph

Shape and structure satisfies happy Ulster coach Neil Doak

By Michael Sadlier

It was hardly surprising that Ulster coach Neil Doak seemed pretty content with what he had just witnessed.

His Ulster side had simply obliterated Treviso, scoring seven tries to thoroughly put to bed the memory of the Scarlets defeat three weeks ago.

Though it was a particularly special evening for Andrew Trimble, his contribution was somewhat overshadowed by the work-rate of Ulster's pack - four forwards accounted for the scores - and some dazzling work from, who else, Craig Gilroy.

Ulster's 'other' starting winger crossed for what could be another try of the season right at the end of the first half which also brought up the bonus point score, five points which took Doak's men to third in the table overnight.

"I thought the first half we played really well, we kept our shape nicely and we made sure we kept our structure and not allow Treviso to get broken field game," Doak said.

"The boys did that well and the pressure we put on them resulted in the two yellow cards and it is a credit to the guys."

Indeed, having both Rupert Harden and Robert Barbieri, late in the first half, sent to the bin allowed Ulster to sneak over for two tries and snatch that all-important bonus.

"At half time you wanted them to kick on and the start of the second half didn't go as planned, and it became a little bit disjointed and we allowed them back in the game," the coach said of the fact that Treviso struck first upon the resumption.

"We have played against Treviso many times and been in front but allowed them back into the game and it did put us under a little bit of pressure," he added.

"But I couldn't be any happier than with a bonus point win," Doak stated.

"At the start of the game if you had said you'll get 40-plus points and a bonus point you couldn't argue with that.

"It is a bit of a mental game when you have the bonus point by half time," he added of Ulster's 27-0 lead.

"You hope you can score early doors and really put them to bed, but they got those points on the board and we lost a bit of shape and lost our way a bit, but we got it back again and finished it off with a few more tries."

The coach also paid tribute to the efforts of the forwards in doing so much work - and adding so many points - to the general effort.

And he was pleased to see his backs cut loose on occasion.

For Andrew Trimble it was a special night, making a record- breaking 190th appearance for Ulster.

"It was fantastic to get a win on what was a special night for me," said Trimble.

"I thought we played well. It was a performance that we can take a lot from and move on with confidence to the games ahead."

Belfast Telegraph


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