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McLaughlin hails 'biggest' result

Elated Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin described his side's stunning Heineken Cup quarter-final victory over Munster as probably the biggest day in his rugby career.

Ulster recorded a 22-16 win to become only the second team to beat Munster at Thomond Park in the history of the competition, joining Leicester who won a pool game there in January 2007.

McLaughlin said: "Unbelievable. It was a big highlight in my career, probably the biggest day in my life in rugby terms. It is also important to mention the impact and energy we gleaned from our fans in the stadium. The support was outstanding."

He added: "We knew Munster were going to come at us and they certainly did. To be 19-10 at half-time, (our captain) Johann Muller said if we were given that beforehand, we would have taken it.

"We knew after half-time it was going to be another battle. We talked about that all week as well. All credit to the guys on the pitch, they were magnificent today."

Muller described the result as a "special" victory.

"It was a special effort from everyone, not just players- and management-wise, everyone," said the South African lock.

Munster head coach Tony McGahan, who returns to his native Australia this summer, was hugely disappointed by the result.

"It is difficult to put it into words at this stage. You need to give the opposition credit. I thought Ulster were terrific today right across the park," he said. "They got into a substantial lead. Three penalty kicks from inside their own half. They controlled the scoreboard and they controlled field position in that first half.

"Full credit to the Munster team for the way they fought back to 19-13. But when Ulster pushed out to 22-13 it put a big dent in what we were trying to do."


From Belfast Telegraph