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Ulster boss rages after a mauling by Italians

By Niall Crozier

Ulster crashed to a 23-12 home defeat at the hands of Benetton Treviso last night - their first defeat at Ravenhill since December 27 and their first ever at the hands of Italian opponents.

It followed away-day defeats by Ospreys and Newport Gwent Dragons, leaving Ulster not only nursing wounded pride but injuries to Jared Payne and Ian Whitten as well.

Payne was taken to hospital for a scan on a suspected achilles tendon rupture - which, if confirmed, would rule him out for the rest of the season. Whitten has a shoulder injury.

Afterwards Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin was barely able to conceal his anger at the performance.

"We were so much looking forward to playing on our own pitch again, but to turn up and play like that in front of our own fans, well we know - we all agree - that it wasn't acceptable," he said.

"We were in this exact same position last year and we have got three weeks now to get it right, three weeks to prepare for Scarlets and for Europe and that's the way it will be. A lot of hard work needs to be done."

Captain Chris Henry tried to put a positive spin on the result, saying: "We've all lost three games or more in a row so it's not a case of everyone freaking out."

Belfast Telegraph

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