Ulster captain Johann Muller pointed to his side's indiscipline as having been the Achilles heel in their PRO12 final showdown with Leinster.
"I think that's the one area where we really let ourselves down," he admitted. "I was really proud of the boys, the way they played to come back and play the way we did in that second half, but finals are all about small margins and discipline was one of those for us."
Conceding that Ulster had suffered as a result, he continued: "We gave away too many penalties, gave them easy yards."
He had no misgivings about the totality of his side's commitment.
"Obviously you've got to ask yourself the question. Last year in the (Heineken Cup) final we didn't pitch up as a team, and then there was another big one (disappointment) against Saracens in the quarter-final when we didn't play well at all.
"Today there was no lack of effort. I'm really proud of the way the boys played and of their performance but, like I've said, the small things cost us big time."
Whilst agreeing that the breakdown had been "a bit of a lottery" – Ulster struggled with referee John Lacey's interpretation for most of the contest – Muller was gracious in defeat.
"They read it better than we did and you've got to take your hats off to them for that. So we're not going to complain about that; the better side won. Hopefully we'll get an opportunity again."