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Ulster Supporters are eager to shake off tag of brave losers

By Ali Gordon

Ulster's sheer grit and determination displayed in their clash with Toulon certainly isn't in much doubt by the majority of Ulster fans.

Their ability to contend with the best teams in Europe is most definitely in doubt, though.

Fans have taken to social media to vent their frustration at a side that may have given it their all in a 60-22 thrashing by European champions Toulon but just simply weren't good enough.

Stand-in captain Roger Wilson defended the side's record European defeat, saying in a post-match interview: "To finish the game with the margin of 40 points was disappointing but, at the same time, we scored four tries. But defensively they're (Toulon) a difficult side to stop once they get any momentum."

Wilson's words prompted a number of angry comments, with a number of supporters angered by Ulster's apparent acceptance of poor results - especially after their brilliant Heineken Cup efforts in recent years. The side reached the Heineken Cup final at Twickenham in 2012 before exiting at the quarter-final stages in the following years but will not even make it out of their qualifying pool this season.

Richard Lewis wrote on Facebook: "Despite the extremely lengthy injury list, the squad needs to have a different attitude to defeat. Too many players "comfortable" with coaching team. Don't think (former coach Mark) Anscombe would have accepted the defeat in the same fashion."

Season ticket-holder Duncan Turner added: "Any fan who pays (I'm season ticket-holder) is entitled to grumble when our captain accepts defeat so easily. Let the record show this was Ulster's biggest ever defeat in Europe and possibly ever! And to say, as many have, "they didn't give up" is what we usually say when our local school teams gets thumped, usually by Inst or Methody!!! These lads are paid not to give up... so agree with earlier statement referencing Anscombe."

It has been no secret at Kingspan that many Ulster Rugby appointments have been internal or offered to those familiar with the Ulster set-up and, like Turner, fan Gareth McCarter also questioned the current management structure.

He wrote: "I don't think you can have your head held high after shipping 60 points away from home, resting key players to lie down in a game and going from competition runners-up to a pool exit in a few years. Serious questions ought to be asked of the coaching staff and the management, although unlikely in Ulsters "jobs for the boys" set-up."

Disagreeing with many fans' defence of Ulster's performance this season, Gary Wilson stated: "Let's get real we've just conceded 60 points and I for one don't think that's good enough by far. I accept that Toulon are an exceptional team but I don't want to go back to the days when we were happy to say that Ulster gave it a lash and were brave losers."

Supporter Philip Doggart simply wrote: "Heads held high? From finalists to this in three years, not good enough."

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